Mango Pomelo Sago Dessert (杨枝甘露)

Yields: 2 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 Mins Cook Time: 20 Mins Total Time: 30 Mins

Mango pomelo sago 杨枝甘露 (yáng zhī gān lù) is a popular Hong Kong dessert. It is really easy to make and so delicious!

The name of this dish is extremely poetic, and actually quite irrelevant! So the story goes, the name of this dessert was inspired by Avalokiteśvara or Guanyin Bodhisattva. In a picture of Avalokiteśvara, they held in their hand a sprig of willow (杨柳 yáng liǔ) and a bottle of water. Avalokiteśvara was using the willow sprig to splash water on drought-stricken living beings to relieve their suffering. The creator of the dessert thought that since this dessert helped people eliminate heat in the summer, they would name it something similar. Hence the name 杨枝甘露 came about.

The most complicated thing about this recipe is cooking the sago. I tend to do this the night before! Sago is a notorious water suck and takes ages to cook. Normally I use at least 1:10 sago to water ratio when cooking to make sure that it does not stick. Then, when the sago is cooked to only a solid dot in the centre, I turn the pot off and leave it to cook in the residual heat. After that, drain and cool, then put into the fridge for the next day.

This mango pomelo sago dessert was originally made with Philippine mangoes, so it’s absolutely perfect so those of us here in the Phillippines! For your reference for the quantities on this recipe, Philippine mangoes are about palm-sized. I also ate all the flesh off of the seeds instead of using it for the dessert (I couldn’t help myself!)

I will be adding Chinese New Year dishes under the CNY 年菜 category so check it out!

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0/6 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
  • Coconut Cream


0/9 Instructions
  • Cook the sago in a large pot of boiling water until completely transparent, then drain. About 20 minutes. I like to do this the day before!
  • Slice your mangoes into cheeks. Pick out one cheek and dice it for later. The rest of the mango, including the flesh around the seed, goes into the blender.
  • Blend the mango until it is fully liquified.
  • Mix the coconut cream, non-dairy milk, and sugar in a separate bowl. If you are in a very cold place, you may need to dissolve the sugar in the milk over the stove, then let cool before mixing into the coconut cream.
  • Peel some pomelo for topping.
  • Fill the bottom of the bowls with mango puree.
  • Add the sago balls on top of the puree.
  • Top with the coconut cream mixture. Then top with mangoes and pomelo.
  • Mix before eating. Enjoy!

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