Coconut Sago Pudding

Simon recreates one of his childhood favourites using little pearls of tapioca, which is the starch of the root plant cassava. A crunch of peanuts and hint of chilli add extra layers of depth for an unforgettably unique treat.

Preparation time Prep: 5 mins
cook 15 mins
cool 30 mins

You will need:

  • 900ml water
  • 6 tablespoons sago (tapioca pearls)*
  • 1 x 400ml can coconut milk
  • 3 pandan leaves, tied in a knot
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons organic sustainable dark palm sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon chilli powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • 50g roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • Chilli powder
Recipe: Simon Toohey


  • 1Cook the sago in the water until almost completely see-through, about 5 minutes (it will be quite gelatinous!). Strain and rinse with water to remove as much starch as possible. Pour into a baking tray and place in the fridge for 20–30 minutes or until it has cooled completely.
  • 2In the meantime, put the coconut milk in a pot with the pandan leaves and 1 tablespoon water, bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat.
  • 3In a small pot add the palm sugar with the remaining 2 tablespoons water and the chilli powder and salt; melt down to a syrup.
  • 4Finally, pour the hot coconut milk into the cooled sago tra, drizzle with the syrup, and top with roasted peanuts and a pinch of chilli.

*Tip: While sago pearls and tapioca pearls are technically slightly different ingredients (coming from different plants) they behave similarly when boiled and for this recipe, can be used interchangeably.

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