Updated 29 August 2009
Originally posted 1 August 2008
Honeydew Sago Dessert
In Malaysia, we have many soupy desserts. Some of them are served hot, like the Chinese “tong sui” (sweet drinks) and others cold (like cendol, ice kacang and es teler). The honeydew sago dessert falls into the cold category and it really is refreshing.
During Summer, melons are abundant in the grocery stores and the farmer’s market. One Saturday, we bought three melons at the Palo Alto Farmer’s Market—a bambino watermelon, an orange-fleshed watermelon and a honeydew melon (read about our encounter with a gross "Asian-girl fetish" man). The watermelons we planned to just enjoy on its own but I had plans for the honeydew melon.
Sago = Tapioca pearls
Sago or tapioca pearls can be found in all your Asian grocery stores and probably in some of the regular stores as well. They look like little tiny white beads. I love these things and will put them into any “soupy” Asian desserts abundantly (be careful though as they are also a thickener and too much can turn your “soup” into “pudding”). There’s another dessert that is made entirely of them and I will blog about that later.
Working it out
So anyway, we had brought back lots of stuff from the farmer’s market, right? And Nate had told you that he was working on the grilled pork tenderloin dinner with all the other ingredients. (By the way, I did not agree with his post—we had a little argument about it after it was published, yeah, our first blog fight *lol*. What I think he meant to say was that I also do look at what I have before deciding on what to cook BUT once I decide, I settle on a recipe (or adapt it) and go from there. He, on the other hand, starts chopping the stuff on hand and then continues searching for how to make use of it and what else to make with it…not very efficient…tsk…tsk…).
I love him anyway and sometimes it works out remarkably well. I just have to stay away so as not to get impatient. So while he was putting together this wonderful meal, I took a nap. I woke up feeling refreshed and came into the kitchen to work on my dessert dish. The whole meal came out really great and because pork tenderloin and grilled halibut are pretty light foods, there was room for my honeydew sago dessert which was a delightful way to end dinner and the weekend.
Honeydew Sago Recipe
½ honeydew melon (save the other half for enjoying plain)
1 cup sago (tapioca pearls)
½-1 cup sugar (depending on how sweet your honeydew is)
½ cup water
1 cup coconut milk shake the can before measuring out the one cup otherwise you will have really thick coconut milk only)
½ tsp salt
Make a simple syrup: Put water and sugar into a small pot and boil till sugar dissolves to make a syrup. Cool.
Boil the sago: Put a big pot of water to boil (to hold about 7 cups or more of water). When water comes to a boil, add sago to water and cook on med-high heat. Stir occasionally. Sago is done cooking when it looks translucent, about 8-10 mins. Caution: Don’t overcook the sago as it can become a sticky mess. Better to have a few pearls that have not turned translucent than to have a glop of melting sago.
Cut and blend the melon: While sago is cooking, cut half of the half melon into chunks
and buzz in your blender till smooth.
Dice the remaining quarter of the melon into small ½ inch cubes (or if you want to be really pretty, you could use a melon baller).
Rinse the sago: As soon as sago is done, pour it out into a fine-mesh colander and rinse with cold water.
Assemble the dish: Put the melon cubes and the melon juice together in a large bowl.
Add the coconut milk.
Followed by the cooled sago.
Pour in the sugar syrup little by little, to adjust the sweetness.
The trick to getting your dessert to taste better is to add a little salt. Salt enhances the sweetness of any dessert!. Stir it all together and chill.
This post was entered in the “Merdeka Open House 2009: My Sweet Malaysia” roundup, hosted by Babe in the City – KL