Prior to moving to SG, I had never heard of this dessert before. Mango Sago Pomelo Dessert?!? The usual mango-based dessert I was familiar with was the mango pudding that they served in Chinatown dimsum restaurants. This is a different kind of dessert and it’s a creamy watery syrupy dessert. In Chinese it’s called 杨枝甘露. It’s a kind of Chinese dessert, aka tong shui which is a very popular dessert genre in Hong Kong particularly as (I think) most elderly Chinese people don’t like eating heavy Western cakes so tong shui (which literally translates to “sugar water”) has been a healthier and lighter alternative throughout the years. Usually the tong shui that I’ve encountered before are the humble red bean soup with glutinous rice dumplings, or black sesame cream, or almond cream. Err, I don’t think bubble tea counts as a tong shui though.
Anyway, this Mango Sago Pomelo dessert is quite lovely in flavor because it’s sweet, creamy, can be eaten warm or cold. All in all, quite appropriate in a tropical context and it’s a very refreshing palate-cleanser on a balmy humid night after a heavy greasy Chinese dinner. There’s a couple of very popular tong shui joints on Liang Seah Street that are always packed with customers and that’s where I had Mango Sago Pomelo dessert for the first time. It’s good but I never once thought I’d be possessed to recreate it at home for myself.
… Until one day my mom came to visit and brought with her a huge tupperware filled with bird’s nest. She often does this and usually she slow-cooked the bird’s nest with rock sugar and dried longans for me. I shouldn’t be complaining about this generous gesture (after all, bird’s nest is a premium delicacy) but I was getting bored of the way my mom prepared it. Besides, there was quite a surplus of bird’s nest that she brought this time so I wanted to try something new. I decided to make Mango Sago Pomelo dessert and add the bird’s nest into it to make it a decadent dessert. ;)
First, I assembled all the ingredients.
Mango juice, fresh mangos, a can of evaporated milk, cooked sago, soaked bird’s nest and peeled pomelo.
I’d never cooked sago before but it was surprisingly easy. Add to rolling boiling water and let it simmer for a good 10-15 minutes, then rinse with cold water so the little pearls don’t get stuck together. I bought two Australian honey mangos, one I used to puree (see below) while the other I used fresh in small cubes to give the dessert additional texture.
After assembling the ingredients, I pureed the chopped fresh mango together with mango juice.
Using a slow cooker, I added all the ingredients at once and let this slowly boil for about an hour or so. This was where I made a critical mistake, I think. I shouldn’t have added all the ingredients at once and it seems that they had to be done in a particular order. What happened was the resulting dessert looked like the evaporated milk disintegrated in the heat and there were white flecks. I didn’t like that. The other thing was also the pomelo gave the final results a slightly bitter taste – which must’ve came about thru the act of cooking. So learning from this mistake, I redid a new batch and added the ingredients in this order:
1. Mango juice with mango puree.
2. Bird’s Nest.
3. Sago – AFTER bird’s nest is cooked.
4. Evaporated Milk – AFTER heat is turned off.
5. Pomelo – RIGHT BEFORE serving.
6. Fresh Cubed Mango – RIGHT BEFORE serving.
The second batch turned out to be muuuuuuuuuch better and there was no pomelo bitterness. *V!*
Mango Sago Dessert with Bird’s Nest and Pomelo
2 Australian Honey Mangos, cubed (set aside and reserve 2 cups)
4 cups of Mango Juice
1 cup Evaporated Milk
1 cup Sago, boiled
2 cups Bird’s Nest, soaked in water and drained
2 cups Pomelo, peeled
2 Tbs Brown Sugar
1. Blitz the cubed fresh mangos with mango juice to make a puree. Don’t use the 2 cups which you have set aside as reserve.
2. In a slow cooker or a pot set on stove with low heat, add the mango puree, brown sugar and bird’s nest. Let simmer for about half hour.
3. Remove from heat, add cooked sago.
4. Stir in evaporated milk.
5. When mixture has completely cooled, add pomelo and the remaining 2 cups of cubed mangos.
6. Chill before serving.
Ho tong shui ah,