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Category: Gluten Free

Tsubuan (sweet red bean paste)

Tsubuan (sweet red bean paste)

Sweetened red bean paste, or Tsubuan, is probably one of Japan’s most recognized sweet flavors. It’s used in mochi, ice cream, and pastries. It’s even delightful just spread on toast. You can find tsubuan in Asian markets, but it’s so much better when made from read more

Roasted Sesame Dressing

Roasted Sesame Dressing

It’s time we settled the old Hellman’s vs Miracle Whip debate once and for all; Japanese mayo is the best mayo hands down. Richer, thicker, and with more yolky goodness than its American counterparts, it is essential to this Roasted Sesame Dressing. (And this Potato read more

Mango Sago

Mango Sago

 

When I need a really fast, make ahead sweet, I reach for this Mango Sago. Especially now, when mangoes are at their peak. Even with all of the annoying squirrels racing to get their fair share, I still have plenty left to make this recipe. With perfectly ripe summer fruit, this tropical dessert doesn’t even need any sugar. It’s creamy, cooling, refreshing and makes a beautiful presentation. Any leftovers make a great grab and go breakfast too!

I first had this dessert at a Singaporean restaurant in Manila many years ago. It’s a frequent dessert soup served at Chinese restaurants. After a rich meal, this mildly sweet, fruity offering is a sophisticated step above cut oranges. And with just a couple of quick easy steps, you too can have this on your table tonight!

mango sago ingredients

Sago

Sago are tapioca pearls, made from the starch of the cassava root. The starch gets gelatinized when cooked, which then thickens liquid into a pudding-like consistency. Sago pudding can be made with all kinds of fruit, and is enjoyed throughout Southeast Asia. Mango Sago is said to have originated in Hong Kong, where it is appreciated for its tropical flavors. Be careful to get the small white pearls, not the larger black or brown tapioca that is used to make Boba Tea.

pearls mango sago

Preparing Mango Sago

This recipe relies on the sweetness of ripe summer mangoes. When selecting them, look for fruit that gives when you gently squeeze it and has a rich tangy aroma. While you don’t want rock hard, you don’t want super mushy/soft either, because we are going to cut some pretty cubes to garnish our mango sago.

If mangoes are not available or out of season, you can use frozen mangoes or even switch out the mangoes for strawberries, raspberries, or peaches. I’ve also had this soup many times with chunks of taro root floating in it, a traditional version which you can make year round.

skin mango sago

chunks mango sago

Blend until it’s a smooth puree and take a taste. If it’s not as sweet as you’d like, add the optional sugar. Then chill in the fridge for at least an hour until ready to combine with the tapioca. You can make the puree a day ahead too.

Cooking the Sago

It is crucial that your water is at a furious boil before you start. Use a whisk or fork to stir the water as you pour in the tapioca. You need the tapioca to be separate grains and tapioca loves to cling together. If you’re not attentive, you will end up with a tapioca raft, where your tapioca gels into one big blob. Once you’ve poured in the tapioca, lower the heat and cook the tapioca for 13-15 minutes, giving it a good whisk every couple minutes.

Turn off the heat and let the tapioca sit in the hot water for another 5 minutes. This soaking time allows the tapioca pearls to fully hydrate. Any hard white centers will disappear as they soak in the hot water so don’t worry about them. Once the pearls are translucent, drain them in a sieve and run under cool water to cool.

Now that the sago is cooked, it’s time to add the prepared mango puree.

Mix to combine:

Keep them in the fridge until ready to serve. The longer the Mango Sago sits, the more pudding like it becomes. I enjoy eating it immediately after making it as a chilled soup, and then having one the next day when it’s more like a tapioca pudding. Either way, it’s delicious. I hope this easy Mango Sago brightens up your summer. Let me know by commenting and rating the recipe, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!

 

 

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recipe mango sago

Mango Sago

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Category: sweets
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Ingredients

Scale
  • ¼ cup small tapioca pearls
  • 3 fresh ripe mangoes
  • 8 oz coconut milk or coconut cream
  • ¼ cup condensed milk
  • 23 Tablespoons sugar (optional depending on the sweetness of the mangoes)

Instructions

  1. Peel the mangos and then cut the mango off of the seed in thick slices. Take a couple of the nicest slices and cut them into ¼ inch chunks for garnishing (you should have about ½ cup). The rest will be blended. You should have about 1 pound of mango to puree. 
  2. In a blender, add the coconut milk, condensed milk, and mango. Blend until smooth, and transfer to a large bowl. Taste the puree. If it’s not as sweet as you would like, add the optional sugar to taste.
  3. Cover the bowl and then chill the mango puree for at least an hour before adding the tapioca. (You can make this the night before and store it covered in the fridge.)
  4. In a pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Make sure the water is at a rapid boil, and then add the tapioca, whisking as you pour it in. (If the water is not boiling, the tapioca will stick together and you will create one gooey raft of tapioca). 
  5. Lower the heat to medium high and simmer for 13-15 minutes, whisking every couple of minutes. It’s ok if the tapioca still has a small white spot in the middle. It will disappear as it sits in the hot water.
  6. Turn off the heat and let the tapioca sit for 5 minutes or just until the tapioca is clear. Drain the tapioca into a sieve and rinse under running cold water to cool. Drain well.
  7. Add the tapioca to the mango puree and mix to combine. Pour into individual bowls and top with the reserved mango chunks. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

*Do not substitute Boba tea tapioca pearls which are a completely different product.

*If fresh mangoes are not available, feel free to substitute 1 pound of frozen mango or 2 cups of other fruit such as peaches, strawberries, or raspberries. Add sugar to taste once you have made the puree.

Keywords: mango, sago, desserts, summer, sweets, chinese, cantonese

Green Curry Tofu

Green Curry Tofu

One of our most popular menu items is our Green Curry Shrimp. And it’s easy to see why. It’s rich, creamy, spicy, and full of colorful veggies. I am a firm believer though that vegetarians deserve to get in on the fun too, and that’s read more

Japanese Fried Chicken

Japanese Fried Chicken

Well guys, I did it. I finally caved to peer pressure and I got an air fryer. And wow am I having fun playing with it!  We have this Japanese Fried Chicken on our restaurant menus, and it is hugely popular. I wanted to see read more

Coffee Jelly

Coffee Jelly

I love gelatin desserts. Not the ubiquitous neon hued jello that played heavily at school cafeterias, but all of the the amazing desserts that rely on humble gelatin: from the silky creaminess of panna cottas to the sinful richness of a bittersweet chocolate mousse and especially the simple delight of Coffee Jelly. This Coffee Jelly is perfect for people who don’t like overly sweet desserts. Or for people who just really love coffee. It’s also a wonderful dessert for people who aren’t naturally blessed with baking genes. You are rewarded with a quick and sophisticated dessert without even turning on your oven.

Coffee Jelly is a nostalgic and common dessert in Japan and Vietnam loves their drip coffee sweetened with condensed milk. My Coffee Jelly is a bit of a mashup of the two. It’s completely make ahead and you can do all the prep in less time than it will take you to remember what comes after, “watch it wiggle, see it jiggle”; so let’s get into it.

coffee jelly ingredients

Making Coffee Jelly

In Japan, coffee jelly is so ubiquitous you’ll find it in every grocery and convenience store, packaged like ready to eat Jello. It’s not very sweet, as Japanese people generally don’t favor super sweet foods. Vietnam, on the other hand, has a prolific pastry and dessert culture. Their coffee jelly is usually a somewhat more complicated affair, stacking layers of sweetened cream with layers of coffee jelly. I keep the simplicity of the Japanese version but use a robust Vietnamese coffee, serving it with dreamy, sweetened condensed milk-it’s the best of both worlds!

gelatin coffee jelly

Once the gelatin is mixed, it’s time to make the coffee. I like to use the famed chicory coffee from Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. The chicory gives it a very robust, earthy flavor that is similar to Vietnamese coffee. If you would like it less intense, feel free to use whichever ground coffee you prefer.

steep coffee jelly

Once it’s chilled and set, it’s ready to enjoy.  I serve it with condensed milk on the side. That way people with a big sweet tooth can add it to their heart’s content. The contrast of the sweet, creamy milk with the rich coffee jelly is like the most heavenly latte you’ve ever had.

Word of caution-this is a caffeinated dessert. So if you are really sensitive to caffeine you might want to enjoy this a little earlier in the day. Hey, there’s no law saying this can’t be breakfast… Whip up this easy, elegant Coffee Jelly and let me know what you think. Rate and comment on the recipe below, and don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen; we love hearing from you!

 

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recipe coffee jelly

Coffee Jelly

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes (plus chill time)
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Category: sweets
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 grams gelatin powder (1 packet Knox gelatin)
  • 3 tablespoons vietnamese coffee and 2 cups boiling water (I use Cafe Du Monde chicory and coffee in the yellow can)
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 can condensed milk

Instructions

  1. Put the gelatin powder in a bowl and mix with 2 tablespoons of cold water. Set aside.
  2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot and turn off the heat. Add the coffee to the pot and steep for 5 minutes. Strain through a coffee/tea filter.
  3. Rinse the pot, pour the coffee back in, and put it back on the stove. Add the sugar and bring the coffee to a simmer over high heat. As soon as it starts to bubble, turn off the heat and add the gelatin. 
  4. Mix the gelatin into the coffee with a whisk or spoon for a couple minutes until the gelatin has fully dissolved.
  5. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes. 
  6. Pour the mixture into 4 small cups, cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours, or until the jelly has set.
  7. Serve coffee jelly with the condensed milk on the side.

Keywords: coffee, desserts, japanese, vietnamese, coffee jelly, sweets, make ahead