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Category: Vegan

Air Fryer Tofu

Air Fryer Tofu

This has really been my summer of Air Fryer experimentation. I know I’m late to the party but I’m making up for lost time, and I was especially thrilled with this Air Fryer Tofu. Perfectly golden and crispy, and glazed with a delectably sweet and read more

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

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

Edamame Hummus

Edamame Hummus

You know I love a veggie forward recipe, and this Edamame Hummus is a favorite!  It whips up in minutes, has a lovely green color, and a bright fresh flavor. It’s perfect for this sizzling weather most of us are having right now. Serve it read more

Burdock Chips

Burdock Chips

Sometimes you just need a crispy, crunchy snack. Instead of reaching for some overly processed, sodium laden bag of chips, try making a batch of these Burdock Chips. The crunch you crave, with the added bonus of all the nutrition benefits of burdock root. Full of prebiotic fiber and antioxidants and other anti-cancer properties, burdock root has been used for centuries to treat blood sugar issues. But you won’t think about that when you are grabbing another handful of these delightfully crispy chips. Making chips is a great way to introduce a veggie you may not have tried before, so let’s get into it.

burdock chips ingredients

Turning Burdock into Chips

Burdock is a long and skinny root vegetable, with a skin that’s similar to ginger’s. It’s best to scrape it off rather than using a peeler. I use the back of a knife, which is just sharp enough to take the skin off quickly. It’s important to have the vinegar water bath ready since the burdock root will start to oxidize and brown immediately. Soaking the root in a vinegar-water bath will help to keep it from discoloring.

Trim off the ends of the woody burdock, scrape the skin off with your knife (you can also use a vegetable scrub or the rough side of a clean sponge), and cut the burdock into 4 inch logs. Then immediately place the burdock into the vinegar water. Keep it in the vinegar water as much as possible while you are cutting it into slices, until you are ready to cook it.

skin burdock chips

 

You can cut the burdock using a couple of different methods. I used a knife and first sliced a thin sliver off of the log to stabilize the burdock root and to keep it from rolling around on the cutting board. Then it’s just a matter of slicing the burdock root as thinly as possibly. It’s important to try and keep the slices uniform so that they fry evenly. You do not want some chips to burn before the others are done frying.

If you prefer to use a peeler to get the thin strips, do not cut the burdock into logs. Instead, scrape off the skin 4 inches at a time and then hold the burdock over the bowl of water and peel long strips into the vinegar water.ribbons burdock chips

Frying the Burdock Chips

These fry quickly, and in only one inch of oil. So it’s a great recipe to get more comfortable with frying. Also, the burdock flavors the frying oil and gives it a warm nutty flavor. Don’t throw out the oil! Use it for all of your cooking throughout the week. The mild flavor won’t clash with any other flavors.

 

When you first add the burdock root, the oil will bubble like crazy. But as the chips continue to fry, more of the the water from the burdock root will cook out and evaporate and there will be less bubbling. Keep frying until there are very few bubbles, which is a sign that the chips will be crispy. When the burdock chips are nicely browned and crisped, I remove them to a paper towel lined plate and salt them. I like a good, flakey salt for this.

Repeat this with the rest of the burdock root until you have a lovely pile of crunchy chips. There’s no shame in just devouring these on the couch. But, they also make an excellent side/topping. Try them with:

When you enjoy these burdock chips, take a moment to 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 card burdock chips

Burdock Chips

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: serves 2 1x
  • Category: small plates
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces burdock root
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar (any kind is fine)
  • 2 cups water 
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Salt (any coarse salt will do-I used Maldon sea salt)

Instructions

 

  1. Combine the vinegar and water in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Use either a clean vegetable scrub or the back of your knife and scrub/scrape the skin from the burdock root.
  3. Cut the burdock root into 4” pieces and place the burdock root into the vinegar water.
  4. Using your knife, slice a thin sliver off the burdock root to keep it from rolling around on the cutting board. Then, slice the burdock root lengthwise into thin ribbons, about 1/16” thick.
  5. Place the ribbons into the vinegar water and continue slicing, putting the ribbons back into the water as quickly as possible.
  6. Heat 1 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium heat to about 325 degrees.
  7. Drain the burdock root and pat dry with some paper towels.
  8. Dip one ribbon of burdock root into the oil to test the heat. It should sizzle immediately. Carefully lower one large handful of burdock root into the oil. 
  9. Use a pair of chopsticks or tongs to swish the burdock, separating the pieces.
  10. Fry for 2-3 minutes until the burdock chips are crispy and lightly browned. When you first add the burdock root, the oil will furiously bubble. As the chips fry, the water from the burdock will leach out and evaporate. The chips will start to dry out and the oil will bubble less and less. By the time the chips are fully fried and crisp, there will be very little bubbling.
  11. Use a strainer or spider and scoop the chips onto a paper towel lined plate or bowl and sprinkle with salt while hot.
  12. Continue frying, draining, and salting until all of the burdock has been fried.
  13. Serve the burdock chips immediately.

Notes

*You can also use a peeler to slice the burdock root. First scrape the skin off in 4-5 inch section. Then hold the burdock root over the bowl of vinegar water and use the peeler to slice the burdock root lengthwise into thin ribbons. Have the ribbons drop into the vinegar water immediately to keep them from discoloring. Drain and blot the burdock root with paper towels right before frying.

Keywords: burdock, gobo chips, burdock root, snacks