Tag: desserts



Crema Catalana, flan, creme brulee… there’s something about a creamy custard topped with caramel that is universally irresistible. Purin is Japan’s take on the classic pairing and is incredibly popular. You can even find Purin for sale in convenience stores. It’s one of my favorite 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 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
  • Category: sweets
  • Cuisine: Chinese


  • 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)


  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.


*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

Poached Fruit

Poached Fruit

I don’t mean to alarm you, but the holidays are right around the corner. And that means trying to come up with menus for multiple holiday dinners. I always like to serve the expected favorites, but I also like to shake things up a little read more

Halo halo

Halo halo

I love traveling: discovering new places, seeing new things, and especially eating new things. Even though exotic destinations have been put on hold, there are still plenty of fun and interesting destinations here at home. One city I visit often that always inspires me in read more

Turon (fried banana spring rolls)

Turon (fried banana spring rolls)

Sometimes you just want a simple but delicious dessert-you know, when you’re done with dinner, but still craving a little sweet bite. Turon, a Filipino specialty, really fits the bill. Basically a dessert version of the famed Lumpia spring rolls enjoyed all over the Philippines, Turon features a crispy exterior wrapped around a warm fruity filling. Usually banana, but coconut and mango are also common. They are deep fried and then cooked in caramel.

I streamline the process by baking them and making a simple salted caramel sauce to dip the Turon in. My version is also a little East meets West with a cream cheese filling chock-full of banana and jackfruit. Intensely aromatic jackfruit is the surprise element in this familiar dessert that gives it a little pop. So to recap, crispy little bundles filled with oozing warm cheesecake and fruit, dipped into a luscious caramel sauce. And while there are a lot of steps, most of it can be made ahead of time, making these Turon a perfect dinner party dessert-so let’s go!

turon ingredients

Caramel Sauce

Is there anyone who doesn’t like caramel sauce? The alchemy that happens when sugar meets heat is nothing short of magic. And it’s easier to make than you might think. You can make it up to two weeks ahead but let’s be honest-the likelihood of having any left after two weeks is slim to none. A word of caution, there’s no burn like a sugar burn. Use a deep pot, and watch for it to foam up when you add the cream.

I like to do a wet caramel, starting with sugar and just enough water to cover the sugar. You can also make caramel dry with just sugar in the pan. The reason I like to add water is because it’s really a fool proof method and you never have to worry about burning the sugar. Have you ever watched the Great British Baking Show? I LOVE that show. My family and I binge watch the series when a new season drops. And do you know what happens every season? Without fail, a couple of bakers will burn their caramel. I always think to myself, why do they start off with a dry pan? Add some water people! It does take a couple more minutes with wet caramel, because the water has to cook out of the pot, but I’ve never once had to start my caramel over.


Once the sugar is dissolved, stop stirring and let the heat do its thing. (Don’t touch it once the sugar water starts to simmer, otherwise the sugar crystals could start to re-form). The sugar will start to change color-first a yellow and then gradually turning brown. The darker the caramel gets it, the less sweet it will be. I let it get really dark, because I love the almost bitter complexity that adds to the sauce, but your mileage may vary. If you want a purely sweet caramel, remove from the heat as soon as it starts turning amber. Don’t walk away, because these changes happen pretty quickly.

amber turon

butter turon

Turon Filling

Sure, this cheesecake stuffed spring roll dipped in caramel may not be health food, but it is less decadent than it sounds- more a crisp and creamy hot fruit dessert, and less a rich dense cheesecake. Furthermore, if you’ve never had jackfruit before, you’re in for a treat. It tastes like the tropics it grows in, sort of a combo of mango, banana, and pineapple. Jackfruit has lots of health benefits and you can even eat the boiled seeds, which taste like chestnuts.

Fresh jackfruit is huge and looks like a light green alien pod. It’s quite a bit of work to hack it into pieces, peel it, and pop out the fruit. Fortunately, it comes conveniently canned. For this recipe, look for ripe jackfruit, not young. The young jackfruit, which is picked green, is typically used for savory dishes. The filling for the Turon should chill before being used, so it can thicken. If you have the time, go ahead and make it a day ahead and let it rest in the fridge.

bananas turon


flour turon

chill turon

Letting the filling chill makes it much easier to scoop out and fill the wrappers. It’s also super convenient because you can have the caramel and the filling ready the day before you plan to serve. Before starting to wrap the Turon, stir together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. This slurry will be used to seal the sprig rolls.

scoop turon

Make sure to eliminate any air pockets when rolling, which will keep the turon tightly wrapped and neat.

roll turon

Repeat with the rest of the wrappers until all the filling is used. You should yield about 18 spring rolls.

parchment turon


Pile the Turon high on a platter, and serve with caramel sauce. If you’re feeling particularly decadent, serve with some ice cream as well. Hey, calcium is very important. This is such an impressive looking dessert, and so highly delicious, be prepared for lots of oohs and ahhs. Let me know what you think by rating and commenting on the recipe; we love hearing from you. And we want to see your beautiful Turon, tag us @funkyasiankitchen.

turon beauty


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turon recipe card

Turon (fried banana spring rolls)

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes (plus chilling time)
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: sweets
  • Cuisine: Filipino


  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 1 can ripe jackfruit, drained (8 oz)  
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 18 pieces spring roll wrappers (7”)
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • Oil spray

For Caramel:

  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  1. Peel bananas and chop them coarsely.
  2. Take the jack fruit and also chop coarsely. Put the jackfruit and the banana in a bowl.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the fruit and mix to combine.
  4. Add the brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and cream cheese to the fruit and mix to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Stir the cornstarch together with 2 Tablespoons of water in a small cup. Set aside.
  6. Set the oven to 400 and move the rack to the middle shelf.
  7. Peel the spring roll wrappers apart as they tend to stick to each other. Put 1 sheet in front of you with the corner pointing towards you. Put 2 heaping tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture a little lower than the middle of the spring roll wrapper. Fold the corner over the filling and then pull back against the filling to eliminate any air pockets. Then roll once, fold the corners in, and continue rolling almost to the end. 
  8. Dip a small spoon or a small brush in the cornstarch water and brush the edges of the wrapper and finish rolling to seal. 
  9. Put the spring roll seam side down on a platter and repeat with remaining ingredients to create 18 spring rolls.
  10. Cover the bottom of a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper and spray generously with oil. Place the spring rolls on the parchment paper and spray the tops of the spring rolls with the oil. 
  11. Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes (spraying with oil again halfway through cooking time) until the rolls are golden brown and crisp.
  12. Serve with salted caramel sauce.

For the Caramel:

  1. Add the sugar and water to a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan. Heat sugar on medium high heat. As the water warms, quickly stir with a whisk or wooden spoon just to help dissolve any sugar crystals on the sides of the pot. (However, as soon as the pot starts simmering, stop stirring immediately. Moving the sugar around once it starts simmering can re-form sugar crystals).
  2. Continue cooking, without touching, until the sugar starts to change from a light yellow to golden and then to an amber brown, about 8 minutes.You can swirl the sugar syrup gently, holding the pot handle, to get a uniform color.
  3. As soon as the color changes to an amber color, remove the pan from the heat, and slowly add the cream to the pan and use a whisk to incorporate. (Be very careful as the contents of the pan will foam up).
  4. Then add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted and the caramel sauce is smooth. Add the salt and stir again to combine.
  5. Let the caramel cool in the pan until the caramel is room temperature and then pour it into a storage container. Use it immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Let it come to room temperature before serving.


* The filling for the spring rolls is very loose and is easier to scoop after an overnight rest in the fridge. If you don’t have the time, refrigerate for as long as you can. The spring rolls may be a little harder to roll and develop some cracks when baking, but they will still taste great.

*Spraying your spring rolls generously and evenly with oil is necessary to achieve good browning and crisp texture. If your spring rolls still look a little pale after you’ve baked them, spray once more and broil them for a couple of minutes to get a nice golden color.

 *The darker the sugar for the caramel gets, the deeper the flavor, but the less sweet the sauce. I don’t like a sugary sauce, so I let my caramel get pretty dark before adding the cream. If you prefer sweeter desserts, take the sugar off the heat when it gets to a medium amber color. You can also add a Tablespoon of sugar after the sauce is finished to increase sweetness.

*This caramel sauce is made for dunking the spring rolls so it is loose and runny. For a thicker sauce, use ½ cup of cream. The caramel sauce will thicken as it cools.

Keywords: dessert lumpia, filipino desserts, fried banana spring rolls, jackfruit, caramel