Tag: make ahead

Stuffed Cabbage

Stuffed Cabbage

As the weather finally starts to cool down a bit, we can look forward to spending time in the kitchen again and working on some comfort foods. This Stuffed Cabbage dish is a great project to tackle this weekend. Like Hambagu and Corn Potage, this 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 1x
  • 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

Eggplant Dip

Eggplant Dip

Got a bumper crop of eggplants? This Eggplant Dip is an effortlessly delicious way to use them up! The eggplant gets broiled until the flesh is meltingly tender, with the slightly charred and smoky flavor you’d get from the grill. Without the whole standing outside read more

Coconut Flan

Coconut Flan

Coconut Flan is one of the most popular desserts on our menu. And while it is a nod to the enduring love Miamians have for Latin American flan (you can seriously get flan even at our gas stations), the addition of coconut makes it closer read more

Coconut Shrimp

Coconut Shrimp

Who else loves fried food but doesn’t exactly love deep frying at home? The heat, the splatters, having to dispose of all that oil afterwards… But we still want our yummy, crispy fried foods, right? I’ve come up this Coconut Shrimp recipe that captures everything we love about fried foods, without the mess and the hassle. I honestly prefer the flavors of this one to the standard Coconut Shrimp: the coconut flavor is so much more pronounced and the tamarind dipping sauce is a perfect marriage. Best of all, you can prep the shrimp ahead of time, and just bake right before serving, making this perfect for all the upcoming holiday gatherings.

coconut shrimp ingredients

Tamarind Dipping Sauce

What is Coconut Shrimp without a great dipping sauce? This one comes together in seconds. The tamarind concentrate is at once sweet and tart. The mayo adds a creamy richness, soy sauce a hit of umami, and a little brown sugar and garlic powder to round it out.

tamarind coconut shrimp

Now that the sauce is done, it’s time to prep the shrimp. I butterfly them to provide more surface area for the crispy coconutty coating. Also, it will crisp up more evenly and look attractive on your plate.

If you buy IQF shrimp (individually quick frozen) already peeled, it should take less than a minute to prep each shrimp. I used a jumbo size, which makes for a dramatic presentation, but it’s definitely a luxury. If you’re using smaller shrimp, which would taste just as delicious, cook them for less time to avoid tough overcooked shrimp.

slice coconut shrimp

The butterflied shrimp will look like this:

butterflied coconut shrimp

Real Coconut Flavor

Coconut Shrimp is such a popular appetizer in restaurants. But I’m frequently disappointed when I order it, as you can barely taste the coconut. When I first tried to make it at home, I reached for unsweetened coconut flakes. I always have them at home and I’m naturally inclined to avoid adding extra sugar. That first attempt was pretty good, but the coconut flavor wasn’t as pronounced as I wanted. I switched to sweetened flakes, you know-the kind you find in the baking aisle. Mixing the sweetened flakes with panko provided all the deep coconut flavor and crunch I was craving.

The key to oven frying I’ve found is to give the coating a head start. Raw crumbs never achieve the crisp crunchy texture in the oven, no matter how much oil you use. Toasting the bread crumbs and then the coconut in a pan will make a world of difference. Try the technique for any oven-fried recipe that requires crumb coatings. You will get results that are so good, you may not go back to deep frying at home.

toast coconut shrimp

flour coconut shrimp

I line up the shrimp, flour, eggs, and coconut breadcrumbs. Having it all set up minimizes mess and makes quick work of dredging the shrimp.

dredge coconut shrimp

Then the shrimp gets dredged in the panko coconut mixture. I take the time to lightly press it on, we want that coconut crunchy goodness on every bite.

panko coconut shrimp

spray coconut shrimp

Bake the shrimp until golden brown, about 10 minutes total. Keep a close eye because shredded coconut can burn pretty quickly and you don’t want tough overcooked shrimp. Alternately, you can cook these in an airfryer on 400 for about 10 minutes. With either cooking method, you don’t need to flip the shrimp.

You can prepare the shrimp and keep them in the fridge overnight and bake right before eating. They also freeze beautifully, and you can cook them straight from the freezer, making this a perfect party food! I hope you enjoy these easy Coconut Shrimp as much as we did, leave a comment below and rate the recipe. And let us see your creations by tagging us @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

coconut shrimp beauty



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coconut shrimp recipe card

Coconut Shrimp

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: small plates
  • Cuisine: Pan-Asian



Tamarind Dipping Sauce:

  • ¼ cup tamarind concentrate
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • 1 Tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

For Shrimp:

  • 1 pound peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp, (13/15 count)
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes 
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon Neutral Oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour 
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 dashes salt
  • A pinch of ground black pepper
  • Oil Spray


  1. Combine all the sauce ingredients (tamarind concentrate, oil, garlic powder, mayonnaise, light brown sugar, and soy sauce) in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside. 
  2. Pat the shrimp dry and then cut ¾ of the way through the back of the shrimp. Flatten the shrimp gently (either with your hand, back of your knife, or a heavy cup) so it’s butterflied. Set aside. 
  3. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the panko breadcrumbs and the oil. Toast the breadcrumbs for 2-3 minutes, moving them constantly, until they are a nice golden color. Set aside in a bowl.
  4. Heat the same pan over medium heat and add the coconut flakes. Toast them in the pan the same way: 2-3 minutes on medium heat, moving them around, until lightly golden. (The coconut flakes will not be completely golden, which is fine because they will finish toasting later in the oven). Add them to the bowl of toasted panko breadcrumbs and stir to combine. Set aside to cool.
  5. Combine the flour, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder in a shallow bowl and use a fork to stir to combine. Set aside.
  6. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk with a fork. Set aside. 
  7. Season the shrimp with the salt and pepper and toss to combine.
  8. Line up your dredging station with the shrimp, flour mixture, egg wash, and coconut breadcrumbs.
  9. Take one shrimp and dredge the shrimp in the flour so it’s completely coated. Dust off any excess flour and then dip it into the egg. Finally put the shrimp into the coconut crumb mixture. Lightly press the coconut into the shrimp so it is well-coated. Set aside on a plate and continue dredging the remaining shrimp.
  10. Preheat the oven to 425. 
  11. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spray generously with the oil spray. Line the shrimp on the baking tray and spray the top of the shrimp again with the oil.
  12. Bake the shrimp for 10-12 minutes until the shrimp are golden brown. Serve immediately with the tamarind sauce on the side.


*You can prep and refrigerate the shrimp to bake the following day. 

*You can also prep the shrimp and then freeze them on a tray until frozen solid. Then store them in a freezer bag until ready to bake. Bake them straight from the frozen state, adding 3-4 more minutes to your cooking time.

Keywords: coconut shrimp, tamarind, baked