Palm Starch, (or Sago) is a starch extracted from palm stems, which is a major ingredient in south-east Asian cooking. Very similar to Tapioca, Palm Starch is commercially produced in the form of “pearls,” and sometimes can be used interchangeably.
In theory Sago seems easy enough to prepare. Most recipes will instruct you to boil the Sago until done. However, like tapioca, it’s very easy for your starch to come out undercooked or burnt. Here are a few fail-safe methods for achieving the right consistency.
If you’ve ever had Bubble Tea, or Boba, the texture is very similar. Try adding cooked Sago into either your cold or hot drinks for a fun new texture! Or perhaps you could add it to a warm bowl of soup for some added chewy starch. One popular recipe for Sago, is a Mango & Coconut Sago Pudding dish.
Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once
Dice the fresh mango. Scoop as much of the excess flesh off the seed, collect in a bowl and mash into a puree. Combine the sugar, coconut cream and 1 1/2 cups of water into a saucepan and place over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, and then add in your cooked Sago. Don’t let the mixture boil, as it will cause the coconut cream to split. Gently stir the mixture until the starch in the Sago breaks down a little and the mixture becomes sticky. If it gets too sticky, add in a little more water. Fold in the diced mango, pour into serving glasses and garnish with the reserved mango puree. This dish can be enjoyed either hot or cold!