Sago at Gulaman Recipe
Author: Vanjo Merano
  • Serves: 6
  • Serving size: 6
Cuisine: Filipino Recipe
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 3 cups medium tapioca pearls
  • 1 sachet gelatin powder
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 cups water
  1. Cook the tapioca according to package instructions or refer to the Taho recipe. Set aside.
  2. Cook the gelatin according to package instructions. Set aside.
  3. Place the brown sugar in a cooking pot and caramelize using low heat.
  4. When the sugar starts to melt, put in water and vanilla extract. Let boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Note: us the lowest heat possible so that the sugar will not burn.
  5. Turn off heat and let cool.
  6. In a glass, combine some tapioca pearls, sliced gelatin, 3 tablespoons of sugar mixture, and a cup of cold water. Stir.
  7. Serve. Share and enjoy!


How to make Arnibal for Sago’t Gulaman

The drink starts out with arnibal, a brown sugar syrup that’s watered down to drinkable levels. I usually take one kilogram of brown sugar and 3 cups of water. This is my ideal proportion. You can go as low as 1:1 with the sugar and water, much like you would for simple syrup, but I’ve gotten used to this because it creates roughly 5 cups of arnibal, 4 cups I store undiluted in a liter-sized bottle, and the remaining, I water down for immediate consumption.

Sago't Gulaman DIY

It all starts out with raw brown sugar. The darker, the better.

I put them together in a thick saucepan, then heat until it melts. You can tell that the sugar has melted properly when you scoop up some arnibal, then let it fall back in the pan. Your ladle shouldn’t have any crystals left. It’s possible to have specks of raw material in, because brown sugar is unrefined. That’s why it’s important to strain your arnibal through a fine sieve or a cheesecloth. Just be sure not to touch the syrup because it’s extremely hot.

You can let this arnibal cool then stash in the fridge for storing. I’ve never tried freezing it, nor storing it in the fridge for months since we usually use it up in a few days time. But I think it would be safe to assume it would last as long as your regular simple syrup.

Sago't Gulaman DIY

Grass jelly

To make the actual drink base, I take one cup of arnibal, top it up with enough water to make one liter, then add 1/8 tsp banana essence. Some people use vanilla, but for me, sago’t gulaman needs banana essence for that nostalgic samalamig scent.

This is deliberately sweet, so it can stand being watered down by ice. You can cut it with more water if it’s too sweet. Or more arnibal if it’s not sweet enough. Top it with prepared sago and gulaman, or canned Chinese grass jelly. Serve with lots of ice and memories of summers past.


Mango sago in coconut milk ingredients : mango 200g 2, West m;

Mango sago in coconut milk ingredients: 450ml, honey and milk.

Mango sago in coconut milk approach:

1, water boiled in the pot, sago poured into the Pan, turn small fires, cover lids boil. (Plus full of water, stir from time to time in the Middle when cooking, avoid end of paste)


West m 2, waiting to be cooked in the process, we have to deal with mango. Will cut along the fruit of mango, cross cutter at the pulp with a knife, then Peel flip along the skin with a knife gently cut the flesh.


3, after about 25 minutes, sago and cook until transparent, only a point when a small white dot in the Middle, turn off the fire, cover lids on cooked for 5 minutes.


4, moved west metres when fully transparent, with a screen from the, go through cold boiled water, then pour in the milk, mix evenly.


5, to be immersed in sago in milk after 15 minutes, join the mango and a little honey, you can.


Warm Tip:

1, eating mangoes should be avoided while eating spicy foods such as garlic to prevent yellowing of the skin.

2, good morning West m standard: color is white, the surface smooth and mellow, the quality is hard and not broken, not paste after cooking, good transparency, chewing of toughness.

Eat healthy:

1, mango beneficial effect of stomach, vomiting, halos, Vertigo and Meniere’s syndrome, hypertension, dizziness, nausea and vomiting have curative effect. Buguan boat, suffering from chest is depressed after the Jolt, mango may be when “medicine”. Chest when the nausea of pregnant women, to eat meat or fried Mango Mango water consumption. Mango contains carotene, can benefit the eyes, moist skin, is the beauty of the ladies better fruit.

2, sago spleen, tonifying the lung, efficacy of Huatan, have a role in treating deficiency of spleen and stomach and indigestion; sago has also enable the ability to restore natural moisturizing of the skin, so MS sago soup is very popular especially loved.

Food taboos:

1, Mango: deficiency-cold and cough (itching throat phlegm is white) should avoid eating to avoid throat itch. Patients with asthma should also follow the doctor’s advice to give up eating.

2, sago: people with diabetes avoid eating.


Coconut Milk, Melon with Sago Dessert (椰汁蜜瓜西米)


Like many, my must dos in Chinatown are, of course eat, eat and eat. What else right?  Okay, okay, maybe not all eat and nothing-else, there’s grocery shopping – just  to bring a little Chinatown back to where I lived.

Let’s move on to my must eats – definitely Asian desserts besides Mamak (in Sydney) andSpicy Fish (in Melbourne).  Although most Asian desserts are doable at home (except for, in my opinion, tofu dessert – aka douhua 豆花), it’s one of those things that tastes better when someone else makes it, don’t you agree?  Plus, how on earth am I going to be able to savour 3 to 4 different desserts over the span of a couple of hours without spending all day in the kitchen?

Since I have no travel plan in the works at the same time longing a light dose of Chinatown (perhaps an early symptom of homesickness?), I suddenly remembered about this melon dessert that I had ages ago. For some odd reason, I had always thought it was a difficult dessert to make and thus, never thought of making it at home. After all, I was under the impression of good food was too good to be easy-to-make, if this makes sense?

That said, I’m glad that I’ve attempted the recipe and I can confidently said that it won’t be my last too. :)

Coconut Milk, Melon with Sago Dessert ((椰汁蜜瓜西米)

(tweaked slightly from House of Annie)

Makes about 5 cups


1 small honeydew melon / rockmelon
1 cup sago (tapioca pearls)
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 cup canned coconut milk  with ½ tsp salt


1. Boil sugar and water in a pot until the sugar is completely dissolved and becomes syrupy. Set aside to cool.

2. In a separate pot, boil at least 7 cups of water. When the water is boiling, add sago and cook on medium-high heat until mostly translucent ( sago will dissolve and becomes gooey when overcooked – hence the visible white dots). Also, keep stirring to avoid the sago from sticking to the pot.

When the sago is cooked, drain it over a sieve and rinse it under cold running water. Set aside.

3. Use a melon baler, scoop the flesh out. Alternatively, you can dice the melon instead.

4. Keep half the melon portion for later (for serving) and blend the remaining portion using a food processor.

5. Mix the syrup, sago, melon and coconut milk in a large serving bowl. Chill before serving (note – as the mixture chills, the consistency will thicken a little).

A possible shorcut? If making syrup,  boiling and rinsing sago are too troublesome, then look out for already cooked sago steeped in palm sugar in a jar (Ayam Brand’s Sago Dessert). With it, all you need to do is to add coconut milk and melon.  :)

Feeling organised and do ahead? You can cut the melon, cook the sago and syrup ahead of time and store them separately for a day or two. DO NOT, however, mix them together and store. The sago will absorbed the liquid in the dessert and becomes bloated. So don’t be surprise to find teenie tiny frog eggs sized sago have grown to be turtle eggs, hehehe! Just kidding, but seriously, don’t mix the ingredients ahead of time.



What are your thoughts?