Steamed Tapioca (Sago) Pudding

Requested by Corinne Lee

This is another variation of the sago pudding, which is steamed into a soft solid form and served with a coat of freshly grated coconut. Some would even like to just pour some light cream or coconut milk over it. The ingredients used in this recipe are also not difficult to get hold of. You can buy tapioca pearl (or tapioca seed as some would call it) and palm sugar from any Asian food markets or stores, if you are not in Asia. If you cannot find fresh screwpine leaves, you can buy the pandan essence in a bottle.


  • 150g tapioca seed (sago)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup rock/crystal sugar
  • 3-4 pandan leaves (screwpine leaves), tied in a knot
  • 1/2 fresh coconut, grated
  • A pinch of salt (to be mixed with the grated coconut)


  1. Rinse tapioca seed lightly and strain.
  2. Place sugar, water and pandan leaves in a pot and boil for about 5-10 minutes. Remove the pandan leaves.
  3. Add in the tapioca seed and stir till the mixture start to thicken.
  4. Remove from heat and pour the cooked tapioca seed into a tray (or, alternatively into small dessert dishes/ramkins), and steam it for about 20-30 minutes, or till it is solid (but not too hard)
  5. Leave it to cool before cutting into bite sizes. If you have chosen to use ramkins, scoop the pudding out and place them into your desired serving dish.
  6. Coat the pudding with the freshly grated coconut before serving.

Versatility Note:

  1. To keep the coconut staying fresh for longer, steam it for a while before use.
  2. In some countries, tapioca seed may be called tapioca pearls.
  3. To add colour to the pudding, you can grind the pandan leaves and extract the dark green juice to add in during the boiling bit.
  4. You can also use brown sugar or palm sugar, in which case the pudding with have a natural brown colour.
  5. Grated coconut is not always a must. You can instead have it with some pouring cream.