Gula Melaka or palm sugar has a wonderful malted sweetness that transforms a dish. It’s an ingredient in many Singaporean desserts, including chendol and onde onde. This Sago Gula Melaka Pudding recipe, by Chef Ambrose Poh of Allspice Institute, is surprisingly simple to make, and you can prep the sago or tapioca pearls ahead, and drizzle with the Gula Melaka sauce when ready to serve.
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- 200 g small pearl sago
- 2 L water
GULA MELAKA SYRUP
- 100 g palm sugar or Gula Melaka
- 2 tbsps sugar
- 3 leaves fresh pandan
- 2 pinches salt
- 3 tbsps water
- 6 tbsps coconut cream
Bring water to a fast boil and pour in sago. Let it boil on high for 5 to 7 mins and keep stirring. Turn off heat, cover the pan with a lid and leave for 10 mins.
The sago will finish cooking in the pot and the grains will become clear. Pour sago into a mesh sieve. Run cold water through, to remove access starch. Continue till the sago balls are smooth and not sticky. Pour into one large mould or small cups. Place in the fridge.
GULA MELAKA SYRUP To make the syrup, chop palm sugar into small pieces. Put into a small saucepan with the water, pandan leaves, sugar and salt. Heat gently until melted. Strain through a fine sieve or tea strainer.
To serve, turn the sago pudding out of their moulds. Let them sit out of fridge for about 10 minutes. Drizzle with coconut milk and Gula Melaka Syrup or serve these on the side in separate jugs.
CHEF’S TIP: Fresh coconut cream should be served at room temperature, as chilling will solidify the fat.
Photos: Andy Wong/Rave Photography / Once Milano X Peter Pilotto Linen Napkin & cabana Magazine Floral-Print Linene Placemat From Matchesfashion.com