Vietnamese Che Chuoi /Coconut and Sago Pudding#EattheWorld

Coconut and Sago - Che chuoi is a tapioca coconut pudding.  The pudding is soupy when warm, while the cooled version is firmer. Sago or sabudana as we call it in India, are little starchy pearls also known as tapioca pearls. They are cooked until they turned almost transparent in this dessert. 
This decadent yet refreshing dessert combines the spongy spring of molded sago pearls with the richness and creaminess of coconut milk and the fragrant sweetness of palm sugar (gula melaka). 
The perfect cooling dessert after a spicy meal, it's vegan and gluten-free too! In this dessert sliced bananas, are also added, but since my hubby doesn't like it so did not add it. It's also commonly served in Asian countries like Malaysia and Singapore. This dessert is served chilled make all preparations well in advance. I set this the previous day and served it the next day after lunch.
Serves 5 - 6

1 Cup Sago/Sabudana/Tapioca Pearls
1/3 Cup Sugar
½ Cup Gula Melaka or as required
1 Cup Thick Chilled Coconut Milk
1 Pandan Leaf - I used Screw pine Water

Wash the sago in water 2 - 3 times. Then soak it in water for 5 - 10 minutes, then drain all the water.

Boil 5 cups of water in a large pot with the pandan leaf ( I used 1 teaspoon screw pine essence). Gradually add the the drained sago, stirring constantly to avoid clumping.

Boil on medium low heat for 7 - 8 minutes or until almost translucent. Switch off the heat, and drain it in the colander, rinsing under cold running water and stirring (mixture will be gummy). Stir in a generous pinch of salt and 1/3 cup sugar.
Pour into slightly wet individual molds/cups/serving bowls (having them damp makes it easier to unmold later on), refrigerate until set.

Making the Gula Melaka
Place the chopped gula melaka (1 cup) with  3/4 cup water in a small pot. Bring to a boil and stir over low heat until dissolved into a dark, glossy and thick syrup is formed. Let cool, then pour into a jar and refrigerate.

To Serve
Unmold the cold sago puddings and serve with a generous drizzle of gula melaka and coconut milk.
Keep extra in seperate bowls both the gula melaka and coconut milk so people can top up to their own taste.
Dig in and Enjoy!!

My Notes
If you are adding bananas, then use the small sweet variety of bananas, slice them and place it on top. Then pour the gula melaka and coconut milk.

Labels : Asian, Coconut Milk, Eat the World. Gluten-Free, Vietnam, Palm Sugar, Vegan, Sweets & Desserts, Sabudana, Tapioca Pearls

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Happy Home-maker and culinary enthusiast.


  1. They are so attractive. What a nice finish to a meal.

  2. What an interesting and beautiful dessert! We have never had it and would like to try it. Thank you for sharing!

  3. What a fun dessert. Thanks for sharing. I have some sago pearls and always wonder what to make with them.

  4. This is definitely a recipe I'd like to try.

  5. Sago pudding is a comfort food of my childhood. This one is elevated to gourmet status. I can't wait to try it.

  6. Absolutely delicious. We always have sticky rice and mangoes. I should try this one soon as we love tapioca pearls.