Berries Kuih Sago (Tapioca pearls cake)

Sago or sago pearls is commonly known as tapioca pearls and are made from tapioca or cassava roots. They are normally white in colour and opaque and become translucent when steamed or boiled. Both terms of Sago and Tapioca pearls are often used interchangeably in Southeast  Asia. Small pearls are regular ingredients used in Asian desserts like kuih, sago soup and puddings. While large pearls either white or black, are normally added to sweet drinks like the popular bubble tea (black sago pearls are often added in black and green tea drinks) and fruity drinks, giving the drinks a chewy texture. Today, sago or tapioca pearls also come in pink, green, purple and other extensive assortments of colours, usually with food colouring added.

GF Berries Kuih Sago

Kuih Sago is a common Nonya kuih found all over Malaysia. Nonya (Peranakan) cuisine is the fusion of Chinese and Malay cuisines as a result of inter-marriages between the Chinese and Malays. The main ingredient is sago or tapioca pearls with sugar and colouring added and boiled until they are translucent, cooled in a baking tray. Once completely cooled, it is then cut into preferred pieces and coated in lightly salted grated or shredded coconut, served at room temperature or preferably served chilled. For my gluten free recipe, I am using fresh berries juice from a combination of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.  Using berries is a much healthier option than adding food colourings. My recipe is gluten free, vegan, soy free, nut free, corn free and egg free, and has no artificial colours.

GF Berries Tapioca Pearls Cake

Strawberries are made up mainly of water (>90%) and have very high fiber content. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K and flavonoids (anthocyanidins). In addition, they also contain some calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. Blueberries is one of the few naturally blue coloured foods available, they are jam-packed with antioxidant from a plant compound called flavonoid (anthocyanidins). Blueberries are not only high in fiber but also contain minerals like iron, phosphorous, calcium, manganese, magnesium and zinc. They are a good source of potassium, folic acid (folate), vitamin C, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin K. Raspberries are made up of more than 85 percent water and are also very high in fiber. They contain calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorous, as well as vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin B group comprising of folic acid (folate) and vitamin B3 (niacin).

Berries Kuih Sago

Health benefits of berries include: may help with weight loss, lower cholesterol, aid in maintaining healthy hair and skin, support healthy teeth and bones, may lower blood pressure and decrease risks of cardiovascular disease and mental disorders, may assist with arthritis, help prevent aging related memory loss like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, may reduce risks of Parkinson’s disease, support healthy eyesight and reduce risk or macular degeneration, may lessen risk of cancerous growth, as well as help fight urinary tract infection (particularly blueberries). Berries are often referred to as superfood or naturally healing food due to their high nutritional values.

Berries Tapioca Pearls Cake

Berries Kuih Sago (Tapioca pearls cake)

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Cuisine: Asian Desserts, Malaysian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 28 pieces
Calories: 101.76kcal
Author: Daphne Goh

Ingredients

  • 250 g 9oz small sago (also called tapioca pearls), soaked for 15 mins and drain well
  • 4 cups 1 litre water
  • 80 g 3oz caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons 25g/1oz tapioca flour mixed with ⅓ cup (90ml) water
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater essence
  • 1 teaspoon strawberry essence

For the Berries Juice (500ml):

  • 1 cup water 250ml water
  • 250 g 9oz strawberries
  • 150 g 5oz blueberries
  • 150 g 5oz raspberries

For the Coating:

  • 2 cups 200g/7oz shredded coconut
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

For preparing the berries juice:

  • Add all the strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and water, into a Nutribullet or a food processor and blend until you get a smooth juice. You will need around 2 cups (500ml) of berries juice. Set aside.

For preparing the coating:

  • Mix all the shredded coconut and the salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

For the kuih sago:

  • In a non-stick frying pan, bring the 4 cups of water to a boil. Add in sugar and boil until the sugar has dissolved completely.
  • Then add in all the drained sago, bring to a boil again and turn the heat to low to medium heat. Stirring frequently and boil for about 20 minutes.
  • Add in the tapioca flour solution, the berries juice, rosewater essence and strawberry essence and bring to a boil again. Once its boiling, turn the heat to low, stirring frequently and cook for another 20 minutes or until the sago pearls are translucent (no more white dots). You will get a thick gluey like paste.
  • Turn off the heat and immediately pour into a glass baking tray or any baking tray. Kuih sago is around ½ inch in thickness.
  • Use a spatula to level evenly. Set aside to cool completely.
  • Once cooled, use a lightly oiled knife to cut into 2 inch square pieces and coat with the shredded coconut and serve.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Once chilled the kuih sago will firm up further. You can serve at room temperature or it is best serve chilled.

Notes

Small sago or tapioca pearls can be purchased from Asian groceries stores.
Nutrition Facts
Berries Kuih Sago (Tapioca pearls cake)
Amount per Serving
Calories
101.76
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
4.69
g
7
%
Saturated Fat
 
4.09
g
26
%
Trans Fat
 
0
g
Cholesterol
 
0
mg
0
%
Sodium
 
25.5
mg
1
%
Carbohydrates
 
15.32
g
5
%
Fiber
 
1.9
g
8
%
Sugar
 
4.89
g
5
%
Protein
 
0.67
g
1
%
Vitamin A
 
0.04
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
8.18
mg
10
%
Calcium
 
0.81
mg
0
%
Iron
 
2.66
mg
15
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this recipe?Tag me on Instagram @healthygfasian or tag #healthygfasian!

Gluten Free Berries Kuih Sago

8 thoughts on “Berries Kuih Sago (Tapioca pearls cake)”

  1. YARM! These look amazing. I dont think I have ever cooked with tapioca pearls before, and it looks like I have been missing out. I wonder where I go to find them? Thanks for sharing, I shall report back when I try. 🙂

    Reply
  2. These look lovely! I’ve never tried cooking with tapioca pearls before – I’ll have to look out for them 🙂

    Reply

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