Gula Melaka

Sago Pearls with Coconut Milk and Palm Sugar

Preparation info
  • Serves


    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      25 min

Appears in
The Food of Singapore: Simple Street Food Recipes from the Lion City

By Djoko Wibisono

Published 2015

  • About

Smooth sago pearls bathed in creamy coconut cream and golden brown Palm Sugar Syrup make this one of Singapore’s best-loved desserts. The name literally means “Malacca Sugar”, although any type of palm sugar (also known as gula merah or “red sugar”) or maple syrup may be used.


  • cups (150 g) dried sago pearls (see note)
  • ¼ teaspoon


  1. Rinse the sago pearls and place in a pot with the pandanus essence or pandanus leaves. Add the water and bring to a boil, stirring constantly for 15 minutes. If using pandanus leaves, remove and discard them. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Dram the sago pearls, discarding the water. Rinse the sago under cold running water and d