Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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sago a light, almost pure starch obtained from the stems of various palms, especially the sago palms, Metroxylon sagu and M. rumphii.

Sago is used to a minor extent in western cooking, e.g. to thicken soups or sauces. The only dishes in which it has played a leading role are the sago puddings referred to at the end of this article.
In S. India, SE Asia, parts of Africa, tropical America, and among the Australian Aborigines, sago is made into a thick but translucent paste which is nutritious but whose texture and taste, unembellished, lack interest. Methods of brightening up this food include making it into a kind of ravioli stuffed with pork, groundnuts, and onion, as in Thailand.