Sago and jelly drink

Sago and jelly drink

Sago at gulaman

7000 Islands
Jana Liebenstein

In the Philippines, refreshments stalls stand on nearly every corner, square and jeepney stop. Vendors strategically present the colourful liquids in tall clear containers. Hot and dehydrated passers-by invariably stop and slake their thirst.

Sago at gulaman is almost always part of the tempting lineup. The small pearls known in English as sago are the same as those used in the Philippines.


Quantity Ingredient
100g sago or tapioca pearls
225g grated palm sugar
4 cups ice cubes

Gulaman (jelly)

Quantity Ingredient
220g caster sugar
2 teaspoons agar-agar powder, (see note)


  1. Prepare the sago pearls by putting them in a saucepan with 500 ml water. Set aside for 1 hour to soften.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the jelly by putting the caster sugar and 750 ml water in a separate saucepan and stirring over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the agaragar powder until dissolved, then bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a 20 cm square baking tin and stand at room temperature for 2 hours, or until firm.
  3. To make the palm sugar drink, scatter the palm sugar into a separate large saucepan, then cook over medium–high heat for 5 minutes, or until the sugar melts and is slightly caramelised. Add 1.5 litres water (mixture will seize), bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is combined. Transfer to a jug, cool slightly, then refrigerate to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, to cook the sago, bring the sago mixture to the boil over medium–high heat. Reduce the heat to low–medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pearls are soft and translucent. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
  5. To prepare the drink, use a small knife to cut the jelly into 1 cm cubes. Place 2 heaped tablespoons each of jelly cubes and sago in six tall glasses. Top with a handful of ice, then fill with the palm sugar drink. Serve immediately.

Where does it come from?

  • Agar-agar is a gelatine derived from seaweed. You can find it in powder form in health food stores. Pandan leaves are available from Asian grocery stores.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again