Corner Café

March 2, 2012

Honeydew Sago / Sai Mai Loh (honeydew flavour) 蜜瓜西米露

Filed under: Syrupy Snacks — SeaDragon @ 6:00 pm
Tags: , ,


Hah! You would think making a simple thirst quencher like the popular Honeydew Sago would be a cinch, right? Wrong!
Well, that is, if you decide to use the large tapioca pearls! Not having cooked them before, I naively thought that cooking the large tapioca pearls would be as easy as the normal small tapioca pearls. No, no, no… It took me two days! My oh my, it was a labour of love…


To start from the beginning, I saw the recipe in one of my Chinese cookbook using the large tapioca pearls for this syrupy snack, and I thought it would be nice for a change from the tiny ones. So off I went and bought a packet of the large pearls.
Now the problem started. In the cookbook, it said to soak the pearls in cold water for about 15 minutes then cook until the pearls are translucent, but not giving any hint of how long to cook for. However the instructions on the packet I bought said to steep the pearls in boiling water for an hour then cook for about 10 minutes until they float, then soak in cold water. After making the decision to follow the instructions on the packet, I went ahead and did the steeping, cooking and soaking. After the cooking, only a thin layer on the outside of the pearls was translucent and about 70 to 80% of the inside were all still white. Not thinking too much about it, I drained them and poured them into a bowl of cold water to soak, believing they might soaked through and turned translucent.
Of course that did not transpired! After one hour of soaking, they remained the same. It was then too late in the night to continue and I could not be bothered to start boiling them again as I have no idea how much longer that was going to take, so I placed the pearls still soaking in the water straight into the refrigerator overnight. The next night, I took out the half cooked pearls, drained and tipped back into a saucepan of boiling water to continue cooking. This time, I was determined to boil them until the cows come home, or until they all turned translucent! Now take a guess how long that took!

The cooked tapioca pearls.

Nearly two hours! Finally! Wow, what a big task for just a cup of tapioca pearls to cook…



  1. Thanks for this recipe ! …I bought some tapioca lately and now you gave me an idea how to cook it !
    Fatiha from Algiers

    Comment by Fatiha — March 5, 2012 @ 11:55 pm | Reply

  2. My tapioca cooks very easely ! ….don’t have problemes with it and it was very good. Thanks !

    Comment by Fatiha — March 8, 2012 @ 12:33 am | Reply

    • You mean you used the large tapioca pearls and they cooked very quickly? The small ones cooked quickly for me, but not the large ones, LOL

      Comment by SeaDragon — March 10, 2012 @ 6:03 pm | Reply

  3. Would you mind to give us the recipe for the syrup? Thanks.

    Comment by Wendy — March 9, 2012 @ 4:35 pm | Reply

  4. Would you mind to share your recipe for the syrup with us? Thanks.

    Comment by Wendy — March 9, 2012 @ 4:35 pm | Reply

    • There is not really a proper recipe for the honeydew syrup, just adjust the following amount to your taste. First, make a stock syrup using equal quantity of sugar and water, or if you don’t want too sweet 2 parts water to 1 part sugar by weight (or roughly 1/2 cup sugar to 1 cup water and boil with some pandan leaves if desired until sugar dissolved; let cool before using). Add coconut milk (about 200ml) to taste, or half regular cow’s milk half coconut milk, and lastly puree the flesh of about 1/2 a honeydew about 700-800g. Mix coconut milk and honeydew puree together and add cold stock syrup to taste and there you have it. Chill the honeydew syrup before serving.

      Comment by SeaDragon — March 10, 2012 @ 6:13 pm | Reply

  5. Thank you. Wendy

    Comment by Wendy — March 12, 2012 @ 6:45 am | Reply

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