Thursday, July 9, 2015

Taro Sago (西米露)

It's been stormy since Monday!  Apparently there's 3 storms in the vicinity.  And they're wreaking havoc with the Habagat (southwest monsoon).  I remember that 6 years ago, it was also the Habagat that brought such severe rains that the whole city went under water.

So far, however, while it has been raining on and off, it hasn't been a continuous downpour (knock on wood) and for that I am extremely grateful... considering the news that the nearby dam was nearing spill level!

Anyway, rainy days like these always make me long for hot soups... usually savory but this particular instance a sweet one!

Taro Sago is a common dessert in Chinese restaurants.  Sago is tapioca, usually the smaller kind but I like the bigger, chewier ones!  Unlike the usual chilled sago desserts (mango, avocado, pomelo, etc.) the taro sago is served steaming hot.  The "soup" reminds me of hot desserts that we enjoy when we're in Hong Kong (walnut paste, sesame paste, that sort of thing).  

It's not that difficult to make, although I used to think that it was.  While the ones served commercially are smooth, I rather like a chunky soup with little bits of whole taro (gabi in the vernacular) with big sago.  And because I still had some kamote balls from yesterday...

I had 2 (very comforting) bowls! 

The recipe:

750 grams taro, peeled, diced and steamed until cooked
1 cup cooked sago (big or small, as you prefer)
600 ml coconut milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
tangyuan/mochi balls, optional

Drain the cooked taro and mash lightly.  Add the coconut milk to the taro root and stir until blended.  If you like a smooth, lump-free paste/soup, process in a food processor (or use an immersion blender).  Mix in sugar (adjust sugar according to personal preference).  Heat over low-medium heat until sugar is dissolved.  Stir in sago.  Let the pot boil before putting the heat off (and adding boiled tangyuan).  Serve hot. 

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