Samalamig and Sago


Weather forecast for this Easter Sunday will be in the mid 80’s and it is going to be perfect for our family’s annual egg hunt. I can’t wait to see my nephews and nieces running around the yard and gathering all the eggs that they can find. It is such a joy having these kids around.

Well, aside from egg hunting, there will be lots of eating afterwards and did I mention that the temperature will be in the mid 80’s? Yes it will be on the warmer side and to counter the outdoor heat, I will be serving this simple but refreshing Filipino drink called “Samalamig.”

If you visited my site last time, I posted another version of samalamig with agar agar. This time, it will be with sago pearls. Although sago may look like tapioca pearls, they both have different origins. The brand that I use is “Tropics.” On the package, it says “Tapioca Pearls BUT underneath it says “Sago.” Don’t ask me why but that’s the brand that I always use. And if you happen to use this particular brand, just ignore the instructions in the back of the package. Thank you for reading and for those of you who celebrate Easter. . . have a happy and fun Easter Sunday!


Samalamig with Sago
For the Syrup
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • crushed ice
For the Sago
  • 8 oz package of Sago Pearls
  • 2 quarts water
Making the Syrup
  1. In a pot, combine 4 cups water, brown sugar and then bring to boil over medium heat.
  2. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Add vanilla extract
  4. Remove pot from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
Cooking the Sago Pearls
  1. Boil 2 quarts of water over high heat.
  2. Add sago pearls and then turn down the heat to medium.
  3. Stirring occasionally, let it boil for about 25 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and cover the pot.
  5. Let the sago soak until the water cools to room temperature
  6. Check the pearls if it is fully translucent and no white parts in the middle.
  7. If there are still white parts in the middle, let it boil again for another 15 minutes.
  8. Turn off the heat and cover the pot.
  9. Let it soak until white parts are almost gone.***
  10. Pour cooked sago in a colander to drain.
  11. Rinse and transfer in a container.
  12. Add some of the brown sugar syrup.
  13. Cooked sago can be kept in the fridge in a covered container for a few days.

Assembling the Samalamig
  1. Add cooked sago up to ¼ of a glass.
  2. Fill glass with crushed ice.
  3. Add the syrup and then stir.
  4. ENJOY!

*** If the water gets thick after it cools down, rinse and replace before boiling again.

Your comment is always appreciated.




  1. says

    What a gorgeous presentation! I tried making my own pearls using agar agar, but it was a complete disaster! I’m so glad I can just buy them :) I hope you had a terrific Easter…our weather was glorious, too!

  2. says

    I never have consistent results with my sago, sometimes they turn out good other times they do not. Some recipes call for soaking the sago. I am going to look for your brand and try your method.

  3. says

    Bigla akong nuhaw nung nakita ko to :)
    I used to drink a lot of this back in high school served on plastic bags and begging for extra sago. It brings a lot of memories

  4. says

    Sounds like you had a wonderful Easter! It was beautiful here as well. Some family flew in from Dallas and Florida so it was a great day relaxing on the front porch watching other families playing the park across the street and all of the little girls and boys dressed in Sunday best, hunting for eggs. Couldn’t have been a better day! :) What an interesting and delicious looking drink! I’ve never had sago pearls nor tapioca pearls, but have always been curious about them. I love drinks with texture and this one looks like it has plenty. Thanks for sharing Ray and I hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend!

  5. says

    Ray, this drink looks even more mysterious and unusual than the previous one! I really must test it one day. Thank you for teaching me once more something new.

  6. says

    Brown sugar makes this drink taste so good. I just love chewing on those little saga pearls, don’t you? Do you a drink similar in the Philippines to what we have in Hong Kong with the tea, sweetened condensed milk and the pearls? Just wondering…I like your version better as it is light and sweet.

  7. says

    Yours is the best recipe for Sago at Gulaman ! You explained very well how to cook the sago-tapioca balls, which are difficult to do, especially making sure the white parts are gone completely. This will be a great beverage-merienda for the summer. Thanks for sharing and hope all is well, Chef Ray!

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