Saturday, May 11, 2024

Kuih Sagu Kukus (Steamed Sago Cake)

Recall our discussion on sago in "Effortless Malay Desserts"? Let's delve into it again, this time focusing on Kuih Kukus Sago/Steamed Sago Cakes. Despite their delightful flavor, they consistently turned out too sticky. Even after coating them with fresh grated coconut, they clung to fingers, prompting me to serve them in a saucer with a fork, which is actually how the cakes should be served, to prevent spillage and mess on the floor. Baffled by their stickiness, I experimented with various methods: steaming, cooking with water until thick, and chilling. Yet, none resolved the issue.

After hours of online research, I discovered the secret: adding corn flour prevents excessive stickiness. Another crucial tip emerged: soaking sago in water with pandan juice for natural color and aroma. Avoiding hand rinsing prevents sago from breaking, as some have inquired.


Don't you agree these sago cakes are truly tempting? You can't wait to indulge in their charm and deliciousness, can you? They're simply irresistible.


200g (1 packet) sago (soak in water for approximately 1 hour, rinsed two or three times, and drained)

4 to 5 pandan leaves (blend with some water, and strain to extract the juice)

2 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon corn flour (to bind sago together)

Fresh grated coconut, as needed

Pinch of salt



Pour the pandan juice into the soaked sago.

Set aside for half an hour to allow the sago to absorb the color and scent of the pandan.

Drain off the pandan juice.

Gently mix the sago with sugar and corn flour.

Tip the mixture into a lightly oiled baking tray or pan.

Steam until the sago turns translucent.

Remove from the steamer and carefully cut into pieces.

Roll the warm sago pieces in fresh grated coconut mixed with a pinch of salt.

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