Sago, a slang term that commonly refers to the sago drink, features the Southeast Asian ingredient sago. Similar to tapioca, sago is derived from the palm plant and is available in pearls or in powered form. The sago drink puts the pearls on display and surrounds them with a tasty liquid. Making sago at home is easy to do and even easier to enjoy.
Soak the sago in water before you cook it. Leave the sago to soak for about two hours.
Place the sago in a pot with water. Bring the water the boil. Stir the sago while it is cooking to prevent the pearls from sticking together. Remove the pot from the heat when the sago is translucent and drain the pearls from the water.
Place two pieces of gulaman—Asian gelatin—into boiling water. When the gulaman begins to dissolve into the water, remove it and cut it into pieces.
Pour three cups of sugar into a sauce pan and allow it to heat until it becomes carmelized. Add three cups of water to the sugar and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow the simple syrup to cool, then pour a bit of it on the sago to sweeten it.
Place your desired amount of sago and gulaman into a glass. Pour cold water over the sago and gulaman until it just fills the glass. Add simple syrup until the drink is your desired sweetness.
Sago pearls and gulaman are available at most Asian grocery stores.