Celebrating Food! Celebrating Life!

楊枝甘露 Mango Pomelo Sago

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I’ve always looked forward to the Mid-Autumn Festival not because I’m interested in eating or making mooncakes of course, but because pomelos are also in season. For me they are a real treat during this time of the year. When I was young I’d had a somewhat peculiar way of eating pomelo, plucking the pearly pulp individually from the membrane and squash them one at a time  in my mouth. That sudden burst of those sourish packets of juices remains one of the highlights of festivities celebrations in my childhood, because that was traditionally the only time of the year pomelos were available.

I still enjoy pomelo by the pulp, even till today, especially when its paired with another fruit in season, thai honey mangoes to create a very famous dessert, Mango Pomelo Sago, or better as Yeung Zhee Gam Luk 楊枝甘露, a name that alludes so much poetry.

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Yeung Zhee Gam Luk is a highly popular chilled “modernised” 糖水 “tung shuei” which can be found on the menus of any tung shuei shop or dessert parlour in Hong Kong amongst which are famous names like 許留山 Hui Lau San, 大良八記 Dai Leung Pak Gei, 滿記 Mun Gei. It was created in the 1980s by the famous 利苑酒家 Lei Garden restaurant chain which specialises in authentic Cantonese cuisine. However unknown to many, and this might come as a surprise to some, Yeung Zhee Gam Luk, despite its immense popularity in Hong Kong is actually “Made in Singapore”. In 1987, Lei Garden opened their first branch in Singapore in the  now-defunct Boulevard Hotel located just next to the current Four Seasons Hotel, and rumour has it that the dessert was created then by the joint’s executive chef Wong Wing Chee as a novel way to utilise leftover pomelo pulp meant for 撈起魚生 Lou Hei Yu Sang. Surprisingly, it became an instant hit in Hong Kong and became better known back in Singapore only over the last couple of years or so.

Yeung Zhee Gam Luk is a very refreshing chilled dessert using mango puree as a base enriched with evaporated milk for a creamier texture. Syrup is added to enhance the sweetness but I personally prefer it to have a slight sour edge. I also found the use of only Thai honey mangoes to be rather one dimensional. Hence a mixture of fresh malaysian chukanlam mangoes and thai honey mangoes were used, the more sour yet aromatic former to be pureed to form the base while the sweeter but less aromatic latter diced into cubes and incorporated for texture. The former is more fibrous and needs to be sieved for a smoother puree, while the latter on the other hand is almost free of tough fibres, and hence less jarring to the teeth, making it ideal as a garnish.

Sago pearls are also added for a more varied palate experience but for me, the real jewels on the golden crown are the morsels of pomelo pulp, adding so much contrast to otherwise silky and luscious concoction.

Truth be told, I had intended to modify it to incorporate passionfruit puree for the sourness and fragrance but quickly decided against it to “preserve the integrity” of the original piece. The recipe I used is from Chef 江庆新 , executive chef of 满福苑 Mun Fook Yuen restaurant but it can be tweaked according to one’s liking for texture and taste.

I’ll probably try to infuse with passionfruit since it pairs so well with mango, as in Sugino’s Tahiti. Ipoh pomelo is used as its widely available now but Thai pink pomelos can be used if one prefers slightly less tart taste. But the pulp tends to be less firm and apparent thus affecting the textures.

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楊枝甘露 Mango Pomelo Sago Recipe


300g mango pulp diced

100g pomelo pulp

100ml evaporated milk

500g mango puree (either processed or pureed from fresh mango pulp

700ml simple syrup

100g sago

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To a pot of boiling water, add sago pearls slowly and cook until they are left with only a tinge of opaque white left.

Turn off the flame, cover the pot and set aside for 10-15 min for the pearls to cook through with residual heat, until totally transparent.

Sift the cooked sago pearls and soak into a bowl of ice water. This truncates the cooking process so that the pearls would remain “QQ”. Refrigerate until ready to be used.

Peel mangoes and chunk the flesh into large cubes.

Blend mango puree with simple syrup until smooth.

In a large serving bowl, pour mango puree, most of diced mango, most of pomelo pulp, sago pearls and evaporated milk.

Chill for several hours until ready to serve

Ladle into small serving bowls and garnish with more fresh mango cubes and pomelo pulp

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30 responses

  1. Me, Ipoh mali so I grew up eating lots of pomelo. So far, I have not tasted a pomelo dessert. The next time I get one, I must remember to try making this. Looks very refreshing indeed! Thanks for the recipe.

    September 14, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      Veronica! oh you must try this with ipoh pomelo! very refreshing!

      September 15, 2011 at 11:53 pm

  2. Beautiful! I still have half pomelo left in my fridge. Will definitely try this recipe for sure 🙂

    September 14, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      hi Ann! do give the recipe a try. but tweak the sweetness of the puree to your own liking. cos I used much less than the 700g of syrup in the recipe by Chef Jiang.

      September 15, 2011 at 11:54 pm

  3. I have never used pomelo before, but this looks just delicious. So refreshingly sweet.

    September 15, 2011 at 9:47 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      Hi Julia! Thanks for dropping by! I love your Laduree themed entries!

      Are you able to buy pomelo where you are?

      September 15, 2011 at 11:55 pm

  4. During the festival, I bought two pomelo on two different trips. both ended up not sweet. So disappointing.

    September 15, 2011 at 11:29 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      oh dear… probably try to buy another batch from another place, or a different variety? I think you can still use the pomelos for the dessert as the sweetness can be made up for by the mango and syrup concoction.

      September 15, 2011 at 11:57 pm

  5. 哇,看到都想吃

    September 15, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)


      September 15, 2011 at 11:59 pm

  6. Hello! I’ve discovered your blog and I absolutely adore it! It has so many wonderful recipes. Oh and I’m from Singapore too:)

    September 15, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      Hi Amanda! Thanks for dropping by! nice to know someone so young who’s so enthusiastic about baking and cooking. 🙂

      September 16, 2011 at 12:00 am

  7. Is the simple syrup a 1:1 ratio? I love doing the same thing with my pomelo too – I will take hours just to eat a small section because I would use my tongue and the roof of my mouth to squish each pulp hee 😀 oh and there’s this vietnamese pinkish-purplish pomelo available nowadays – it’s a really interesting color although flavor wise it’s the same!

    And I never knew about mango pomelo sago being made in SIngapore!

    September 15, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      Hi Janine, I used Sirop à 30°B in the ratio of sugar : water = 1.3 : 1

      I was quite surprised too when i was reading up on this dessert over the internet. Nice to know that it was invented in Singapore.

      the pulp from the pink pomelo is less firm and thinner than the ipoh ones i think. nice colour though. 🙂

      September 16, 2011 at 12:16 am

  8. yes, ipoh is famous for its pomelos.no season,it’s available all year round here. I first tasted this is hkg hui lau shan and when i came back, i wanted to make a similar one, reading some recipes on line but ended up never made it yet and tatlly forgotten abt it until now seeing yours. It was really nice but i cant tell if it’s evaporated milk or not. I might like to try that with coconut milk perhaps. Alan, really ..i’m hungry for one now!

    September 15, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      yeah we see pomelo all year round nowadays, unlike when you were much much younger. Like mangoes and durian which used to be “seasonal” unlike now.

      coconut milk would be add on to the aromatics for sure but i’m not sure if it would musk the intended taste of mangoes and pomelo 🙂

      September 16, 2011 at 12:18 am

  9. This dessert so cantonese….LOVE IT =)

    September 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      thanks wilson! 🙂

      October 29, 2011 at 10:44 pm

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  16. 你做的好赞!好喜欢芒果~ 我上两周也做了芒果甜品,不过是芒果黑糯米,哈哈

    September 18, 2015 at 9:59 pm

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  18. Lily


    May I know what is simple syrup? Your dessert looks very delicious. I still have some pomelo left. I m thinking of trying out your recipe.

    October 8, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      It is a ratio of 100g water either 130g of sugar. The recipe states 700 ml but I usually use less as I like my mango pomelo sago more concentrated. 🙂

      October 8, 2015 at 5:30 pm

  19. Serena

    hi, the recipe asks for 700ml simple syrup, wouldn’t that be way too sweet?
    in one of your responses, u said u “used much less than the 700g of syrup in the recipe by Chef Jiang”. Is it 700ml or 700g of syrup? what is the best measurement according to your experiment of ”much less”?
    thanks in advanced. i love dessert but don’t like it too sweet!

    October 11, 2015 at 6:38 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      You can play with the proportions and adjust according to your own liking. or you can omit it entirely if the mangoes you’d gotten are really sweet, like the harumanis mangoes recently in the market.

      October 11, 2015 at 10:26 am

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