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Melon sago with soy milk

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Chewy pearls of sago and sweet balls of melon floating in a sweetened sea of soy milk makes for a fresh and easy summer dessert.

This lovely light dessert is just the thing for summer entertaining.  

The recipe is from Sheridan Roger’s new book ‘The Cook’s Garden’, published by New Holland, $49.95. It’s based on old-fashioned sago pearls, which are made from the spongy centre of the stems of the sago palm, Metroxylon sagu, which grows in south-east Asia and New Guinea. You could use tapioca pearls instead, which are the root of the cassava plant, Manihot esculenta. And if you’re in an experimental mode, we also love this simple dessert when it’s made with coconut milk instead of soy milk, and palm sugar instead of caster sugar. As Sheridan says, it’s especially good after a spicy meal.

What you need

1 honeydew melon

1 rockmelon 

200g sago

750 ml soy milk

250 ml water

90g caster sugar (or to taste)

What to do

Cut the melons in halves and scoop out balls of flesh with a melon baller. Put the balls into a large dessert bowl.

Wash the sago under cold running water and drop into a large saucepan of rapidly boiling water. Cook for 7 – 10 minutes until it is transparent. Drain through a sieve and wash again under cold running water.

Put the sago into the serving bowl along with the melon balls. Pour in the soy milk and water and stir through the sugar until it is dissolved. Taste and add more sugar if desired.

Cover and chill in the refrigerator before serving.

Serves 8 – 10.



3 more ways with melons 

Honeydew melon granita 

Peel, de-seed and chop a ripe honeydew into bite-size pieces. Make a simple sugar syrup by dissolving a cup of sugar in a cup of water over medium heat and bringing to the boil for a few minutes. Let cool. (This syrup is very handy to have in the fridge for summer cocktails and all kinds of granitas). Puree the melon with the juice of a lime, then strain. Add sugar syrup to the juice to taste. It should be slightly sweeter than you like as once things are frozen they don’t taste as sweet. Put into a shallow container and freeze. Every few hours use a fork to break up the ice crystals and give a fluffy texture.


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Watermelon and fetta salad

Wash and pick the leaves from a bunch of watercress. Top with cubes of watermelon and fetta. Scatter over some fresh mint leaves, then squeeze lime juice over. Serve with barbecued lamb.


Rockmelon and cucumber salad

Chop rockmelon and cucumber into small cubes and toss with plenty of fresh mint and coriander leaves. Dress with lime juice, sugar, fish sauce and fresh chilli mixed to taste. Top with chopped roasted and salted macadamia nuts. Serve alongside barbecued king prawns.


Text: Robin Powell

About this article

Author: Robin Powell