finding and using thai sago

On a recent trip to Bangkok we fell in love with little appetizers balls of sai jae and sai moo. I assumed these ping-pong ball sized appetizers were wrapped and steamed in rice paper; but rather I find they are made with sago. Apparently you make a past with the sago, stuff it, steam it, enjoy it.
Does any one have any hints as to where to buy sago and how to use it for the little appetizers?

  • Posted by: bigpan
  • June 1, 2013


bigpan June 2, 2013
Thank you. The fillings I enjoyed in Bangkok were ground pork in fish sauce with ground peanut...primarily. Very good tasting.
Elizabeth R. June 1, 2013
Sago is tapioca pearls, which you can probably find in Asian (and definitely Southeast Asian) markets, either in the dried goods section or in their flour/noodle aisles (though it might differ in your market). My mother used to make a kind of meat-filled dumpling using tapioca, and (after googling it) it actually looks a little bit like sai moo (but shaped like a fat gyoza). Anyway, this came up first in my google search: but essentially it looks like you make a hot water dough with the tapioca, place some pre-cooked cooled down filling in the middle, wrap it up and steam it until the dough is clear. As for the question of appetizers, I'm not sure if you could skew outside of Asian. I definitely cannot see how the inclusion of something like cheese or tomatoes could work with a tapioca dough. The cooked dough it kinda chewy/gummy not unlike mochi (to which you can probably attest). Unless that's not what you were referring to? I can see sago figuring more into dessert applications, like steamed sago cakes with anko, coconut, and mango or dessert soups thickened with tapioca.
bigpan June 1, 2013
(looks like photo did not is another try to put up the photo....)
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