A refreshing treat after a nice meal, mango pomelo sago may have been invented in Hong Kong but is popular in many Southeast Asian countries. The dessert is traditionally made from sago, an edible starch made from the pith of various tropical palm trees, but you can also use tapioca pearls. Growing up, my mother would blend a silky sweet mixture of unsweetened coconut milk, evaporated milk and ripe mango, pour it over prepared tapioca pearls and top it with fresh mango and pomelo pulp. In this vegan version, the natural sweetness of the ripe fruit and nectar step in for the missing milk. I also infuse the tapioca with coconut water to bring an extra pop of flavor.
For the tapioca: Bring 2 1/2 cups of the coconut water to a boil in a small nonstick saucepan. Once boiling, add the tapioca pearls and stir with a rubber spatula. Lower the heat to medium low and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened and the pearls are no longer white, 5 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover and let stand for an additional 10 minutes.
Drain the tapioca in a fine-mesh sieve and discard the coconut water. Rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. If making this ahead: Let set in 1/2 cup chilled coconut water and refrigerate until ready to serve. This will prevent the tapioca pearls from sticking together.
Reserve 1/4 cup of the coconut milk. Add the remaining coconut milk to a blender along with the mango juice, coconut sugar, if using, remaining 1 1/2 cups coconut water, 2 cups of the mango cubes and 2 cups ice. Blend on high speed until smooth. (If using a more fibrous mango, feel free to strain the mixture.)
Divide the tapioca pearls into 4 bowls and pour the mango puree over it. Garnish with the pomelo pulp and remaining mango cubes. Drizzle with the reserved coconut milk. Enjoy while cold.
If mangoes are in season and your mango juice or nectar is particularly sweet, you may not need the coconut sugar.
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