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Sago facts for kids

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Sago (Metroxylon sagu) in New Guinea
A sago palm
Sago1
Pearled Sago, ready for use
Sago pancake PNG
Sago Pancake, very common in New Guinea

Sago is a starch that comes from the spongy centre of tropical palm stems. In many cases, it comes from Metroxylon sagu. It is a major staple food for many people living in New Guinea and the Moluccas. It is called saksak, rabia, and sagu in those areas.

The largest suppliers are usually in Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia and Malaysia. Big quantities of sago are often sent to Europe and North America for cooking purposes.

Cooking

It is traditionally cooked and eaten in various forms. It can be rolled into balls by boiling it in hot water. It forms a glue-like paste (papeda), or as a pancake.

Sago is often sold in the form of "pearls". These small rounded starch which becomes gelatinized by heating. Sago pearls can be boiled with water or milk and sugar to make a sweet sago pudding. Sago pearls look similar to other pearled starches. For example, pearls made out of cassava starch (tapioca) and potato starch. They may be used interchangeably in some dishes or snacks.

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