Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bronok (Kuih Sagu)

Kuih Sago is a common kueh that can be found throughout Malaysia. It is made of pearl sago and sugar, boiled till translucent and cooked, cooled in a tray, then cut to desired pieces and rolled in salted fresh grated coconut, preferably served chilled. For flavour and colour, a little rose essence is added in and some red food colouring is added during the cooking process. I have not eaten this in years, and really am unaware that this kuih is called "Bronok" and is a traditional sweet kuih of Terengganu. I have always known it as "Kuih Sagu" and never did thought much about it, except that it is a popular Malay kuih. Since I have a packet of sago pearls in my pantry which have been sitting there for months which was meant for some other dessert, and never got round to make my intended dessert, "Bronok" is a perfect way of using it up, besides, I do not think that my kids have ever eaten this sago kuih. So this is just perfect to introduce to them a little more about our local kuih and dessert.

You got to be patient while cooking this. It takes about 40-45 minutes for the all  the sago pearls to turn translucent. I used up another cup of hot water, I kept on adding hot water to it, a couple of spoons at a time, as it is getting very thick, with lots of white sago still visible. The final texture of this kuih when the cooking is done is, it should be thick, almost a gummy paste, but still able to drop from a spoon without being too thick. I like it slightly soft, if you want a thicker set, let it cook a little longer until very thick, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Scoop the sago mixture to a tray (I use a 8" cake pan),  level it and leave it to set. The recipe does not call for rose essence, but I added that in, as I have always eaten this kuih with the fragrance of rose essence.

I've read that another method of making bronok is by soaking the sago pearls for about 2 hours, then mix with all the other ingredients, followed by steaming until the white sago are translucent and cooked. The sago pearls can be cooked by steaming instead of constantly stirring over low heat for 45 minutes! Well, I only knew this after I have cooked it! 

Once the sago has set, it is cut to desired size and roll each piece in salted grated fresh coconut. Place the rolled sago pieces in a container, keep covered and chill in the refrigerator, until serving time. This is a nice sweet dessert to have, preferably eaten chilled.
Mine is a little on the soft set, so I just use a teaspoon to scoop into pieces and drop it in the grated coconut. 

The family loves it!  It is a nice cooling dessert to have after a meal, where everyone just laze around and enjoy!

I'm submitting this post to "Malaysian Food Fest, Terengganu month hosted by Lena of Frozen Wings"

I'm sharing this too with :
Recipe Box hosted by Bizzy Bakes
Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's Country Cottage
See Ya In The Gumbo hosted by Ms. enPlace

Bronok (Kuih Sagu)
(adapted from "Popular Cakes & Kuih" with some slight changes)
1 cup pearl sago
4 cups water (or more, as needed)
170gm sugar (or to taste)
few drops of red food colouring
1 tsp rose essence
grated coconut from 1 coconut
pinch of salt

  1. Put the sugar and water in a saucepan. Stir over a slow fire until all the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Bring to the boil and add sago, rose essence and red food colouring. Stir constantly for about 40 minutes, until sago is transparent. 
  3. Pour sago into a 8" square baking pan and allow to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, mix the grated coconut with a pinch of salt to taste. Keep covered in refrigerator until serving time.
  5. When sago has completely cooled, cut up into neat pieces and roll each piece in the grated coconut until completely covered.
  6. Chill in the refrigerator before serving.


  1. Hi Joyce, I love all Malaysian kuihs with coconut. Didn't know this one is so easy to make, I think I can manage this at home.

  2. This is yummy one! I love kuih sago!

  3. It's been a while since I last ate this, usually at hi-teas:D Didn't know such hard labour is involved in making it, well worth the effort huh!

  4. Nampak cantik..tentu sedap. Last weekend the hotel in Mcca serve abok abok sagu. Lama tak makan..not bad it's quite nice.

  5. Hey, Joyce this is another kuih that I haven't eaten in a long-long time! I remember it now, slightly chewy, sweet and with added thrill from the grated coconut. Your arm must be very tired hah! hah!

  6. Joyce, yr keuh sago looks fantastic!!! I tried making this myself last year during the AB, but I jus could make it:( maybe i shld try yr recipe 1 of these days... thks for sharing this:)

  7. Definitely had this bronok b4 & nice to see it again from your place!

  8. Eileen, Hundred Eighty DegreesThursday, October 25, 2012

    This reminded me of my home econ class in the younger days! Yummy..

  9. I've tried this before and really love it ! Labor intensive to make but then it's just another way to achieve that toned arms ! lol .... Your bronok kuih sagu looks yummy !

  10. Looks so pink and pretty, would love to try this..

  11. Wow,the colour itself is very attractive.

  12. Hi Joyce,
    I called his kueh sago too. Like you i never know it a traditional Terengganu Kueh. Thanks to you now I know ..:)
    Can I steam the sago instead of boiling it? Have to soaked n steam for how long?
    Tanks for sharing;)

    1. Hi mui mui,
      I have not tried the steaming method, but have read that, to soak the sago in water for two hours, drain then mix with the sugar, fresh water, rose essence and red food colouring, steam until there are no visible white spots of sago. It was not mentioned how long the steaming takes, just until the sago are all translucent.
      Enjoy your sago kuih!

  13. Wow looks so vibrant! M sure it must've tasted great too :D
    Very informative post Joyce, since this is the first time I have heard of this dessert. Would love to try it one day!

  14. i think these kuih bronok is a little different from the sago kuih that sells in my place..ours here got a little grated coconut inside the kuih too which sometimes is hardly noticeable. Pity joyce, got to stand in front of the stove for 45 mins..lunch on me next time! haha!

  15. Hi Joyce,
    What a great treat, we would just love this. Have a fabulous weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  16. The color is beautiful--I really like the way it looks with the shredded coconut. Thank you for linking with See Ya In the Gumbo this week.