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saksak a sago pearl and banana dumpling served on a banana leaf in coconut milk

Saksak (A Papua New Guinea Dessert Recipe)

This dish called saksak is made with sago pearls and bananas.  It is easy to make and made for a perfect ending to our Papua New Guinean meal.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Papua New Guinean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 512kcal
Author Darlene at International Cuisine


  • 1 large banana leaf cut into 8-10 inch squares
  • 2 cups sago pearls
  • 2 bananas chopped
  • 2 Tbsp sugar or to taste
  • 1 can coconut milk


  • put the 2 cups of sago pearls (or tapioca pearls) into a bowl.  Cover with water and then using your hand drain the water.  This will leave a little bit of water in the bottom of the bowl.
  • Add in the bananas and sugar.  Mix all together.
  • run the banana leaf squares over a flame until it turns bright green, this helps it from cracking or breaking while making the dumpling packets. 
  • Put about 1/4 cup of the mixture into the banana leaf and fold up like a package.  Continue until the mixture is all used up.
  • In a large pot fill with water and bring to a boil, place the packets in a steamer basket above the boiling water and cover.  Cook for about 20 minutes or until the dumplings are translucent. 
  • Once cooked place the dumplings in the refrigerator to cool.
  • When ready to serve, warm up the coconut milk on the stove and serve the dumplings with the warm coconut milk.  Please note: the banana leaves are NOT edible, they are just used as a vessel to cook the dumplings.


Calories: 512kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Sodium: 114mg | Potassium: 421mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 8.9mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 3.3mg