Monday, August 29, 2011

Penang Tau Sar Pheah/Mung Bean Biscuits

As a paradise of cuisine, Penang has indeed a whole range of delicious cuisine that attracts many visitors to the island. One such delicacy is the ubiquitous Penang Tau Sar Pheah. It is widely enjoyed by both locals and tourists. Penang tau sar pheah (豆沙饼) in Hokkien, is basically a baked biscuit with thin layers of flaky pastry and mung beans filling. There are many brands of this biscuit in Penang, but the most famous one will be the Ghee Hiang and the Him Heang brand. A trip to Penang will not be complete if you don’t buy a few boxes of this biscuits to take home with you to share it with family and friends.

I will always bring back a couple of boxes of this biscuits with me when I am back for vacation. This is one of the snacks I miss a lot since living here in the US. There was once I didn’t packed the biscuits well and once it reach the US custom, the immigration lady wanted to check one of my suitcase. She unzip the suitcase and some of the tau sar pheah fell out. It was all over the table. It was so embarrassing ha ha… and she said this must be something good as you carried it all the way from back here. Thanks God she was not upset with me and didn’t confiscate the biscuits. So each time I eat this biscuits I will think of the incident.

In conjunction of Malaysia Independence Day on the 31st of August, as usual Babe in the City-KL will be hosting a virtual Merdeka Day open house and this year theme is Makan (means Eat) Through Malaysia which we are to prepare a dish famously linked to a place in Malaysia. Actually it is a pretty tough theme for me as I have been away from Malaysia for so long and hardly have a chance to try out all the great food in Malaysia. After giving it some thought, I decided to make this famous biscuits. This was in my to-do list for a few years now and finally I can strike it off the list.

I prepared the filling a day earlier and the traditional Chinese pastries the next day. There is a lot of wrapping, rolling and rolling and by the time I finish the 65 pieces I was death tired but it is all worth it. The biscuits tasted really good with flaky pastries and very nice and fragrant filling.

Dough A
Recipe source: My Kitchen Snippets

175 gram Flour
100 ml vegetable oil

Dough B

345 gram Flour
180 ml vegetable oil
135 ml water
¾ tsp vinegar


50 ml vegetable oil
2 shallots - thinly sliced
150 gram sugar (if you like it sweeter you can add more to it)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp white pepper
400 gram dried mung beans

Prepare the filling:

1. Soak the beans for at least 4 hours, steamed for 30 minutes or until soft. Put it in a food processor and give it a few pulses (not too smooth). Add In the sugar, salt and pepper and mix well.
2. Heat up the oil and fry the shallots until lightly brown and fragrant. Add in the bean mixture. Stir and fry until the mixture is slightly dry and you are able to form it into a ball with it.
3. Remove and divide the filling into 65 small balls. Set it aside.

Prepare the dough:

1. Mix ingredients for dough A until it form into a smooth dough. If the dough is too dry add a bit more oil. Wrap dough with cling wrap and set it aside to rest for 30mins. Divide into 65 pieces.
2. Mix Ingredients for dough B together until it form into a smooth dough. Wrap dough with cling wrap and set it aside for 30mins. Divide into 65 pieces

To assemble the biscuits:
I am using the same pictures on how to roll out the pastry from my previous posting of Wife Biscuit/Lao Por Peng .

1. Take a piece of dough B and wrap it around dough A. Be sure to wrap tightly and eliminate any air pocket. Flatten the dough with your palm then roll it out into long oval thin dough using a rolling pin (pix A). Roll the dough up like a Swiss roll (Pix B and C).

(pix A)
(Pix B)
(Pix C)

2. Turn the dough 90° (pix D), flatten it and roll it out thin (pix E). Then roll it up like a Swiss roll (pix F) Repeat step 1 and 2 with the remaining dough.

(Pix D)
(Pix E)
(Pix F)

3. Take 1 piece of pastry dough, press down the center of the dough (Pix G)and pinch both ends (Pix H)together then flatten it so the dough is roughly round shape. Roll the dough out to a circle

(Pix G)

(Pix H)

4. Wrap it with filling. Brush with egg wash and bake it in a pre-heated 375 degree F oven until golden brown.

I am entering this post too to Muhibbah Malaysian Monday, created and hosted by Sharon of Test with a Skewer and Suresh of 3 Hungry Tummies.


shaz said...

Those are very impressive looking home made tau sar piah! Great job!

Biren @ Roti n Rice said...

Wow...homemade tau sar pheah! Very nice indeed! First time seeing someone making these at home. Yours turned out beautifully. Will give it a try one of these days.

Cheah said...

Hats off to you! Your tau sar paeng look so delicious and you put in so much effort too! So kind of you to share!

hanushi said...

Thanks for putting the steps by steps photos. Very pretty pastry!! :)

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

I have bookmarked this when i saw in Jane's blog, now look at your TSP, i must quickly make this. Your look like store-bought standard, well done my friend!

Jeannie said...

Wow! Pretty impressive paeng indeed, I too will instruct my sister who is living in Penang to buy these biscuits when she comes visiting! Yours look so perfect!

Shereen said...

Hmmm...if only I'm living next door...!Here ada jual jugak but not as fresh as you can get back home.J and I love this and we can finished a box within a day.I'll bookmarked this recipe but don't know when I'll have the motivation to bake these.The heart is willing but the body is!

Babe_KL said...

Gert, I just had one tau sar pneah yesterday and it just looked exactly like the one in your pic! You really nailed it! After seeing your steps, it's so laborious ya to come up with the layers, so I'll definitely appreciate all the efforts that went in for one delicious bite ;-)

Thank you for participating in Merdeka Open House. Check back for the round up ;-)

Awayofmind Bakery House said...

Gert, you are from Penang too? I love this Penang Tau Sar Pheah, yes, I missed the food too!! Bookmarked this recipe!!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

These tau sa piah look perfect! Wish I can have some for tea, yum! I do miss this after moving out from Malaysia, Singapore is not as accessible to these traditional goodies. :P

My Little Space said...

Gert, I like the colour of your filling a lot. Looks so fresh & moist. I was planning to make this as well cause the store bought ones are really dry, which I don't like about....except the northern part TSP (includes Penang, Kampar, Bidor and Teluk Intan), their fillings taste better compare to the sourthern part. Thanks for posting this.
Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...


Love your Tau Sa Pheah, very nicely done. Have not eaten those pheah for a long long time. Thanks for sharing.


ann low said...

I love Tau Sa Pheah. My friend used to bring this TSP when she came from back Penang. I'll tell her not to buy TSP anymore :DD

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Gert- these are fabulous! You can open up your own Tau Sa Piah shop in Manhattan Chinatown!

Miss B @ Everybody Eats Well in Flanders said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe, you make it look so easy, though im sure it's not! I used to buy back boxes of tau sar piah when we go to anywhere in M'sia. It is a must-buy for most S'poreans just like lau-po-peang. :)

I wonder how long these tau sar piah can keep? 2 weeks in a fridge?


Elin said...

Beautiful Tau Sar Piah...I love this biscuits too :) but have yet to try making them . Thanks for the recipe. I shall try making them one day :)

ICook4Fun said...

Dear friends, so sorry for the late respond to your comment. We lost our electricity and internet connection for the past few days. Hopefully it will be back to normal soon.

Shaz, thank you.

Biren, thank you. Hope you try this out someday :)

Cheah, it is a bit of work but all worth it when you pop one into your mouth :)

Hanushi, you are welcome.

Sonia, thank you :)

Jeannie, Visiting Penang will not be complete without this TSP :)

Shereeh, yea I can share it with you. Tak payah you susah susah buat.

ICook4Fun said...

Babe-KL, it is a bit of work but it is all worthwhile when you can't just go out and get a box. Thanks for doing the Open House every year :)

Ah Tze, No I am actually from KL but Penang is a must visit each year when I was living in KL.

Bee Bee, Melaka now selling TSP too and that are not bad at all. You can get it from there. Nearer to Singapore :)

Kristy, yes I find store bought filling a bit dry. I like it on the moist side.

Yen, you are welcome.

ICook4Fun said...

Ann, ha ha you are going to make some yourself?

Shirley, no lah...not up to the standard yet :)

Bee@EEWIF, it is a bit work but not so bad once you get the hang of it. Yes you can actually put this in a fridge and pop it in the oven to warm it up again. They taste just as good.

Elin, you are welcome.

Miss B @ Everybody Eats Well in Flanders said...

U are in pennsylvania? Hope u are not affected by Hurricane Irene? Hope everything is alright :)


Little Corner of Mine said...

Look great and I bet it tasted delicious. Making this is so labor intensive that I only made it once even though the result was good.

Lisa Ho said...

Wow Homemade Tau Sar peah... yumm its my favourite too...

I usually bring home to Perth few boxes too... had to declare to the OZ custom and hoping that all will go through... so far so good, none confiscated :D

Ira said...

wow nice post! you have a good step by step procedure

rokh said...

wow kudos for the effort, it looks like the real deal!

WendyinKK said...

Wow... these look so neat.
So much work involved in the forming, but yet so quick to devour.
But then, when you're so far away, that's the only way to savour TSP.
Well done my friend.

Shannon@JustAsDelish said...

*Shannon kow tow-ing" to Gertrude
Wow I'm so impressed with all the hardwork & sweat. Even though I'm a Penangite, I never buy a box myself to eat, usually someone who visit a penang will buy to bring back and give me a box.. I guess I sudah 'jelak'.. Now I have a new appreciation & admiration for the intensive labour that goes into 1 small pop.

lena said...

very nice work! So nicely shaped and you were able to make them so round!!

Anonymous said...

Hi! Did you meant split mung beans? The ones without the green outer layer?

Anonymous said...

Yea i dont understand? dried mung bean is green? Or do you use that moong dal? plz reply i am keen to make

Rebecca said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely cookies.I saw many TW program the chef used Low gluten flour for the oil pastry -- Dough A as it will be more softer and the layers will be more flaky.
A secret to make it much better is never force any extra pastry when you seal the ages into the base. Have to remove it as it will make the tau sar piah has a hard base when baked.

From the photos, you're young !! It is good to see young people loves to cook !!

kuniya ariyani said...

First i see this recipe,straightly i went to my kitchen to soak mung bean..i like so much this,but now i live in Japan then imposible for me to have it,with this resipe now in weekend i can bake 33 pieces,my cookies turn sooo delicious,even i use not peeled mung bean..thanks for sharing all great resipe..keep blogging cz i love to read and check ur resipe everytime im free..o(^▽^)o

ICook4Fun said...

Bee, yea I am in PA. Nope we are ok except some heavy rain and wind but for some people they are not so lucky. They got hit pretty bad.

LCOM, yea a bit of work but they taste good and it is all worth it :)

Lisa, I am surprise the custom let you through as I know they are usually very strict. I guess you are lucky :)

Ira, thanks.

Rokh, thanks.

Wendy, yea take so long to make one and take seconds to eat one ha ha..

Shannon, ha ha.. you are lucky!! Can eat this anytime you want to. I love the Penang TSP.

Lena, thank you.

Anon, yes it is split mung bean.

Anon, it is dried split mung bean and not moong dal.

Rebecca, thanks for the tip.

Kuniya, glad that you tried out the TSP. Thank you for supporting my blog and hope to see your comment often :)

Angela Lim said...

You are truly my hero! Thank you for your post of such a lovely yet simple indulgence. My family originates from Seremban but my grandma's grave site is in Muar so when we would drive to pay our respects I would always insist on stopping by one of the bakeries for a few rolls of tau sar piah. I can't wait to make this in the coming weekend! Living in Canada (and now Japan) I thought I would never get to taste this again. I will be sure to take photos and email you! Once again, thanks so much. :)