Tau sar piah, or mung beans biscuits, is a traditional Chinese pastry biscuit using two types of dough to achieve a flaky skin. The filling can be sweet or salty-sweet.
In Singapore, we have a westernised version made famous by Loong Fatt coffeeshop at Balestier. The crust is crispy and has a buttery taste as compared to the traditional version.
This recipe is the traditional version, made with lard. I bought lard at a baking supplies shop in Hong Kong.
- 115 grams all-purpose flour
- 25 grams oil
- 25 grams lard
- 230 grams all-purpose flour
- 50 grams oil
- 50 grams lard
- 90 grams water
- 1/2 tsp white vinegar
- 90 grams oil
- 6-9 shallots, sliced thinly
- 100 grams sugar (suggest 120-130 grams)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp white pepper (suggest reduce to 1/2 tsp)
- 300 grams split mung beans
- 1 beaten egg for glazing
- white sesame seeds for sprinkling
- Soak mung beans for 2 hours. Drain and steam over high heat for 20 minutes.
- Mash mung beans until fine. Add sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- In a saucepan, heat oil. Add shallots and fry until brown and fragrant.
- Add in mung bean filling and fry for 5 minutes until dry. Set aside to cool. Divide filling into 15 grams ball.
- For oil dough, mix all the ingredients together until a rough dough is formed. Divide into 3 grams ball. Set aside.
- For water dough, mix all the ingredients together and knead until a soft pliable dough is formed. Divide into 8.5 grams ball. Set aside.
- Let both dough rest for 30 minutes before using.
- Preheat oven to 180 C. Prepare 2 baking sheets covered with greaseproof paper.
- Flatten water dough slightly with your fingers. Place a ball of oil dough inside and pinch the water dough to seal the edges.
- Roll the dough into a oblong shape. Swiss roll the dough up. Turn the swiss-rolled dough 90 degrees.
- Repeat step 10.
- Roll the dough into a circle. Wrap a ball of filling in the middle and pinch the seams to seal well. Shape the tau sar piah gently into a ball and place seam side down on the baking sheet.
- Glaze with beaten egg. Bake for 10 minutes. Take out and glaze again with beaten egg. Sprinkle on sesame seeds. Bake for another 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
- Cool completely on a rack before storing.
The original recipe was for 100 pieces. The above recipe is halved and should produce 50 pieces but I managed only 43 as I had not enough filling. I was a bit inconsistent with the size of the filling.
Initially, I followed some of the instructions on the forum left by others who have attempted the recipe and they used a 5 grams oil dough, 15 grams water dough and 15 grams filling. I find the tau sar piah a bit too big. So I changed to follow the original recipe and used a 3 grams oil dough, 8.5 grams water dough and about 15-17 grams filling. The size is better, somewhat like the tambun biscuits from Penang.
My mum thinks the filling is a tad too salty and not sweet enough. I like the saltiness but think the sugar can be increased and the pepper decreased. My dad likes it as it is and promptly ate 3 at one shot. My colleagues think the filling is quite nice.
To each its own I guess. 🙂