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豆沙饼 | Tau Sar Piah | Savoury Mung Bean Flaky Biscuit

Updated: Sep 18, 2021

This savoury biscuit is a local delicacy that you think about when you visit Penang in Malaysia. The best way to describe them is the flaky texture of the biscuits filled with a slightly sweet and salty savoury mung bean paste with caramelised shallots.

If you have not work with mung bean much, it is something that Malaysian treats uses a lot of like the Western uses peanut butter. Mung beans looks like red beans except that they are green in colour. You can get them dried from the supermarket with the skin still intact or they also come in split and skinned in packets.

In the recipe, I am using the skinned and split mung beans which reduces the cooking time for the beans.

How do you prepare mung bean paste

The mung beans are first soaked in cold water overnight to slightly soften. The next day, strain the mung beans and wash them with clean water then strain the water once again. Steam the beans in a bowl over a steamer rack in the bowl of simmering water until they are soft. The steaming time can range from 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the steaming method or the beans that you are using.

When the beans have softened, pulse them to a smooth paste.

In this recipe, the mung bean paste is fried with the caramelized diced shallots, sugar, salt and pepper in a non stick pan until they are completely dry. The paste should be dry but still pliable to be able to be rolled to individual balls.

Variation of Tau Sar Piah

If you are not a fan of making this biscuit savoury, you can omit the shallots and increase the sugar in the mung bean paste recipe.

You can also use sweet red bean paste as an alternative as well.

About the biscuit dough

The interesting part of this biscuit is how they are made. Very similar texture to a puff pastry, this biscuit dough includes two different dough : water dough and oil dough. The two doughs are wrapped and rolled together to create the separate layers that gives you the flakiness after being baked.

Types of fat to use

Traditionally the biscuit are made with lard. In this recipe, I have used a coconut oil base vegetable shortening (Copha). Other alternatives that you can use are clarified butter and vegetable oil. The ones that gives the best flaky result are the one that uses lard and vegetable shortening.


Yields: 12 pieces

Savoury Mung Bean Fillings

90 g Split mung bean (rinsed & drained)

Qs. Water for soaking

5 tbsp. Olive Oil

30 g Shallot (finely chopped)

¼ tsp Fine salt

50 g Caster Sugar

¼ tsp. White ground pepper

Water Dough

100 g Plain flour

25 g Icing sugar

¼ tsp Fine salt

30 g Shortening - melted and cooled

35 g Cold water (from the fridge)

Oil Dough

80 g Plain flour

35 g Shortening - melted and cooled



For the Mung Bean Filling

1. Soak the mung beans in water above level of the beans overnight.

The Next day, strain and wash the softened mung beans. (at this point the beans should still be hardy on the inside). Place beans into a bowl that you can fit into a pot to steam.

If you are using a rice cooker, this process will take approximately 20 minutes. If you are steaming them over a steaming rack in a cooking pot like myself, the process will take approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

Refill some of the steaming water when necessary to prevent it from drying out.

When the mung bean is ready, it should be soft and easy crushed between your fingers.

2. Blend the mung bean to a paste, if you want the paste to be more coarse, simply crush them with a fork.

3. Slice the shallots and place them into a drying pan with the oil. Sautee the finely diced shallots until they start to caramelise and turn dark golden in colour.