tau sar piah, the making

this is such a long post – and so many photos! – but see those tau sar piah up in the first photo? they might be gorgeous to look at and perfectly-sized for rapid consumption – but they take a crazy amount of preparation and time, so much so that you start to wonder in between if it’s worth it. I’m really happy I went through with it though – it taught me new techniques, came out really much prettier than I’d expected, and was just the thing for a relaxing (entire) day’s project.

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tau sar piah (flaky pastry and a mung bean filling)

tau sar piah are traditional chinese bean pastries, with a cooked split mung bean filling surrounded by a layer of flaky pastry. these pastries are sold in those old neighborhood bakeries, or brought back in boxes from malaysia – the malaysian ones are supposedly tastier because they they still do things the old way and aren’t shy about using lard. I never thought I’d want to make these for myself since I don’t much eat them anymore now, though that sweet-savoury bean filling is rather addictive once you start.

these were my first attempt, and I made them slightly different with a filling that used the entire green mung bean – as opposed to just the skinless yellow split mung bean – and though there is room for improvement, I was pretty stoked with how they turned out. asian recipes are really difficult to master actually – and very tedious to complete. I have complete admiration for cooks that churn these pastries out regularly, but it also reminds you that it’s the very same reason our old cornerstone bakeries are starting to close.

recipe and steps in the next post! that last photo is a sort of fantasy of mine – I’m not sure I’ll want to be selling these particular pastries, but there is a sense of satisfaction in even just printing out that first box.