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Tau Suan (Split Green Bean Soup)

Tau Suan (Split green bean soup)
Tau Suan (split green bean soup) served with you tiao (dough fritters)

Split green beansI made some tau suan for dessert last weekend! Tau Suan is a popular Chinese dessert but those who are not residing in Asia may not be familiar with it. The rough translation for this dessert is ‘split green bean soup’. It sounds a little strange but calling it green/mung bean soup may be confusing. Initially, I had no idea why the beans are called ‘split green beans’ (as labeled in the supermarket) since they are obviously yellow and not green. After I did someĀ  some reading, I found out that “the split bean is known as moong dal, which is green with the husk, and yellow when dehusked.” Here’s a photo (to your right) to let you see what they looked like when split … the beans are yellow and flat.

I took my recipe from Desserts (Mini cookbooks series) published by Marshall Cavendish. I was pleasantly suprised to find out that this is so easy to make, and it was a successful attempt the first time round. It is definitely much cheaper to make this at home than to eat it outside, plus you can adjust the sweetness according to your liking. The best part about cooking it at home is that you can have generous, unlimited servings of you tiao to go with your tau suan (unlike the measly portions given outside).

Tau Suan (Split green bean soup)

Btw, isn’t the little fan used in the photos cute? It was unbearably hot when I went to Chatuchuk Market in Bangkok in August, and I did the unglamorous thing of buying this fan to cool myself :x But it turns to be a nice little photography prop too, at a cost of only 10 Thai Baht (S$0.45, US$0.30).

(Makes 4 rice bowls)

– 150g split green (mung) bean
– 2 pandan leaves, washed and tied to a knot
– 50g rock sugar
– 500ml water
– 1 “you tiao” (fried dough fritters/”you char kway“), cut

– 40g sweet potato flour (or water chestnut flour), mixed with 125ml (1/2 cup) water


1. Soak the beans in water for 1 hour, drained and rinse again with water. Drain again.
2. Steam the beans for about 30 minutes, or until they are soft.
3. In a pot, add water, pandan leaves and sugar. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, and add in the steamed beans.
4. Before using the thickener, stir the solution again to make sure it is even. Stir in the thickener slowly until mixture thickens (you do not need to add all … stop adding once it becomes the thickness that you like. I used only 3/4 of the amount).
5. Ladle into serving bowls and top with you tiao. Serve hot or warm.

I’m serving this delightful Chinese dessert, to Sra who is hosting the 4th edition of My Legume Love Affair, a monthly event started by my dear food blogging friend, Susan the well seasoned cook.

Leave a Comment

35 Responses to “Tau Suan (Split Green Bean Soup)”

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  1. didally — October 13, 2008 @ 8:42 pm

    This is indeed cost saving. Having hot desserts outside is really quite expensive as those beans and stuffs cost very little. :P

    I like your little photography prop. :-)


  2. tigerfish — October 13, 2008 @ 10:08 pm

    I heard it takes a long time for tau suan to cook! Hmmmm….

    You made your own you cha kueh?


  3. Christy — October 13, 2008 @ 10:21 pm

    Hey, this is one of the Teochew desserts which was rather popular:)
    Nice nice…


  4. Little Corner of Mine — October 13, 2008 @ 11:54 pm

    That fan is definitely a nice prop, so cheap too! I love tau suan but hard to get fresh you tiao here, so have to eat without the you tiao. :(


  5. sra — October 15, 2008 @ 3:08 am

    Moong dal is a pantry staple here in India but the soup is completely new to me.

    I was thrilled to read about Chatuchak Mkt – we visited Thailand last year and came back with a few purchases from Chatuchak, all small things, including two ceramic bowls that I haven’t used yet.

    Thanks for the entry, Wiffy!


  6. lk — October 15, 2008 @ 8:47 am

    Hey! I luv your fan. U r such a good shopper with great bargain!

    I had never tried tau suan dessert before but will surely give it a try. Your pic looks so delicious and convincing to me! Beautiful shots!


  7. Kevin — October 15, 2008 @ 10:52 am

    I like the sound of this split green bean soup.


  8. Ning — October 15, 2008 @ 12:14 pm

    Hee hee. I see you love lots of you teow (yo cha kueh) like me! :-)


  9. Dee — October 15, 2008 @ 6:15 pm

    I’m having some you tiao with bah kut teh for dinner, slurp! Wouldn’t mind this for dessert – to warm the bones on such a dreary day. Hint, hint ;)


  10. Peter — October 15, 2008 @ 6:34 pm

    Split peas are one of fave ingredients for soup…a comforting bowl here.


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