Mid-Autumn Festival a.k.a Moon cake or Lantern Festival which falls oWhat is your favourite warm dessert? Mine is always Tau Suan with Sago and fried dough fritters (you tiao), so yummy. Tau Suan is also known as Mung Bean Dessert or Split Green Bean Sticky Soup. It is difficult to find a really nice Tau Suan that suits my taste buds. I like the mung beans to be soft yet not soggy. Some dessert stalls serve mung beans that are either too hard or too soggy. The soup is important too, some are too lumpy, or too sticky or some are simply too watery – too much water too little mung beans. With that, I was even more determined to find the right Tau Suan recipe. I have cooked Tau Suan several years back and trying to recall how I did it was not easy especially when quite a lot of my memory space has been written by affairs concerning my kids. Finally, after several fine-tuning of ingredients and method, I get one that I can share – Tau Suan with Sago.
Instead of the usual steaming of mung bean to soften it, which I find difficult to keep the mung beans in ‘whole’ if I use the steaming method, I caramelised the beans by stir frying them. It reduces the cooking time and the mung beans remain in ‘whole’ when serving. It also gives the beans a little sweet after-taste.
For the thickening agent, there are various thickening agents like water chestnut flour, sweet potato flour or potato starch. I didn’t test the effect of the different thickening agents, which I will in future. For this time, I used the sweet potato flour which still gives me the thickening texture I want.
Types of sugars do make a difference in the taste of the Tau Suan soup. Instead of normal white sugar which just gives the sweetness, I chose to use the honey rock sugar for the soup and brown sugar for the caramelising the mung beans. It gives the dessert a more golden hue and nicer sweetness.
During caramelization of mung beans, I have added few stalks of pandan leaves for fragrance. However, I realised it was quite difficult to remove the pandan leaves after caramelization without wasting some mung beans. So, it is your choice of adding it or not. With or without, I can’t really taste the difference though.
Last but not least, I added sago to give a more chewy texture. Personally, I like sago dessert like mango pomelo sago dessert.
This is an easy and quick dessert to make. Do give this dessert a try!
1. Soak mung beans for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Wash Pandan leaves and tie into bundles to aid in removal after boiling.
3. While the mung beans are being soaked, boil water for sago. When water is boiling, put the sago in and turn to low heat.
4. Cook the sago for 15 minutes until the sago turns translucent at the side and left a white dot in the middle of the sago. Do stir while cooking to avoid the sago sticking to the side and bottom of the pot.
5. Turn off the fire and let the sago rest in the pot for another 5-10 minutes until it turns transparent. Do stir occasionally.
6. Drain the cooked sago through a fine holes sieve and run through running water to remove excess starch, and set aside.
7. Put 1.2 litre of water and bundles of Pandan leaves in the pot and leave it to simmer for 10 minutes. Discard the Pandan leaves.
8. Meanwhile, fry the mung beans in the frying pan. You may add few stalks of pandan leaves for fragrance. Add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and stir fry continuously over low heat for about 10 minutes until the mung beans are caramelised. Remove the pandan leaves.
9. Transfer the caramelised mung beans to the pot of pandan flavoured syrup, add 100g honey rock sugar and bring it back to boil. Leave to boil for another 8-10 minutes. Taste the beans for preferred texture. If prefer softer texture, cook for few more minutes.
10. While the mung beans are being boiled, dissolve the 30g potato starch with 30 ml of water. In low heat, stir in the thickening agent gradually to avoid lumpiness in the soup. Turn off the heat once it comes to boil.
11. Add the sago. Adjust amount to your preference.
12. Serve with the fried dough fritters.
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