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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 some  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.

42 comments on “Tau Suan (Split Green Bean Soup)”

  1. My all time favorite dessert. It is so simple and yummy. Thanks for brightening my day:p

  2. Can the sweet potato flour be replaced with any other flour?

  3. 3 Tbsp of rock sugar and 3 Tbsp of sweet potato flour is what you used to make your tau suan. Just wanted to share in case there are some others who don’t like to use the weighing scale when we can help it. ;) I love tau suan and will be making this for breakfast tomorrow. Thank you for your recipe. I’m a big fan of your blog. 

  4. Is there a recipe for making you tiao?

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