Tau Foo Fah (Tau Huay)

Tau Foo Fah (Tau Huay)Tau Foo Fah or Tau Huay is one of my favorite desserts from the old country. I used to eat it frequently as it was easily available and very inexpensive. This soy bean pudding has a silky smooth texture similar to that of panna cotta. It is sweetened with a simple syrup and is delicious eaten warm or cold.

Traditionally, the freshly prepared soy milk is coagulated with gypsum (calcium sulfate). Today, many are shying away from gypsum and replacing it with GDL (glucono delta lactone) or gelatin. Last year, after a failed attempt using gypsum, I was determined to use a different coagulant. I immediately thought of the agar-agar powder sent to me by my dear friend, Ann of Anncoo Journal all the way from Singapore.

Tau Foo Fah (Tau Huay)

Incidentally, this post is in support of “Make and Eat Tau Huay Day” organized by Alan of Travelling Foodies in response to Diner En Blanc‘s debut in Singapore and their insensitive view that local delicacies are not in line with the image of their picnic. I will not elaborate as much has been said. If you would like to learn more, please do so here and here.

Tau Foo Fah (Tau Huay)

Now, back to the tau huay

I wasn’t sure as to how much agar-agar powder was needed. Too little and the soy milk may not coagulate. Too much and the soy milk will turn into a jelly instead of a wobbly pudding. I decided to start with less and slowly worked my way up. Fortunately, I only had to do it twice and the texture came out just right. To check out the post, please click on the picture below.

This time round, I used gelatin and store bought unsweetened soy milk (like the previous time). The texture is wonderful but like panna cotta, it took about 8 hours for the soy milk to set. It only took 2 hours using agar-agar powder.

Allowing the gelatin to soften

Tau Foo Fah (Tau Huay)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 3 cups (720ml) unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 tsp gelatin
  • ½ cup (8 tbsp/120ml) maple syrup
  1. Prepare 4 small bowls, cups, or stem glasses.
  2. Place soy milk in a medium sized saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin over and allow to soften for 5 minutes.
  3. Place saucepan on the stove over medium stirring until gelatin dissolves, about 5 minutes. Do not allow mixture to boil. Turn off heat.
  4. Strain mixture over a fine sieve to remove any undissolved gelatin into prepared containers. Skim off any bubbles on the surface with a shallow ladle.
  5. Transfer to the refrigerator and allow the soy milk to set for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  6. To serve, remove from refrigerator and drizzle each container with 2 tablespoons maple syrup.

Tau Foo Fah (Tau Huay)

Look at that silky smooth wobbly texture. It is so goooood….. drizzled with fragrant homemade maple syrup from a friend!

Tau Foo Fah (Tau Huay)

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎


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    • Biren says

      Thanks Ann! The texture is really smooth and silky and it is very easy to make with the store bought soy milk. The only drawback is having to wait 8 hours. The maple syrup pairs very nicely with up, very similar to gula Melaka.

  1. Dongxing says

    Hello Biren,

    Good to be back to your blog, it has been a good while! I love what you have done and I must give this a try very soon with gelatin. I love tau foo fah and had been eating this, and drinking soya bean milk, almost every other day for the past few weeks whilst on holiday in KL, much to my children’s disgust. Can’t wait to try this out myself.

    • Biren says

      Good to have you back. :)

      This recipe is so easy and uses only 3 ingredients. You can make this any time especially if you have easy access to soy milk. The maple syrup is very similar to gula Melaka, only simpler since it comes in a jar. :)

  2. Dr. Winfred says

    Well Biren, I am hungry already. The only draw back is that my wife and kids prefer this desert warm. I understand the challenges in using gypsum as I have used this method “hundreds” of times – very tricky indeed, but the texture is so smooth too and the waiting time is only 30 minutes, serving it hot. For the sweetener, I use regular sugar syrup slow boiled in screw pine (pandan) leaves. I should venture this recipe of yours

    • Biren says

      I like it warm too but cold is pretty good especially in this warm weather. This recipe is really simple and the results are well worth the wait. Do give it a try.

  3. Vivian says

    Hi Biren!
    Thanks for the simple recipe. I will try it soon. Do you happen to have a simple recipe for “Grass Jelly” as well?

  4. says

    Biren your tau huay looks perfect! Thanks for lending your support to the promotion of our food culture. Tau huay is one of the things I love to eat most and have actually eaten a lot of it of late – it’s perfect for times when your stomach is feeling less robust 😉 Your pics are just lovely!

    • Biren says

      You are most welcomed, Denise! Tau huay is one of my favorite desserts and I never get tired of it, whether in sickness or in health. Many thanks for all your compliments! :)

  5. says

    Interesting that it took so much longer for the gelatin one than the one made with agar-agar. I’ve never heard of soy pudding, but with the drizzle of maple syrup, it does sound delicious. I drink soy milk, so why not eat it? :) Wonderful little sweet dish!

    • Biren says

      The one with gelatin is similar to the setting time of panna cotta. The texture though is well worth the wait. I hope you give it a try. It really is quite delicious.

  6. Vivian says

    Hi Biren!
    I was thinking about a grass jelly recipe from scratch. Also, the tau foo fah recipe for 4 servings do not include water & vanilla extract like your 6 servings recipe. Which recipe is the best?

    • Biren says

      Sorry I do not have a recipe for making grass jelly from scratch. I don’t think I can get the herb for making it from scratch. :)

      This tau foo fah recipe does not require water and I purposely left it plain so that we can appreciate the delicious and fragrant maple syrup. This recipe is based on my panna cotta recipes found in the links below
      Lemongrass Panna Cotta with Kiwi Mint Sauce,
      Orange Blossom Panna Cotta with Orange Sauce, and
      Panna Cotta with Cranberry Orange Sauce.

      I needed some water to dissolve the agar-agar in the other tau foo fah recipe and added the vanilla extract as a flavoring. It may be omitted if you prefer it plain.

      Both recipes work. If you do not want to wait 8 hours, go with the agar-agar recipe. This one uses only 3 ingredients but you have to wait 8 hours for it to set. However, the texture is super silky like panna cotta.

  7. Vivian says

    Hi Biren!

    I tried your recipe with Knox gelatine (4 servings recipe) and it worked out nicely. I tried your recipe with the agar agar powder (6 servings recipe) and it did not coagulate with the 1 Tbsp agar powder. Tried 2 Tbsps and did not come together as well. What could have happened? The first recipe tasted like panna cotta in texture, but was slightly not like original made with fresh soybeans (more work though).

  8. rayma tracy says

    Would love to try your recipe when I return to Timor island. I always eat it when in Singapore and just can’t get enough. I’ve tried Christine’s recipe with gypsum and potato starch but it didn’t coagulate. But it will be worth it to get a reliable recipe.

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