I was back at my parents place when I saw a box with the words Ghee Hiang on it. Whoa, blow me down... the new packaging looked awesome. They have also packed and sealed their biscuits into plastic bags before placing them into the cardboard box. Very hygienic! And the best part... it even have a website of their own!!!. Cool eh?
Okay a little background on Ghee Hiang. It's a very famous biscuits (albeit just a few variety) and sesame seeds oil producer in Penang island. Originated from China's Hokkien province and established in Malaysia way back in 1856! Could you believe it?? Wow... I'm still digesting the info from their website.
I got hooked into Ghee Hiang's biscuits more than 10 years ago when the engineers from my company go to Penang for the monthly maintenance on dinosaur mainframes in one of the banks which located a stone throw away from Ghee Hiang. Usually they'll get the bank's staff to pre-order our biscuits a day in advance, otherwise, there is no way one could buy the biscuits on the spot. Yes, they are very popular. There are other brands as well ie Him Heang but seriously I find Ghee Hiang is the better of the lot.
I guess the most popular biscuits people buy from Ghee Hiang got to be the Tau Sar Pneah (Mung Bean Biscuit in Hokkien), a flaky pastry filled with mung beans. They come in two sizes, large is about 2 inches in diameter or small which is about an inch or less in diameter. These days they packed 4 small tau sar pneah or 2 large tau sar pneah in a bag.
What I liked most about Ghee Hiang's tau sar pneah is it's fillings where the mung beans are cooked in sugar, salt and fried shallots. The fried shallots lend an exquisite fragrant to the biscuits. Funny if you have noticed that the fillings have both sugar and salt. Well, somehow the saltiness and sweetness seems balanced.
Ghee Hiang still uses lard for their dough, something not very healthy but it lend an excellent texture and taste to the pastry.
Now back to the box of goodies, I found the top layer contained the small tau sar pneah whilst the bottom were a few packages of 2 bigger tau sar pneah. I was wondering what's his friend's rationale to buy the same tau sar pneah but in TWO different sizes hehehe. What the heck, I took one each home to chow them down.
I got a surprised when I chewed on the larger biscuit, hey, it's not tau sar pneah but what the heck it is??? The pastry is somewhat similar but slightly thicker and the filling have sesame seeds and is sticky and chewy... Penang style hiong pheng kar??? Check the picture below...
Anyway, I think I liked Ipoh style hiong pheng more than this. So when I checked their website, the name is Beh Teh Saw (I've no idea what's the translation since I'm not a Hokkien). Ahhh... so the sticky bit is molasses.
Looks like Ghee Hiang has their version of Low Por Pheng (wife's biscuit in Cantonese) in the name of Phong Pneah. This looked like the spiral pastry filled with pure white sugar. I've tried this before and it tasted nice as well.
Now, what I didn't know is Ghee Hiang make Hneoh Pneah as well!!!! Arrrghhh, how come I don't know leh?? This pastry has brown sugar fillings, awwww, I love this and it's hard to find nice soft ones. I've bought elsewhere where the filling is rock hard! So, should I make a trip up North huh? Hehehe... I think better not since hubby will be driving me around the island eating non-stop hahaha... no way when I have not been exercising the past few months. Must tahan (stop my temptation in Malay)... tahan... tahan... hey, the flash in the homepage mentioned that it's going to open in Kuala Lumpur soon wor... woooohooo.... but when? Hahaha... tahan...