Teck Seng Soya Bean Milk – You Wouldn’t Want to Eat Any Other Tau Huey After This
It’s close to midnight, a time when most of us are about to go to bed, and Mr Low Teck Seng’s day is just getting started. He toils through the night to open his stall at 5am in the morning, and he sells out by 10am almost every day. What does he sell, you ask? You might’ve guessed from the title, but yes! He sells fresh soya bean milk and tau huey (soybean pudding) at Tiong Bahru Market. And when I say fresh, I mean FRESH.
Mr Low makes everything from scratch himself — from the initial soaking of the beans to the final product. This is the reason he has to start his day in the wee hours of the morning. He’s been doing this since 1985, and is now 65 years old. That’s 34 whole years of experience! Each day, he uses around 50 to 60kg of soybeans and makes 14 containers of this deceptively simple breakfast staple.
After all the soybeans have been ground down, the liquid is slowly added into a giant wok with water, and reduced to bring out the bean flavour. When we asked him how he knows when to add more of the soybean liquid to the wok, Mr Low simply replied in Chinese, “Based on my gut feeling”. Like many other traditional cooking methods, there’s no firm measuring process involved, but simply an instinct honed from years of experience.
One moment that particularly amazed us was when he asked us to guess how much tau huey there was in the wok he cooked. Of course, we didn’t know the answer to that, but he confidently told us there were exactly two containers, not a drop less or more. He then demonstrated it to us and true enough, two containers were filled to the brim exactly! And when I say exact, I mean there wasn’t any spillage or leftover liquid at all when he was done the pouring.
After each batch is cooked, he then has to scrub and rinse the wok before cooking the next batch to prevent it from burning. This is a step that mustn’t be skipped, and when I think of how many times he has to do it throughout the night, my admiration for him just grew.
From midnight to approximately 4am when Mr Low finishes cooking everything, he never once stops to rest. While we were there, every time we turned back to look at him, he was always moving the heavy containers full of luscious soy milk, or cooking the next batch of soybean pudding.
The only break he gets is when his wife and daughter arrive in the morning to take over the stall while he goes home to take a quick shower before he comes right back to the market again.
We were lucky enough to get a taste of the soymilk right off the fire and all I can say is, it’s comfort in a cup. You can really taste the soybeans in the drink, and there was something especially invigorating drinking it after witnessing how Mr Low made it. I asked for less sugar because I wanted to taste more of the soybeans and it was just perfect.
I absolutely love the soybean milk, but the tau huey is the real star of the show. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was the smoothest and silkiest soybean pudding I’ve ever had. Just to get this result, Mr Low strains and filters every component multiple times to get rid of all the impurities. His tau huey is so good that some customers come all the way from Indonesia just for it. He was even featured in the Japanese news once!
I’ll say that this definitely is an artisanal product, and I’m scared to have tao huey from other places now for fear of disappointment. I hate waking up early, but I’ll definitely get up just to have a bowl of this!
Watch the video now!
Teck Seng Soya Bean Milk
Address: #02-69, Tiong Bahru Market, 30 Seng Poh Road, Singapore 168898
Phone: 9786 5103
Opening Hours: 5am to 12pm daily.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visits and paid its own meals at the stalls featured here.
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