DIY Traditional Beijing Dessert: Sweet Pea Pudding

My recent trip back to China has sparked a craze for traditional Chinese snacks in my Little Joy Factory. In the past few weeks, I have been attempting to make Royal Cheese Pudding (宫廷奶酪), Steamed Milk Pudding (炖鲜奶), Glutinous Rice Rolls (驴打滚) and Sweet Pea Pudding (豌豆黄). It's a fun and enriching experience!

While DOE (Design of Experiment) is still ongoing for Royal Cheese Pudding, the rest three snacks have been fully "qualified" by my customers - my family members. Through research, I have learnt the origin as well as the nutrient facts of these popular snacks. I fully believe there is every reason these snacks are famous for hundreds of years.

Take Sweet Pea Pudding (Wandouhuang) as example, It's a sweetened and chilled pea pudding made with yellow split peas. It's said to have been a favourite of Empress Dowager Cixi. This dessert is high in protein, fiber and low in fat.  With the melt-in-the-mouth texture and light sweet aroma, it's a bliss to have a piece of sweet pea pudding in a hot summer!

I used jelly mould for this traditional dessert. Without gelatine, split pea puree forms beautiful shapes in my jelly mould after chilled in refrigerator for 3 hours. This attributes to the rich starch in the split peas and added sugar.

Pardon me for my ignorance, it's interesting to know that famous local soup Tau Suan  (豆爽) is also made of split peas. We often say :"You are what you eat."  However, how much we know what we are taking in every meal?  To me, D.I.Y is a good way of learning these basics of our daily lives.


- 1 cup split peas (you can find it in local supermarket)
- 1 cup white sugar
-  cold water


  1. Rinse split peas and soak them in 3 cups of cold water for at least 4 hours.
  2. Drain the peas and transfer to a microwave safe container.  Cover with a lid and heat up in microwave for 3 minutes.  Take out and stir the peas, then cover it and put it back to microwave. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until soften. 
  3. Measure the cooked peas with a cup and transfer them to a blender. Add cold water in the blender (1 cup cooked peas with 2 cups of water). Blend to make smooth puree.
  4. Transfer the puree to a wok and bring to boil over medium heat.
  5. Add sugar and keep stirring. Cook over low heat until the puree becomes thick.
  6. Fill the split pea puree into a mold (I use jelly mold) and press to remove the air. Smooth the top and let it cool down a bit. 
  7. Chill for a minimum of 3 hours before serving.

  • Not to over cook or under cook the split pea puree. If overcook, it may crack during refrigerating. If under cook, it may not be able to solidify nicely.
  • Check the consistency during cooking. When you drop of a spoon of the puree, it stays on top of the rest of the puree and then slowly merge in. This means the puree is ready.

Recipe adapted here.


  1. can i put vanilla flavour?!
    like 1 table spoon liquid vanilla extract?

  2. Hi, I believe you can try, but 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract should be enough.


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