When I was a little girl, my family would go hiking in the San Gabriel mountains. The dad of one of the families that we would go hiking with was a boy scout troop leader, and he set a precedence for 6 AM starts in an attempt to beat the California sun. This meant waking up around 5:30 while it was still dark out, slapping on some clothes, and fumbling our way to the car. Actually, this was just me. My mom, dad and sister are all morning people and never used to have issues waking up so early on a Saturday!

Whether it was my general laziness for physical activity or my love of sleeping, I really disliked hiking. (Don’t worry, I grew out of my laziness- I hiked the Grand Canyon with my family in middle school, and went on a backpacking trip to Yosemite my senior year of high school!)

Thankfully for my parents, I loved to eat. I think the promise of eating out for breakfast after hiking was the only incentive for me to get out of bed. Our go-to place was a restaurant that served a Taiwanese-style breakfast of soymilk (dou jiang) and other goodies. The restaurant would have big pots of steaming soy milk in the back, ready to be ladled into bowls. We often ordered shao bing, fragrant flaky pastries that were definitely made with lard, and you tiao, yeasted dough that was deep-fried. If that wasn’t enough, there was also shao bing jia you tiao, which was a wrap of the you tiao in the shao bing. Fat and carbs…yum! There was also jiu cai he zi (click for the recipe!) that we would often get, too.

We have since found another breakfast place that we liked better, and with a new restaurant comes new offerings. One of my favorite pastries to get is su bing, which is a flaky pastry with some sort of filling. Some of my favorite fillings include peanut, red bean paste, and black sesame. Where I live in Pennsylvania has zero Taiwanese breakfast places, so my solution is to create those breakfast goodies in my kitchen!

Continue reading for my recipe of black sesame flaky pastry, or hei zhi ma su bing. Leftover filling (should you have any) would be a great add-in to your soy milk. Oh, and if you haven’t already gotten a scale, do your baking self a favor and purchase one.

hei zhi ma su bing black sesame flaky pastry

Do you see the layers?

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