Saturday, 5 March 2011

Making a jiān bing

As I witter on about often on this blog, I love Chinese street food. One of the things I would like to do, is get as much information about it as possible so that should one day it no longer be available to me, I can try and make it myself. Or at least approximate it in some way, with a feeling of authenticity :-)

I originally took a video of someone making one of these jiān bing (煎饼), but each vendor does it a little bit differently, and thinking about it pictures are less bandwidth and more instructive.

The first step is to spread the batter layer (probably just flour and water). I don't have enough chinese to ask about ingredients, although since I know the words for flour and water, I could probably ask if that was all it was. Anyway, the next step when it is no longer wet is to break an egg over it and spread that as another layer over the first.

2011-02-19 - Jian bing - 01 - Spread egg on batter layer

Then when that is spread, the first herb which I believe is coriander is sprinkled over.

2011-02-19 - Jian bing - 02 - Sprinkled herb possibly coriander

And after that, the second herb which I believe is green onion is sprinkled over.

2011-02-19 - Jian bing - 03 - Sprinkled herb possibly scallions

Next, the third herb (?) which is definitely pre-cooked garlic is sprinkled.

2011-02-19 - Jian bing - 04 - Sprinkled herb garlic

Then the "pancake" is scraped off the hot plate.

2011-02-19 - Jian bing - 05 - Scrape off hot plate

Until it can be folded over, and then the last half is scraped off the hot plate.

2011-02-19 - Jian bing - 06 - Fold and scrape more

A small amount of chilli paste is dropped on top, and then brown paste is smeared with the chilli paste and the result is smeared over the surface of the folded pancake.

2011-02-19 - Jian bing - 07 - Spread chilli paste and brown paste

The crispy wafer is snapped in half, and placed in the "inner" part of the half-circle folded pancake.

2011-02-19 - Jian bing - 08 - Add crispy wafer filling

The package is then wrapped up around the wafer, making a closed package out of itself.

2011-02-19 - Jian bing - 09 - Fold into wrapped package

Cut in half, to make two open sandwich-like sections.

2011-02-19 - Jian bing - 10 - Cut in half

Folded against each other, and placed in a bag open ends facing out ready to eat.

2011-02-19 - Jian bing - 11 - Picture of the resulting halfs folded into a bag

The price with my jiān bing guy has gone up. At 2 kuai 5 mao, he was pretty much as cheap as it gets and with one of the better products around. Now that he is back from Spring Festival, like as for other goods in China, his prices have gone up. So, 3 kuai it is now.

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