Beijing Jianbing (北京煎饼) China Street Food Breakfast Crepe
We travel to eat. That’s not the only reason but it is a focus of every adventure. For that reason we are big fans of Asia. Street food is everywhere and it is cheap. Vietnam is possibly our favorite country so far with Malaysia being another standout. Our first trip to China in 2008 was an eye opener and our first time traveling on the continent. A meal in China is as cheap as $.50 cents Beers are $.25 cents. For dinner we could have a feast, a table full of food with unlimited beers for around $9 USD for two people.
We came back in 2016 to document the Uighur genocide in Xinjiang. I would write a book about this experience along with videos and photos showing how the Chinese government is destroying entire communities and imprisoning over 2 million Uighurs in “re-education” camps to make them become more “Chinese”. They would outlaw the call to prayer, destroy Mosques, remove entire graveyards, outlaw beards and the Hijab and force the Uighur population to abandon their language and learn Mandarin. The link to this e-book “Autonomous” with over 200 photos is below.
When we first arrived in Beijing we had a few days to rest before heading off to the Western Frontier, the fabled land of sand serpents and barbarians, Xinjiang. We stayed in a Hutong and spent most of our time in this small local community. Hutongs are walled neighborhoods and are also disappearing in Beijing, being replaced with the typical modern skyscraper.
On our first morning out we quickly found a vendor selling steamed buns for .25 cents and we purchased two. A delicious and cheap breakfast. We then found a stall selling something we had never seen before, the Beijing Jianbing (北京煎饼) or, China Street Food Breakfast Crepe. This was a truly delicious thing to discover and we are so happy we did. We brought the dish back to America with us and I am more then happy to share it with you.
The ingredients are simple and you most likely will already have everything you need in your pantry.
For the crepe I use the typical recipe and these measurements will make two crepes, enough for two people. 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup water and 1 egg. I always suggest prepping all your ingredients first so fry up a few won ton wrappers, chop the green onions and a few sprigs of cilantro.
Place half the batter on the grill and spread evenly into a thin layer. I incorporated the green onions into the batter. Crack two quail eggs onto the crepe and spread. Sprinkle on Black sesame seeds.
Flip the crepe and spread on the Hoisin sauce and the chili oil. Place two fried won ton wrappers on crepe.
Fold both sides of the crepe over and then also the top and bottom. And that is it.
Below is the video we shot in Beijing when we first discovered this dish. If you try making it please leave a comment and let us know how it turned out!