There I said it. You can keep your boring congee. I’ll stick with what is in my opinion, the best breakfast in China – Jianbing. What is Jianbing? A delcious wrap that is created before your eyes. I heard about this “jianbing” from my friend Cynthia who declared that her friends wanted her to bring some jianbing back from Shanghai and that it was perfectly orgasmic. I laughed it off. It was certainly one of those situations where ignorance was bliss, because now I know. Now I know all that is jianbing and I only want more.
What is Jianbing? A delicious street crepe cooked right before your eyes on a hot skillet top. Some come with 1-2 eggs cooked on them (you will see how in the video). Other toppings include scallions, pickled radish bits, lettuce, hot chili paste, cilantro, a smear of hoisin sauce and top it all off with a baocui (薄脆 – a kind of crispy fried cracker). It gets folded up like a hot pocket, cut and delivered to you in a mini plastic bag or paper bag. They run 4-6 RMB so anywhere from 75 cents to a dollar USD.
So with that knowledge…maybe I should put it like this “knowledge“, Jen and I attempted to find ourselves some jianbing the next morning. Jen had seen some vendors outside the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, so we headed that way.
We found this lady messing around with these pre-made crepes. So we bought two.
Needless to say the weirdly, bright pink hot dogs should have tipped us off. But seriously look at that picture. You only see little fried breads IN the crepe!
SURPRISE! THERE’S A HOT DOG IN THERE.
Cynthia laughed when I sent her those pictures. We gave up hope. Continuing on in our life with jianbing, until we went to Xi’an for the weekend. We were walking down the street where our hotel was and there it was like a beacon of light. JIANBING! No doubt in our minds! Here is a photo of my first jianbing. Don’t let it’s beauty blind you.
Eventually we did find jianbing around our Pudong apartment. Check out the video of how jianbing is made.
The Beatles were wrong. Happiness is a warm jianbing.