Six years ago, I was hanging out with friends after school one day and we were going to buy some street vendor food, until a particularly sharp classmate hissed No, we can’t, what if Mrs. Fan finds out that we bought street food for her? (She was referring to me, apparently I was a very naive alien from the US that needed protection from the evilness of street food). Cue major culture shock because it wasn’t the fact that they expected me to know nothing (I did know nothing so their claims were not unfounded haha), but the fact that the teacher would care. As it turns out, the teacher would wander around shops during their half day break, aka fall/spring break, to make sure that nobody was – god forbid – going shopping with friends when school was out!
In any case, they were right about street vendors. My mom and I were once unable to resist the plump xiao long bao plump with broth, bought some, and promptly puked them out the same night. Street vendors would usually be lined up around major shopping centers, with major supermarkets having the entire first floor filled with little goodies. One of the more infamous street goods was stinky tofu – boy was that stinky! My favorite was the person that would pull his jianbing cart around, making gigantic crepes (imagine 2 ft diameter crepes) covered in egg, and stuffed with a crispy cracker. Truth to be told, after the entire xiao long bao incident I was much too scared to actually get one but I loved to watch the man make it.
A few weeks ago, my mom was too busy to make dinner and hastily bought a jianbing from a Chinese friend and it was EXCELLENT. Like I can’ stop dreaming about it excellent. Unfortunately, I’ve been quite bogged down with 16 credit hours at the local university, organizing stuff for clubs, college applications, scholarship applications, job applications (THERE ARE COMPANIES THAT WILL HIRE HS STUDENTS!!!!), not to mention SO. MANY. MIDTERMS. I realised the limiting reactant in jianbing was the stupid crepe that took like 30 minutes (mix batter, pour batter, break crepe, remake crepe, and repeat until you actually have a decent crepe), so instead, I decided to go the Mexican route and stick in a tortilla shell instead. Now I can make jianbing in less than 5 minutes and it’s FABULOUS. I also decided to throw out the crisp that they always put in the middle because texture, who cares about that? If you do want the crispiness though, take a cue from Lady and Pups and throw in chips!
It might not be quite as big as 2 ft in diameter but it’s good enough for me.
// I used this hot sauce.
// Traditionally, I think the egg goes on the outside but I think it looks better if the egg is on the inside. Do as you wish, it’ll taste the same in the end.
Over medium heat in a pan coated with a little bit of oil, toast the tortilla until the first side is golden.
Flip, crack over the egg, break and mix the egg around the tortilla. Flip.
Cook the egg for 1 minute. Flip.
Turn off the heat. Spread over the hoisin sauce and hot sauce, if desired. Spread the cilantro around and sprinkle on the rousong.
Wrap and enjoy!