can i make delicious greasy street food in my kitchen?
April 11, 2009 6:16 PM   Subscribe

How can I replicate this food?

I went to China and became obsessed with shou zhua bing (手抓饼), a thin, savory, greasy pancake-y/crepe-y type thing with a fried egg or other random toppings folded in it. I've googled for hours using every synonym I can think of and the best I've found is this blog experience of the shou zhua bing stand and recipes for scallion pancakes.
I've tried making scallion pancakes and pressing them really thin with an egg on top and fried in extra oil, but with the things I've tried (yellow onions, green onions, salt, ramen flavoring packets for the MSG, random other spices in my cabinet) it still tastes bland and boring and not very savory, and the dough texture isn't quite right (the original is very flaky, light, and thin). What ingredients might help me get closer to recreating this street-food wonder?
posted by sarahj to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Avenue Food posted a "Queens-style" jian bing recipe you might try.
posted by arachnid at 6:39 PM on April 11, 2009

Best answer: Try using shortening, thats what I use when I make 蔥油餅, it gives them that crispy flaky texture.
posted by wongcorgi at 6:49 PM on April 11, 2009

Best answer: In Taiwan, this is called a 蔥抓餅 (cōng zhuā bǐng/ㄘㄨㄥ ㄓㄨㄚ ㄅㄧㄥˇ) which is typically distinct from a 蔥油餅 (cōng yóu bǐng/ㄘㄨㄥ ㄧㄡˊ ㄅㄧㄥˇ).

Breaking it down for any non-Chinese speakers -
蔥抓餅 = 蔥: green onion/scallion, 抓: to scratch, 餅: cake/pastry
蔥油餅 = 蔥: green onion/scallion, 油: oil, 餅: cake/pastry

As far as I know, the 蔥抓餅 can also be called a 抓抓餅 (zhuā zhuā bǐng/ㄓㄨㄚㄓㄨㄚㄅㄧㄥˇ) or a 手抓餅 (shǒu zhuā bǐng/ㄕㄡˇㄓㄨㄚㄅㄧㄥˇ), though I'm not 100% certain these are necessarily totally synonymous.

It is fairly easy to find 蔥油餅 in restaurants in the West, but I have yet to find any that make 蔥抓餅, which seems to be more along the lines of street food.
The 蔥油餅 is typically called a “scallion pancake” or some such. I don't know what the standard English-language menu terminology for 蔥抓餅 is.
The difference between a 蔥油餅 and a 蔥抓餅 is that the latter is typically made of a lighter, flakier pastry that is 抓 (“scratched”) as it is fried.

This is how they are typically sold in Taiwan. Also (narration in English.)

Here are some videos on how they are prepared:
part 1, part 2, part 3

Here is a cooking show on making them.

Here is a recipe in Chinese.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:16 PM on April 11, 2009 [3 favorites]

Why would you press a pancake? A thinner batter will make a thinner cake, pressing makes it heavier and less fluffy. Also, a shot in the dark guess about the "ketchup like sauce" is banana sauce, which seems like it would be good on this dish.
posted by idiopath at 12:53 AM on April 12, 2009

« Older What's up with my reaction to alcohol?   |   Best site for refrigerator shopping? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.