The last time I wrote about jianbing was after I ate jianbing at a family friend’s home in Vancouver. As jianbing is actually a street food, of course I had to eat some on the street in China as well. These photos were taken in Yancheng, a city in Jiangsu province.
As I wrote in my other post, Jianbing guozi is one of China’s best street foods. Only sold for breakfast, it is a crisp, savory crepe (jianbing, referring to the dough product) filled and folded into a tall, chewy packet to be bitten into like a burrito (guozi, meaning wrapped). They’re around 30 cents (2 RMB) each in Beijing and Yancheng but can run for over a dollar (!) in Shanghai.
First, plain crepe-like batter is poured on heated metal and swirled with a wooden instrument that spreads the batter into the thin round base.
Now an egg.
Which gets spread around.
Flip the pancake over.
Add an umami-packed bean paste-based sauce.
Brush it around.
And the presentation is the quirky part. The steaming-hot jianbing, prepared in around a minute, is dumped in a plastic bag you eat it from.
In the mornings, you’ll often find several pushcarts clustered together selling common breakfast foods, including jianbing, soupy tofu, rice porridge/congee, soy milk, fried dough strips, baozi, and bread rolls (mantou).
You’ll be bound to find processed meat with slightly offputting colors.
The most commonly eaten breakfast item in China is rice porridge/congee. Everyone can make it at home, but sometimes it’s more convenient to get it prepared. There are several types of congee in this picture.
The leftmost cup in the first row has a sweet soup of clear wood ear mushrooms, goji berries, and a candied jujube. The cup next to it is slightly sweetened rice porridge made with purple rice. The one next to that is white porridge. The orange cup behind the purple one has sweet potatoes stewed with the rice, and the green-flecked porridge in the right side of the picture has some veggies involved. The opaque beige cups are filled with soy milk. There are also packets of soy milk in the back, and the tubes between the cups and the packets are rolls of rice with vegetables mixed in.
I got a 2 RMB soup of tofu in red pepper broth. It reminded me of Korean hot pepper paste stew (gochujang jigae). Healthy and delicious!