Around Pancake Day it was suggested to me that I make Jainbing, a pancake made and served on the streets of Beijing and Shanghai. A large galette style pancake it is a fine example of how you can have a really delicious snack with really very little ingredients. Something akin to Moroccan Brick, a fried filo type pastry circle enfolding egg and herbs, and absolutely delicious. There is something admirably frugal about these types of recipes too. It’s a case again of how few ingredients make the best dishes.
If you have a large cast iron frying pan you can make Jianbing at home. The pancake batter is made with just water and flour, traditionally 5 different types. We only had 3, so I mixed rice, corn and white plain flour together with enough water to make a thin pouring batter. These are the sort of snack that you cook and eat straight away so have the other ingredients ready before you start to cook. You will need for each pancake, an egg, a spring onion and a little fresh Chinese parsley (fresh coriander) chopped, plus beans sprouts if you have them. Two sauces, chilli and in our case Okonomiyaki, but a dark barbecue type sauce will do. And unusually some fried wonton wrappers to add crunch to the interior..
Make a thin large pancake and as it sets and cooks on the first side pour over a cracked egg and sprinkle with spring onions, Chinese parsley and sprouts. Flip the pancake and spread with the two sauces. Turn over and place a wonton wrapper in the middle. Fold the Jainbing over into a quarter and it’s ready to eat. Enjoy pancake day.