|Chinese egg pancake|
Every time mentioning or cooking ‘Jidan bing’ always, always makes me think of my deeply be loved auntie. And that day a few years ago, when I was very sick and sad lying in bed, didn’t want to eat anything, after rejecting all the food she suggested, she went back to the kitchen, and a few minutes later, she brought this to me, that was the first thing I properly ate in days. Seeing my friends visit me, she then went back to prepare more — it was the first time my friends got to know my auntie, they all said that I was very lucky to have a really kind and understanding auntie …. of course, a very good cook as well. She had lots of recipes that I never learned, and now I will never be able to learn from her…
Bing, or Chinese Flat Bread
If ‘bing’ is translated as ‘Chinese flat bread’, ‘Ji dan bing’ should be translated as ‘egg made flat bread’. It is one of the most popular foods in Northeast China. I say ‘food’, because I am really not sure how to categorize it, it is not normally served as ‘main’ for a meal.
My auntie used to prepare these for me when I got hungry in between two main meals, so I guess it is a kind of ‘snack’ or side dish on the table. It is a bit like ‘pancake’, but Chinese style. :)))
Once just by chance I made it at home, my husband really liked it, and suggested it would be a lovely breakfast. Ha… back home with my parents, this kind of simple Chinese breakfast can never be acceptable, but compare it to simple toast, it is really not bad —- There you go, I shall introduce it as a simple ‘quick fix’ breakfast menu, takes about 10 minutes.
Before writing this down, I had a quick look on
the web, realized that my auntie’s recipe is different to the other normal recipe of ‘Ji dan bing’. And the main difference is in whether you put spring onion in or not and in the amount of water. According to my auntie’s recipe, there is no spring onion, (there is another recipe with spring onion, but it is different ‘bread’), and almost no water.
So I normally follow my auntie’s recipe, which she learned from her mum, and my grandma learned from her mum…. I think it is a traditionally family recipe then. :))
In the original recipe, it is plain flour used with eggs. But one day, we run out of plain flour at home, so I used self-raising flour instead — the result is surprisingly good! Instead of a flat thin layer, it raised up and became very ‘spongy’. So I started using self-raising flour sometimes.
The Recipe: Chinese egg-made flat bread
Here you go the original recipe and improvised version (by me) :))
Eggs, oil, salt, plain flour, light soy sauce (optional)
1） In a mix bowl, break 4 medium sized eggs in, and whisk well.
2） Gradually put plain (or self-raising) flour in while whisking, until it becomes a nice loose paste. (I think I used around 2 cups of flour, but always had to adjust the amount, because the size of the eggs never the same. Unless it is too thick, you can add in a little bit water, otherwise no water is needed).
3） Add in half teaspoon of salt, a tablespoon of oil (optional), a drop of light soy sauce (optional, I didn’t put in in these photos).
4） In a heated flat bottom sauce pan, pour in couple of tablespoons of oil, and move around the sauce pan, make oil spread out in the pan.
5） Pour in the flour and egg mix, and quickly move around, allow the mix evenly cover the pan, turn down the fire to low.
6） When the top surface is getting ‘dry’, turn it over. If it is self-raising flour, it will appear some ‘bubbles’ on the top surface, like in the photo.
7） The other side only takes about 2 minutes or less to get it done.
|Chinese ji dan bing|
———- Et voila!
The photos were taken when I was using self-raising flour, it is nice if the two side surfaces are crispy and the inner one is soft.
If you use plain flour it is not necessary for the crispiness, but try not to add water in, the ‘bread’ could taste hard and ‘flour..ish’ rather than soft and egg..ish And the finished ‘bread’ is normally not thicker than 0.5cm, so if you have more ‘mix’, divide it into different portions.