Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Little Pleasure in Life

...Jian1 Bing3 煎饼

One of the (many) small pleasures I get here in Beijing is from the street vendors that sell the Jian Bing.

Jian Bing are made with fresh crepe batter, with an egg cracked over it. It is then turned over before the addition of other ingredients: some bean sauce, hot sauce, shredded greens, cilantro and a piece of deep fried cruller (yiu tiao) is then added before being folded up in a square.

I first noticed those 3 wheel bikes selling them when we arrived but didn't know what to make of it so I took it slowly and decided to taste them from Jialefu (Carrefour supermarket) and found that they were delicious. Since I couldn't go to Jialefu each time I wanted to indulge in one of my guilty pleasure I decided that if millions of Chinese could eat from those 3 wheel bikes why shouldn't I and comforted my choice by convincing myself that it couldn't be any worse than streets vendors in New York (ok maybe a little bit worse but I convince myself the way I choose to!!)

Jian Bing is quintessential of Beijing Street food and its preparation would probably be thwarted by food hygiene laws in any western cities. But one of the attractions is having it made right in front of you. All that yummyness for 2 kuai (20 cents).