New Pasadena Restaurant Features Popular Chinese Street Breakfast Food ‘Jianbing’

Published : Tuesday, October 30, 2018 | 5:25 AM

Vancouver-based Me + Crepe (pronounced “me and crepe”) has opened a new eatery on the Green Street block east of Raymond Avenue that serves up “jianbing,” a Chinese-style breakfast staple that’s one of that country’s most popular street food specialties.

The restaurant opened early this month and has since been attracting a huge crowd, especially at lunchtime, with lines “already snaking out of the charming storefront,” according to Eater LA.

Jianbing, literally translated as “fried pancake,” is made of a batter of wheat and grain flour, eggs and sauces, with different toppings including chopped mustard, pickles, scallions, Peking duck, and even spam and tuna salad.

Layers of a thin and crispy cracker are laid on the mix, which is then rolled and folded a few times – or cut in half with a spatula – before serving, usually wrapped in wax paper.

Jianbing has been modified for Western tastes and has been spreading in cities such as San Francisco, New York, Seattle and Chicago.

The Chinese would tell how jianbing began about 2,000 years ago in Shandong province, during the Three Kingdoms period between 220 and 280 AD. The story says chancellor Zhuge Liang’s soldiers lost their woks and couldn’t cook their food. Liang is said to have ordered the soldiers to mix water with wheat flour to make batter, spread it on their iron shields, put it all other available ingredients and cook the mixture over a flame.

Today, jianbing cooks spread the batter over a flat greaseless griddle, crack an egg and spread it over the firming batter with a miniature wooden rake, and put in all the other ingredients before the “baocui,” or deep fried wonton skin, or “youtiao,” or fried crueler, is spread on top.

The concoction is then rolled on the flat top, like an omelette, stabbed at the center with a spatula and then folded at the resulting hinge, says Eater LA.

At Me + Crepe, the customer can see how each jianbing is cooked from fresh batter and other fresh ingredients, much like how street vendors in China do, and that probably contributes to its popularity.

Me + Crepe, located at 89 East Green Street, is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information on the different crepe variations, add-ons, sides and drinks, visit www.meandcrepe.com.

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