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Flushing Chinatown "Jian Bing" Street Vendor

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Flushing Chinatown "Jian Bing" Street Vendor

lwong | Apr 6, 2014 03:00 PM

In 2007, there was a Chowhound thread ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3852... ) discussing a northern China street vendor food called “Jian Bing Guo Zi,” and it was lamented why no northern Chinese immigrant had yet opened a “Jian Bing” stand in Flushing Chinatown.

Well, seven long years later, a “Jian Bing” street vendor has recently opened in front of the “Barone Pizza” restaurant (40-27 Main Street) just north of the LIRR train trestle, in Flushing Chinatown.

According to the woman making the “Jian Bings,” she does not use a mixture of mung bean, millet, and wheat flour batter, but just uses a wheat flour batter. This vendor also does not use the flat crackers, but uses a “You Tiao” ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYLoxm... ) to put inside the crepe. The crepe is only one third of the traditional size and costs $3.50 each, which is high for Flushing Chinatown, but nevertheless, the vendor had a brisk business, as there was always a line of people waiting for a “Jian Bing,” whenever we happened to walk past the “Jian Bing” stand.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an opinion on whether the Flushing street vendor’s “Jian Bing” tastes good, as we did not make a purchase. Our preference is for the “Jian Bings” using the flat crackers, as we feel that they taste better than the crepes with the “You Tiao.” While we do enjoy eating “You Tiao,” we feel that the chewier texture of the “You Tiao” overwhelms the soft texture of the crepe. And it is possible that just using wheat flour alone might result in a different texture of the crepe.

Hopefully, it will only be a matter of time before another “Jian Bing” street vendor opens in Flushing Chinatown, making them with the flat crackers and using a mixture of mung bean, millet, and wheat flour for the crepe batter.

Several Youtube videos of “Jian Bings” being made:

a. “Jian Bing” in Xiaman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1WUsC...

b. “Jian Bings” in Beijing:
1) Jian Bing made on a spinning griddle with a flat cracker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOcmUl...
2) With a flat cracker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68kSZd...
3) With a flat cracker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyZb9e...

c. “Jian Bings” in Shanghai:
1) With “You Tiao”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M0jIM...
2) With “You Tiao”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZ92y7...
3) With flat cracker and sausage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWHIkS...
4) With flat cracker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krlwDH...

c. “Jian Bing” in Nanjin:
1) With a flat cracker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C9rTE...

And for those who cannot wait for a Flushing street vendor making “Jian Bings” with the flat crackers, below are a number of different recipes for making “Jian Bings”:

a. The Beijing Hao Chi website has very comprehensive and detailed instructions for making home made “Jian Bings,” and also provides a history of “Jian Bings”:
1) Recipe for “Jian Bing”: http://beijinghaochi.com/jianbing_recipe
2) History of the “Jian Bing”: http://beijinghaochi.com/travels-in-t...

b. “Jian Bing” recipe: http://travel.cnn.com/shanghai/eat/di...
c. “Jian Bing” recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/jian-bin...

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