Jenny's Kitchen is a small storefront selling Chinese take-out from a steam table, an array of flatbreads, frozen dumplings and more, such as the elusive jianbing The owner, Jenny, hails from Hebei province that surrounds Beijing. Her cooking includes more veggies, less oil and salt, for the taste of home.
My first bite of Jenny's food was a ginormous, many layered green onion pancake. Though it had softened from steaming in the plastic bag, reheating in the toaster oven crisped up the outsides. I liked the chewiness of this version.
The lunch box filled to overflowing included Jenny's signature bitter melon, this time sauteed with chicken. Also purple rice, a mixed vegetable stir-fry and long rice with bok choy sprouts.
When I had a chance to check it out in person, I noticed that #1 on the handwritten Chinese menu was Jianbing guozi 坚果饼子, two for $5.99. For those not familiar with them, jian bing is the trendy food of the moment here in the States.
It took about 10 minutes for the pair of jianbing to be prepared to order. The counter lady handed it to me and said, "Eat it quick!"
On this sunny day, I took a seat at the one table outside under the overhang to dig into my jian bing. A very thin and moderately elastic crepe, moist egg, crackly-crispety layer of well-bubbled crunchy pastry inside, a light hand with the fermented bean paste and plenty of sesame, green onions and cilantro made this a success. I would have wished for some chile sauce to give it a little kick but I guess I could have added some of the chile oil that was on the table. I'd certainly order this again, though I need an eating partner to consume the second one while its fresh.
For my to-go rice plate, $7.99, for later, the counter lady Jessica wanted me to try everything and she heaped it on. Purple rice, filet of sole, sauteed zucchini, tomato with egg and tofu, braised red cabbage and onion, soy sauce chicken drumstick, and stir-fry of Chinese celery and seaweed. This was more than enough for two meals.
So far, I've tried two kinds of frozen dumplings to cook at home. Lamb with chive shui jiao (50/$24) have a gamey intensity and medium-thick, chewy wrappers. Pork, shepherd's purse and shrimp hun tun (50/$21) are the large style, wrapped in classic wonton style, with firm wheat flour wrappers. I like both very much.
Jenny's Kitchen has a dizzying array of prepared foods on the counter tops, refrigerated and in the freezer, including some sweets. I'd love some recs for what to try next.
5175 Moorpark Ave, Ste 5
San Jose, CA 95129
Credit cards accepted for $20+