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Jian bing guo zi – the jian bing with a doughnut filling

2012 April 29

Cross-section of jian bing guo zi 煎饼馃子

Last Sunday, I went in search of some of the only jian bing to be found in the bay area. I headed down to Everyday Beijing in San Mateo with Lao Bu, the second of our bay area Chinese food pilgrimages; the other was to Old Mandarin in Outer Sunset. Both restaurants have the characteristics of a really authentic Chinese restaurant vibes: brisk service, flimsy curtain over the kitchen entrance, crowded tables, etc. The laoban at Everyday Beijing asked if I had a Chinese name; I promptly pointed to my 牛B button, and that is what he proceeded to call me for the rest of the meal. As we left, he exclaimed, “谢谢你牛B!” The true reason for this southern journey was to try Everyday Beijing’s jian bing. Their jian bing is actually “jian bing guo zi” (煎饼馃子) which is a jian bing that has a doughnut filling (油条, you tiao) instead of a crispy “fritter” or fried wonton wrapper filling (薄脆, bao cui). The doughnut results in a very different jian bing experience, and one I rarely had in Beijing. Readers: is jian bing guo zi common in Beijing because I did not see it much? The jian bing guo zi is, as you can imagine, very doughy and, while delicious, just not the same texture as having that delightful crisp of the fritter. Long live the crispy fritter!

  • Tim

    I think of 煎饼果子 as a Tianjin-style jianbing

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  • Will Lee

    煎饼果子 I’ve not seen it serviced in Beijing. The regular 煎饼 is common place.

  • satkomuni

    I have only seen 薄脆 style in Beijing, and only ever had the 油条 version 17 years ago, in Nanjing (and I think other non-Beijing county-level cities, though in the past couple years they’ve cameoed in trendy restaurants), but the people who made them displayed such skill, and 先入为主, so to this day the 薄脆 version still seems like a kind of knock-off. They used a spherically convex griddle instead of the flat one we see everywhere now, and instead of a paint chipper and a puddle-jumper, they used just a pair of long chopsticks. They weren’t much more chewy than the 薄脆 ones; it was a drier 油条. Nostalgia doesn’t prevent avidly consuming either version and buying a little puddle-jumper/crepe spreader to make my own, though.

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