Jianbing (煎饼) have a longer history than almost any other Chinese street food, thought to have originated in the Shandong Province during the Three Kingdoms Period (220–280 AD). Today the savoury crisp-fried crêpes are one of China's most popular street breakfasts, and possibly one of China's best kept culinary secrets.

Ingredients (Makes three)

3 tbs millet flour

2 tbs bean flour

1 tbs all purpose flour

6 tbs soy milk

1.5 tsp vegetable oil

3 eggs

Dried chili flakes to taste or 3 tbs chili sauce

3 tbs soybean paste

Handful of freshly chopped scallions (green part)

Handful of freshly chopped cilantro

Three flat and crispy youtiao (adjust each piece to the size of your 'crêpe')


  1. Whisk together the millet, bean and all purpose flours, soy milk and vegetable oil until well combined (should be the consistency of whipping cream, add a splash of water if not thin enough).
  2. Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray and set over medium low heat.
  3. Pour 1/3 of the crêpe batter onto the skillet, and swirl until the entire skillet is evenly coated with a thin layer of the batter.
  4. Cook for two minutes, until set.
  5. Crack an egg over the crêpe, and gently break up the yolk, spreading the egg over the entire crêpe.
  6. Cook for two minutes, until set.
  7. Sprinkle the egg with chopped scallions and cilantro to taste.
  8. Let cook for an additional minute (until the white and yolk is set).
  9. Carefully, fold the 'crêpe' in half.
  10. Schmear 1 tbs of soybean paste and chili - or chili sauce - to preference onto the folded jianbing.
  11. Place a piece of youtiao into the center of the folded jianbing, fold the two sides of the jianbing inwards, then fold the jianbing in half again (fold it like you would a burrito).
  12. Slice in half and serve immediately.

Mànmànchī (慢慢吃) - eat slow! 

Recipe recommended by Holly Smith and adapted from CNN Travel. Photo from gpsmycity.