FridayPhile: Beijing Street Food – Part II

I love food, and I love Beijing – so you can guess how I feel about Beijing street food. This unique cuisine is the product of entrepreneurial vendors modifying time-tested local recipes to create the Beijing equivalent of fast food.

This week’s treat is a greasy wok-fried onion & leek cake which sells for  ¥1 (which at current exchange rates is about 15¢ CDN). Notice the curled knuckle kneading action the guy uses to form the patty. When fried, the dough forms into a substantial cake with a philo-like texture. The green is a mixture of chopped green onions and leeks (I think) along with one other green vegetable, the name of which escapes me. His stove is the bottom of an oil drum modified into a curved griddle to contain a small pool of oil in the middle. While this food looks like it might be really greasy, it’s actually quite light and flavourful – with most of the oil staying outside the cake. It has a delicious buttery flavour with a nice vegetable tang – but watch your fingers, it’s really HOT (hence the newspaper scrap provided to hold it)! By the way, WuDaoKou (五道口) is the name of the neighbourhood – it means five roads opening, or the meeting place of five roads.

This tasty morsel is more recipe than technique, but still a great, hot, cheap snack! 好吃!(delicious!)

Onion Cakes – This is where the Onion Cakes were made, about a block West of my apartment.  (by the way, you’ll need the Google Earth plug-in for your browser if you want to click on the “Earth” view… i find it sometimes crashes browsers, so beware!)

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2 Responses

  1. Norm says:

    Choong yao bing. Love them. And hao ri.

    It’s never quite the same when I try to make them at home. :-p

  2. zac says:

    My Beijing friends tell me that this is a local Beijing snack called XianBing, but quite similar to Choong Yao Bing… nevertheless… hao chi!

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