What Is A Chinese Jianbing?

If you are in China, one of the breakfasts you will likely come across on the streets is jianbing. This popular breakfast is now available in other Western regions like New York, London, and Dubai. Many people love it due to its delicious taste and crispy texture. Here is everything you should know regarding jianbing before ordering it.

What is jianbing guozi

tianjin jianbing

This is a form of bing that people eat for breakfast on their way to work or school. While some people call it jianbing, others refer to it as jianbing guozi due to the youtiao stuffing. Jianbing guozi is the common name used to refer to Jianbing from Tianjin.

This fresh food is not pre-cooked. The street vendors prepare it in front of customers. The crepe-like breakfast contains chili paste, sweet sauce, fried wonton wrapper, herbs, and eggs. The common sauce used to make jianbing is called bocui. Before serving, the vendors fold it a couple of times.

Jianbing is cooked on a circular iron grill. You will love the multilayer flavor of this breakfast. People are always queuing for this breakfast, and you may have to wait in line for your turn to be served. Waiting for this breakfast in line is also part of Chinese culture.

Since it is prepared as you watch, you can always see all the raw ingredients that the vendors use to make it and even learn how to prepare it at home. This breakfast item is not only delicious but also nutritious. This is because it can be made of ingredients like soybeans, black beans, peanuts, meat, and vegetables,

Jianbing history

Like most Chinese street foods, jianbing has a long history. It is believed to have originated in Shandong Province between 220 and 280 AD. In this province, pancakes, pies, and flatbreads are staple foods.

The first people to prepare this breakfast were the soldiers of Zhuge Liang, who was a military strategist. They started cooking it after losing their jobs. Zhuge Liang told the cooks to mix wheat flour and water and then spread it on copper griddles over a fire. When the soldiers ate the dish, they became energetic and even won the battle.

People in the province started cooking jianbing after this. The practice of cooking jianbing soon spread to other parts of the country, and other countries even embraced it. Cooking utensils that were unearthed in different eras prove that people cooked pancakes in the past.

Jianbing recipe

shan dong jian bing

If you don’t have sufficient time to wait in line for Jianbing, you can try making it at home. You will need wheat, multigrain flour, eggs, crackers, wonton wrappers, coriander, baking soda, scallions, spicy sauces, oil, and water. Though many people use wheat in making Jianbing, you can also make it from other grains like sorghum or corn.

Apart from the ingredients, you also need equipment like a large non-stick frying pan, metal spatula, and lid. You don’t require any special tools to prepare this breakfast. Ensure you get non-stick cooking spray since it can make cooking this breakfast easy. Preparing this breakfast food should only take you a few minutes as long as you have gathered everything you need.

How to make Jianbing

You can start preparing Jianbing by frying the crackers. Get the wonton wrappers and stick them with some water. If your saucepan is not that big, you should then deep fry them with a little bit of oil until they turn lightly golden.

Get the all-purpose flour, multigrain flour, and baking soda, mix it with water to form a thin batter, and then transfer it into a frying pan. The pan should be hot and greased with the non-stick cooking spray to prevent the dough from sticking. The batter should be made thin so that it flows into a circle on its own.

Once you do this, you should spread the dough using a paddle until you get a thick consistency. Next, crack an egg on it and spread it using the back of the spoon. You can then scatter scallions and sesame seeds on it. Use a metal spatula to scrape under it so that it does not stick. Wait for the crepe to become firm enough before folding it in half. You can also flip the crepe using a lid to prevent it from tearing.

After this, add any sauce you prefer, such as hoisin sauce or chili sauce, and add some lettuce leaves and coriander. Feel free to top the Jianbing with some crispy crackers, then fold it. You can now enjoy this delicacy. You should consume it immediately so that it does not lose its crispiness.

Dan bing vs. jianbing

Dan bing

Though these two are both breakfast items that many people enjoy, they are not the same. One of the key differences between them is their origin. While Jianbing is a traditional Chinese breakfast, Dan Bing is a traditional Taiwanese food. These two also differ in that Dan Bing is grain free, keto, and lower in carbs.

The texture of a Dan Bing is also softer compared to that of a Jianbing. While Jianbing has a crunchy texture, Dan bing has a bouncier texture. Due to the difference in texture, a Chinese Jianbing is best consumed immediately after preparation.

You can, however, have a Dan Bing hours after making it. For instance, you can take it as an afternoon snack even if you made it in the morning. This crepe is also freezer-friendly. Many people also prefer the appearance of Chinese Jianbing to that of Dan bing since it looks quite yummy.


If you are looking for a low-cost breakfast item in China that you can have on the go, you should consider Jianbing. This street food is easy to access, and it is quite delicious. You can even request a street vendor to top your Jianbing with the fillings that you prefer. The freedom to make it with different ingredients makes it easy to satisfy the tastes of different customers.

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