What is Shaobing?- A Type Of Chinese Flatbread

One of the most popular items in Chinese breakfast cuisine is the Shaobing, also known as a huoshao. Due to the Shaobing versatility and delicious taste and flavors, it has gained popularity even outside the Chinese culture too. If you’re interested in learning more about the Shaobing, including its history, taste, and how it’s prepared, keep reading.

What is a Chinese bing?

Shaobing
Shaobing

A Chinese bing is a disk-shaped Chinese food prepared with wheat flour that looks like pancakes or flatbreads. A shaobing is a kind of Chinese bing commonly eaten during breakfast with tea or soy milk. Chinese Shaobing is usually stuffed with fillings like tofu, pork, steamed eggs, stir-fried mung beans, red bean paste, or black sesame paste.

Shao bing history

When was Shao bing invented?

chinese flatbread

Shao bing was invented during the Han Dynasty between 206 B.C. and 220 AD and was initially referred to as “hubing.” Shao bing exists in three varieties; magao Shao bing, huangqiao Shao bing, and zhoucun Shao bing. During this time, it was believed that Shao bing is popular in northern China than in southern China.

Who invented Shao bing?

According to Chinese legends, Shao bing was introduced by General Ban Chao during the Han Dynasty. Historians believe that Chinese Shao bing is closely related to the naan from Central Asia and Persian.

How to make Shao bing

To prepare Shao bing, you require the following ingredients;

For the dough;

  • Light soy sauce (for brushing)
  • Sesame oil
  • 2 cups of all-purpose wheat flour
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of yeast
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

For the sauce;

  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorn
  •  2 tablespoons sesame paste
  • 1 ½ tablespoon sesame oil

Directions:

  1. To prepare, mix the flour and salt until perfectly combined.
  2. Mix the sugar and yeast with warm water, then combine the mixture with the salted flour. Proceed to knead the flour until it’s smooth. Let the dough rise.
  3. Under the lowest heat possible, toast the Sichuan peppercorn, then after letting them cool, ground them.
  4. Spread sesame oil on the operating board and roll a bit of the dough into a rectangular shape, then add Sichuan peppercorn powder and the mixed sauce.
  5. Roll the dough into round balls.
  6. Brush each bun with soy sauce, then lightly but firmly press the Shao bing into a bowl of sesame seeds.
  7. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius and toss the Shao bing into the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

What does a Shao bing taste like?

huoshao

Shao bings are sweet, salty, and crispy, with a strong sesame flavor. The oval shao bings are typically the most preferred as they don’t have as much sugar, whereas the small round shao bings are the sweetest. Also, note that the flavor will also vary depending on the type of filling your Shao bing has.  

Conclusion

Shao bings are a versatile and delicious breakfast item, loved for their taste and flavor. They are typically bread but with a twist of fillings and sesame seed coating. Thanks to the Chinese people during the Han Dynasty, the world can now indulge in this food/snack.

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