So a few years ago I was living in the Luwan district of Shanghai, just a couple blocks from the Xintiandi shopping center. On the way to work I’d stop for a 煎餅, which is many things to many people, but to me it was an herby omelet built into a crepe with a fried wonton surprise crunch in the middle. We all get addicted to these in Shanghai. It’s three kuai for the standard; I always got two eggs, so it was four kuai for me; thats USD 65 cents.
The whole process took about two minutes. I made a video of it, back in 2008, a video that is now horribly dated, with it’s default font, it’s belabored introduction, and factual inaccuracies. Anyway, here is that video .
So after a few tweets and one particularly sunny sick day I found my way to the Bing of Fire 煎餅 cart and ordered my usual; two eggs extra spicy. I should say that before she opened, there was a line of Chinese students ready for their bing. Jianbingera Ms. A recognized me from the old eye exercise video, and greeted me with a sunny “Hi JP!”
So my verdict? It was really good! A pretty good taste of one of the things I liked about China. Ms. A the jianbingera warned me it wouldn’t be the same as I remembered, which… of course; even in Shanghai each jianbingero makes it different. I was actually stunned by how authentic it tasted. The one twist that she had, was that she flipped the crepe egg-side-out, which made a crispier egg-sperience, rather than the creamy-interior herb omelet I remember from the non-flipped bing I used to eat.
From what I observed, her cart is really popular and sells out quickly. I’m pretty amazed at what an authentic experience it was. The one thing I wondered was if she was going to serve the bing in a plastic baggy, but of course she didn’t… Bing of Fire bing are served in environmentally friendly little paper baggies, which I find more appetizing to begin with.