A little known Beijing delicacy


Amongst its many well-kept secrets, Beijing has one small delicacy that deserves to be better known : the spicy Beijing pancake ! You will find them in small 3-wheeler carts with an attendant. Under the cart is a stove that keeps a hot plate warm. Next to the hotplate is a small hole in which empty egg shells are thrown.


It all starts as a traditional pancake with one or two eggs added.


Next, the pancake is sprinkled with poppy seeds, painted with 2 or 3 liquid spices of unknown content and some thinly cut vegetables and/or onions.


Next, one of those rigid, dry and empty pancake lookalikes is added (as seen in the corner of the cart) and split into 3 pieces with a sharp paint remover. All of this is then folded into a neat pancake


As can be seen on the face of this delighted customer, the results is delicious (right from the first bite). Nice and warm for Beijing winters (and OK for summer as the author can testify), spicy but not too hot, this delicacy will only set you back 2 RMB (2.50 with 2 eggs) or approx. US$ 0.25. Smiles from local people who will discover you eating this pancake are included.


March 2001 Back to Trip page Beijing vehicles