Watching a chef deftly handle flipping a large, ultra-thin pancake on a heated flat grill helped Pancake King catch my attention at the Taiwan Night Markets. Beyond Chinese pancakes, this permanent stall also sells a mysterious collection of spicy sticks sitting in liquid… but for me it was all about eating something made freshly, right before my eyes.
Pancake King’s Chinese pancakes are called jianbing. They’re actually more like crepes, with the heavy, circular grill spread with batter and raked with a wooden paddle to ensure uniform thinness.
The chef then cracks an egg onto it, breaking the yolk and spreading it around with a scattering of fresh shallots.
After expertly flipping the pancake, the chef squirts it with three mysterious sauces. I’m sure one is hoisin, the second is a Chinese chilli sauce, while the third seemed like a salty soybean sauce. Smoothing this three-sauce blend all over the crepe, much like a pizza chef would cover a pizza with sauce, the chef then applies a crunchy layer of fried wonton skins and a scattering of fresh coriander.
Flipping up one edge of the crepe creates room to fry off a sausage, which is then folded into your Chinese Pancake ($8.50).
It’s a texturally rich, savoury mouthful that is easy to eat on the run; so it’s easy to understand why jianbing are the number one Chinese street-food choice at breakfast time.
GET THE FULL TAIWAN NIGHT MARKETS STORY: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6
Taiwan Night Market,
Shop 10, 178-182 Rowe Street, Eastwood
Ph: (02) 9267 7612