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A classic and delicious Taiwanese breakfast food and snack, dan bing is made by cooking a whisked, lightly seasoned egg directly onto a thin crepe/pancake batter. It’s a little crispy on the outside, soft and a bit chewy on the inside, and you can customize it with a wide range of fillings.
Read through the “Notes” section at the end, to choose your fillings and to see the instructions on how to incorporate them into your dan bing.
Set the batter aside while you prepare the eggs and any fillings.
For a portable option, consider adding the sauce to the inside of the dan bing during thecooking stage, then roll everything up and take it to go, burrito- style.
Taiwanese soy paste is a thick, slightly sweet soy sauce. Kimlan is a popular and easy-to-find brand at most Chinese grocery stores. You can also use oyster sauce, or another salty/sweet soy-based sauce/condiment.
Sweet chili sauce is a Taiwanese sauce made with tomatoes and chilies. As the name suggests, it’s sweet and a little spicy. Look for it in Taiwanese grocery stores or online. You can substitute any spicy/sweet sauce you like, or use a more chili-forward hot sauce like sriracha.
Japanese mayo is mayonnaise made with more egg yolks and rice vinegar. It’s generally easy to find at Asian grocery stores, and can be found at many general grocery stores as well. If you can’t find Japanese mayo, you can use a regular Western brand.
When it comes to filling and topping dan bing, the possibilities are virtually endless. The following are four variations I particularly enjoy, but feel free to explore your own ideas.
In all cases, the quantities you need for fillings are pretty loose and open to interpretation. Don’t over-stuff your dan bing, but beyond that, just go with your gut.
Pork floss (rousong – 肉鬆), scallions, Taiwanese soy paste, chili sauce (optional).
Note that pork floss is usually easy to find at most Chinese and Pan-Asian grocery stores. Some stores will also carry fish or chicken versions, and even excellent vegetarian substitutes made from burdock. Sprinkle a bit of everything into the center of the dan bing. These ingredients don’t need to heat up much, so you don’t need to leave them long before removing the dan bing from the pan.
Ham, Corn & Cheese
Ham, cheddar cheese, corn, Japanese mayo.
Add cheese first so it starts to melt, then add ham, corn, and a bit more cheese. Let the cheese melt, then roll everything up and add Japanese mayo. Sweet chili sauce can be nice with this one too.
Nori & Mozzarella
Nori seaweed, mozzarella cheese, cilantro/parsley, Japanese mayo.
Add cheese first so it starts to melt, then cover with nori, cilantro/parsley, and a bit more cheese. Let the cheese melt to your liking, then roll up and add Japanese mayo.
Chinese Donut (Youtiao – 油條)
Pork floss (rousong – 肉鬆), scallions/cilantro/parsley, Chinese donut (youtiao), Taiwanese soy paste, chili sauce (optional).
More or less similar to the Classic variation, but with the added youtiao. Consider adding at least some of the sauce to the inside and/or cooking the egg a bit less so that the youtiao can soak up some of the flavours. As with the classic variation, the fillings don’t need to heat up much before rolling up and serving.
If you have a scale, I highly recommend using the weight-based measurements for the flour and starch provided (click the Metric button below the ingredients list to see this). I used 3/4 cup, scooped gently from the bag of flour in 1/4 increments and leveled off. This came in at ~130 grams (4.6 oz) on my home scale. Most standard volume-to-weight conversions will tell you that 1 cup of flour should weigh 120 grams – so you can see the problem here. If you have no choice but to use volumes, I suggest scooping the flour in the same fashion. Be prepared to adjust your quantities a bit to get the desired batter consistency.
Tapioca Starch Alternatives
If you don’t have tapioca starch (aka tapioca flour), you can use an equal volume of sweet potato flour. You can also use corn starch, but I would suggest using slightly less, as it tends to absorb liquid more readily than tapioca starch.
Scallions (Green Onions)
I prefer to add the scallion greens to the batter so that they can cook in the pancake itself, but some people prefer to add them to the egg mixture. You can also add them as a filling in the dan bing, or omit them entirely if you’re not into onions. Chinese (garlic) chives can also be substituted for scallion greens.