Dan bing is a popular breakfast item in Taiwan. A thin crepe-like layer with eggs and an assortment of fillings to make this simple breakfast item fit for anyone. There are two main kinds of dan bing, one’s made with a pancake-like batter and the other with dough. This is the batter version, which is much softer and is more common at breakfast shops.
Breakfast is HUGE in Taiwan. There are breakfast joints everywhere you go, we used to wake up and tried to choose between 20 breakfast joints in our neighborhood. Some had the best Dan Bing; some had really tasty hash brown “tower”; some had bagel sandwiches. One thing that you can count on no matter which one you choose is that they will have Dan Bing.
Dan Bing(蛋餅), literally translates to EGG and “cake”. Cake is probably not the best translation for it, since “bing3餅” is usually flat, isn’t fluffy and can be savory or sweet.
The Evolution of Dan Bing
There are two main types of Dan Bing, one is made with dough the other’s made with batter. The one that’s made with dough resembles a tortilla wrap, the texture is crispier and denser. The recipe can be found here: Dan Bing with Cheese and Ham. The batter version is more commonly seen throughout southern Taiwan.
Back in the day when China and Taiwan were still at war and there wasn’t a lot of supply, adding an egg to Scallion Pancake to make it more nutritious became popular and that was the beginning of Dan Bing.
However, making a good dough-based Bing(餅) requires some skills, time and patience. Plus it takes more flour the create a dough, so Taiwanese came up with the idea of making a batter-based Bing. Batter-made bing doesn’t have quite the same texture and chew the dough, so to create that chewy texture people love, they added sweet potato starch to the batter.
This easy, and cheaper batter version became so popular it became the standard Dan Bing texture all around Taiwan.
What’s in a Dan Bing
Each breakfast joint would have their own version of Dan Bing filling, the more traditional options include- cheese, corn, ham, bacon, tuna, but there are also some really creative options out there. One of our favorites was “peanut butter sweet potato and cheese” Dan Bing, it was heavenly.
There are no rules when it comes to what goes in a Dan Bing. I’ve seen stinky tofu Dan Bing, ZongZi Dan Bing, and DongPo Pork DanBing! Get creative,
Photo showing our favorite- corn and cheese dan bing. (玉米起司蛋餅)
My Dan Bing Experiments
It took me a while to find the texture and proportion that works. I started with a flour-only version, it didn’t hold so well. I tried to use a flour + corn starch mixture, it broke too easily and it was too soft. After many many mornings of having dan bing for breakfast, I found my perfect mix!
All purpose flour + tapioca flour(or sweet potato starch) + egg + water. The texture is perfect, it doesn’t crack when you roll it and it’s got the bouncy-chew texture a dan bing would have!
Dan Bing Batter
- 1 C + 2TBsp Water
- 1 Egg
- 3/4 C All Purpose Flour
- 1/4 C Tapioca Flour
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 Sprigs of Spring Onions Chopped
Dan Bing Wrapper
- Mix all the ingredients together, it should resemble a batter that’s slightly thinner than a regular pancake batter.
- Heat up a wok or a pan, add 2 tsp of vegetable oil to prevent sticking.
- On medium heat, pour about 1/3C of batter into the pan or wok and swirl the wok in one direction as you pour to create a thin layer. About 2-3mm thick.
- Cook until the sides start to peel off the pan then flip and cook for another minute. It doesn’t have to be golden as you’ll cook it a bit more when you add the fillings.
- Repeat the process until you run out of batter. Makes about 6 8″ wrappers.
Making Dan Bing
- Heat up a wok or pan, add 2 tsp of vegetable oil. On medium-high heat, crack an egg into the wok and add a wrapper. Press with your spatula to evenly distribute the egg around the wrapper.
- Once the egg is cooked or stuck to the wrapper, flip it over then add your toppings! Corn, cheese, ham, bacon- make sure the filling is ready-to-eat, not raw.
- Roll the Dan Bing up and cut into bite size. Serve with plain soy sauce or vegan oyster sauce! (We like to grate some raw garlic into the vegan oyster sauce)
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