Danbing (蛋餅) are one of my favourite Taiwanese breakfast snacks. They are basically a thin, spring onion flavoured crepe pastry fried with an egg but their simplicity belies their addictiveness. Once you know where to look, you can find small hole-in-the-wall breakfast outlets selling danbing nearly everywhere in Taiwan. But you don’t have to go out to enjoy danbing. You can buy frozen crepes to have on hand when the brunch rumblings start. But thanks to Ivy from Ivy’s Kitchen who generously shared her recipe with me, I have recently learnt how to make them from scratch. Make them as needed, or else make them in advance, lightly ‘dry fry’ in a heavy-based frypan and freeze between layers of greaseproof paper or plastic.
300g all purpose/plain flour (in Taiwan they use ‘medium’ flour)
1 cup not quite boiling hot water, about 70 degree celcius
1 tablespoon vegetable cooking oil
1/2 a cup finely chopped spring onion, preferably the green leafy part
Vegetable cooking oil
Pinch of salt
- Place flour in a large bowl, pour the hot water and quickly stir with a fork until evenly blended. (The hot water will ‘cook’ the gluten, making the dough less elastic and easier to work with.)
- Add the oil, and knead the dough on a floured bench top until it is soft and pliant. When ready, the dough will be soft like play-dough. (Ivy adds that the dough should have ‘three cleans’ – ‘clean’ on hands, table and dough, i.e. no stickiness or excess flour.) Cover with a damp cloth or glad wrap and let rest for at least 20 minutes or preferably longer.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Flatten each piece of dough into a disc and roll into circles of 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. You may need to sprinkle a little flour onto the bench top and rolling pin.
- Brush a little oil on the bench top, and place one 6 inch dough disc on top. Sprinkle a generous spoon of spring onion and salt over the disc, and cover with another piece of dough disc. Roll the two layers of dough into a larger disc, around 10 inches. Brush more oil onto the surface if the dough sticks while rolling.
5. Heat half a teaspoon of oil in a fry pan, and pan-fry the crepe until puffs. Flip it over and pan-fry the other side until golden and puffy. Set aside on a serving plate.
6. Heat another 1/2 teaspoon of oil into the frypan, beat an egg and pour over the pan. Before the egg has set, quickly cover with a cooked crepe and fry until the egg has set and the crepe begins to puff. Flip over and lightly cook on the other side, then roll up the crepe up like a swiss roll. Remove from the fry pan and cut into slices. Serve with soy-sauce or enjoy as is.
Recipe makes six danbing