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Spring Pancakes (Chun Bing)
A fresh and delicious snack for the masses
作者:Joshua Samuel Brow… 文章来源:dragonsurf.com 点击数: 更新时间:2005-10-14

Eating spring pancakes (chun bing) is a customary way to "da chuntian" or celebrate the coming of spring. Spring pancakes are the low-budget vegetarian's version of Peking duck. The pancake is slightly thicker than those used for duck, and it is seasoned with not only savory brown sauce and spring onions, but also piled with any combination of a plentiful selection of stir-fried and marinated dishes, before being rolled up tight for spill-free eating.

The savory flavor of stir-fried spinach and eggs, bean sprouts with shredded green pepper, carrots and cilantro, red-braised tofu and pickled bamboo with celery and peppers all blend deliciously with the slightly sweet pancake and tangy sauce. For those who don't require a vegetarian's sublimated sustenance, meaty fillings include stir-fried leeks and squid, sweet-and-sour pork with tofu skin and salty vegetables with red-braised beef. These are the dishes that most Beijingers grew up on, and many natives of the Northern Capital break into a nostalgic grin at the thought of wrapping up a chunbing. But surprisingly enough, this classic springtime specialty is not easy to find in Beijing.

The best place to eat chunbing is a street in Fangzhuang, not far south of Jianguomenwai, known to locals as chunbing street. Several chunbing restaurants line the street, all with spring-green awnings. The best of the lot is Rui Yun Chun Bing Dian. "Rui Yun" or Lucky Cloud is easy to pick out because the crowds of customers make it difficult to get a Eating spring pancakes (chun bing) is a customary way to "da chuntian" or celebrate the coming of spring. Spring pancakes are the low-budget vegetarian's version of Peking duck. The pancake is slightly thicker than those used for duck, and it is seasoned with not only savory brown sauce and spring onions, but also piled with any combination of a plentiful selection of stir-fried and marinated dishes, before being rolled up tight for spill-free eating.

The savory flavor of stir-fried spinach and eggs, bean sprouts with shredded green pepper, carrots and cilantro, red-braised tofu and pickled bamboo with celery and peppers all blend deliciously with the slightly sweet pancake and tangy sauce. For those who don't require a vegetarian's sublimated sustenance, meaty fillings include stir-fried leeks and squid, sweet-and-sour pork with tofu skin and salty vegetables with red-braised beef. These are the dishes that most Beijingers grew up on, and many natives of the Northern Capital break into a nostalgic grin at the thought of wrapping up a chunbing. But surprisingly enough, this classic springtime specialty is not easy to find in Beijing.

 

The best place to eat chunbing is a street in Fangzhuang, not far south of Jianguomenwai, known to locals as chunbing street. Several chunbing restaurants line the street, all with spring-green awnings. The best of the lot is Rui Yun Chun Bing Dian. "Rui Yun" or Lucky Cloud is easy to pick out because the crowds of customers make it difficult to get a table before 2 p.m. The place is full of blue suits, not just the kind worn by people who drive Santana and carry mobile phones, but the kind known as "zhongshanzhuang" or Mao suits.

Rui Yun is modestly-priced, and decorated only with photos of the owners' favorite race cars and drivers, but it lives up to the culinary standards that longtime chunbing connoisseurs expect. One such octogenarian man-wearing a blue suit and thick, horn-rimmed glasses - is quick to point out that chunbing was a real treat back in the '20s when there weren't so many restaurants and good food was hard to come by. "We used to make it at home, but the ingredients were so expensive for us back then that we only made it on special holidays," the old-timer says. "Nowadays, spring pancakes are hard to find because it is traditional Beijing food, it isn't fashionable like dishes in fancy Sichuan and Hunan restaurants."

 

Rui Yun's made-to order-pancakes and their succulent, deep-fried freshwater shrimp rival those of any fancy restaurant. Delicately sweet shrimp are a perfect crispy companion to the fresh veggies that make a rolled-up chunbing complete. Accompanied by a bowl of corn meal porridge, or cold dishes like bitter melon and boiled pork elbows, chunbing makes a well-rounded meal that is a nice break from rice and noodles. Rui Yun also makes a good range of other home-style Chinese dishes, but go for the chunbing. There is a pancake filling to suit all tastes, and a meal there will give you a taste not of Changsha or Chongqing, but of the place where you actually live - Beijing.

RUI YUN CHUN BING RESTAURANT
12 Pufang Street, Fangzhuang
Tel: 6765-6242
Hours: 11 am - 11 pm
Food: ****
Amibience: *
Service: **
Cost: ?/b>

 
 

文章录入:黄立嘉    责任编辑:左长谊 
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