Monday, March 24, 2014

Dan Bing (Taiwanese Egg Crepe)

I've been traveling for work a lot recently, and while I definitely can't complain about being able to expense all my meals, sometimes I just want something simple.  Comforting.  That I made myself.  This morning I woke up and had a craving for dan bing, a Taiwanese breakfast dish that's basically a thin crepe with an egg on top.  I used to buy it all the time from street vendors when I lived in Taiwan, but I'd never tried to make it myself. 

A quick Google search brought me to this translation of a Taiwanese recipe.  I took one of the commenter's suggestion and added some sesame oil to the egg mixture.  It's a good thing the recipe was for 3 crepes because I needed 3 tries to get a good one.

On my first try, when I tried to flip the crepe, it was so soft that it just collapsed into a sticky mess on the pan.  The second time, instead of trying to flip with a spatula, I just dumped the crepe upside-down onto a plate and then slid it back onto the pan.  It worked well enough but then I ended up overcooking the crepe so that it was too hard to roll up without cracking (above left).  Finally, on the third try, I ended up with a pretty decent looking and tasting dan bing!

Dan Bing (Taiwanese Egg Crepe)
makes 3 crepes

1/2 cup bread flour
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup water
3 eggs
3/4 teaspoon sesame oil
3 heaping tablespoons chopped scallions
Soy paste and sweet chili sauce (optional)

Mix the bread flour and corn starch together in a small mixing bowl.  Add the water and a pinch of salt and mix well.  Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.

For each crepe, beat 1 egg with 1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of water, a pinch of salt, and a heaping tablespoon of chopped scallions.

Start heating a non-stick pan on medium heat and lightly oil.  Once the pan is hot, stir the batter again (it may have separated slightly) and add a third of the batter (about 1/2 cup) to the pan.  Swirl the pan around to coat the bottom with a thin layer.  Cook the crepe until the top is set and the edges pull easily away from the pan.  Flip the crepe onto a plate and slide the crepe back onto the pan, cooked side up.

Pour the egg mixture on top of the crepe, and carefully spread it out with a spatula.  Try not to have any of the egg go over the edge of the crepe if possible.

Continue cooking until the egg is mostly set and then flip (the crepe will be sturdy enough to flip with a spatula now).  Cook for 10-20 seconds and then flip the crepe egg side up onto a plate or cutting board.

Quickly roll the crepe into a long, rectangular roll.

Cut into sections and serve hot with soy paste and/or sweet chili sauce.

Soy paste and sweet chili sauce are the more traditional sauces, but you can also try oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, or even ketchup.  You can also eat this on the go by spreading the sauce on the egg before you roll it up and eating it like a wrap or burrito.  Feel free to try different fillings in the egg mixture (e.g. chopped ham, crumbled bacon, corn) or on top of the cooked egg before rolling it up (e.g. shredded cheese, rou song [pork floss], cilantro), but I wouldn't put too much in because you want to make sure you can still roll it up easily.

Next:  Nutella Mini Crepe Cakes
Previously:  Miso-Glazed Eggplant
Four Years Ago:  Duck Fat French Fries with Rosemary, Maldon Salt, and Truffle Oil
Five Years Ago:  Cincinnati Chili


  1. i cant wait to try this! thanks for the recipe!

  2. When I visited Taiwan this summer, my hosts gave me dan bing for breakfast, and I was instantly hooked. I've been meaning to make this for a while, and finally got around to it this morning. I got the hang of the flipping process (thanks for the suggestions) on the third try, and happily devoured slices of dan bing sprinkled with sriracha and soy sauce. I even made a ham and cheese crepe using the batter for my egg-hating brother. I plan to make this regularly in the future. Thanks for posting this recipe!

    1. You're welcome! Glad it worked out for you!

  3. Hello Joy! Thanks for posting this; it's really nice to read this recipe in a slightly different way than I'm used to (my mother's from Taiwan). Personally, I like to mix the spring onion with corn and either dried fish or dried pork. More new ideas to try out, in particular your way of flipping is very creative; thanks again!

    1. Thanks! Do you by any chance have a recipe for zhua bing ( I've been trying a few, but I haven't come up with anything close to what I remember from Taiwan yet.

    2. Sorry, I'm afraid I don't. However, I'll let you know if I do find a good one - for now I'm just a beginner cook (who isn't doing too bad), who's had the privilige of enjoying her mother's food before going to university!

      Of the food blogs I've seen so far, yours is my favourite. If it isn't too much to ask, could you offer any criticism on the food blog I've just started? Thanks very much!

    3. Hi Kyna! I took a look at your blog and will e-mail you directly. It's always great to "meet" new food blogging friends. =)

  4. thanks joy! im goin to make this for breakfast tomoro! thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  5. I woke up this morning with an absolute craving for Dan Bing. I haven't been to Taiwan in over 10 years, and finally decided to hunt down a recipe. Thanks so much for posting this. Delicious!

    1. You're welcome! I can totally relate to craving this for breakfast!

  6. Love the recipe! Was in Taiwan a few years ago and couldn't get enough of these. This is by far the closest recipe I've seen to the product itself.

    A couple of questions/comments:

    I'm having a little trouble getting the crepe exactly the right consistency. My first few came out a little sticky (still delicious), and when I cooked them until they weren't sticky anymore, I had trouble rolling them. Tips? I was going to try removing a half T of cornstarch next time I made them.

    Also, one of my favorite memories of the dan bing process at Taiwanese street carts was the slapping - crack an egg, throw the crepe on top, and slap with a spatula until spread out on the bottom. I tried that and it went pretty well - cracked an egg, threw a little sesame oil and the scallions on top, and smashed the crepe on top of the egg with the spatula. Is that more authentic? Or just a byproduct of the particular vendors I went to?

    1. As I recall, I ran into the same issue with the texture, and I think it was just finding the sweet spot of cooking it until it was *just* not sticky but still malleable. Let me know if removing the cornstarch helps!

      As for the egg slapping process, that's awesome if you can pull it off! Not sure if it's more "authentic" or not; it's probably just time saving but done so much I'd consider it authentic. =)

  7. Thanks for this recipe, I also know this from my stay in Taiwan as a breakfast dish. I have two questions:
    Actually, the breakfast shop where I was used to go to every morning, did not sell this "normal" type of egg crepe as yours. The crepe I had (which I liked slightly more - maybe just because of habit) was completely green in color and it had the scallions in it (in the dough). Furthermore, it was slightly thicker than yours. I don't know the chinese characters for that, but I called it cong dua bing. It also came with egg and ham or tuna or cheese. Do you think you can help me finding a recipe for that? If you dont know what kind of crepe I mean, I could send you a photo. :)
    Once I tried a recipe called "scallion pancake" or similar, not the same, but like this:

    But the result was not smooth enough and to much layered.

    The second question I have ;)
    I dont know if that depends on the area you live in Taiwan, but I was in Kaohsiung and in many street restaurants, as in the breakfast restaurants, they did not have the common soy sauce, which is pretty thin and salty, but they had a thicker, sweet soy sauce, light in color. Somehow, no matter how good the crepe is, it is not the same without this sauce. Do you have any suggestion about which one to buy (brand) or any idea about the name of that soy sauce?
    At weekend I the asia shop recommended me to buy this one

    but I did not try yet.

    Thanks so much!
    And by the way, to me taiwanese food is the most delicious food I ever had! Since I know some authentic receipes, I rarely cook german food anymore.

    1. I don't think I'm familiar with the green crepe that you're talking about, sorry!

      Regarding your 2nd question, I think soy paste might be what you're referring to. It's thicker and sweeter than soy sauce, and it's what I use on dan bing. It looks like this:

  8. Hi there - really like your recipe, I think it's great! When I was surveying a couple of recipes, I found a blog that was using your words, word for word in some cases. Thought you'd like to know.