It’s World Jianbing Day. Here’s How to Celebrate in Shanghai

By That's Shanghai, April 30, 2020

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Did you know that today (April 30) is World Jianbing Day? Yep, it’s a thing.

Founded by the fine foodies at Shanghai’s very own UnTour Food Tours, World Jianbing Day celebrates all things jianbing. 

It’'s World Jianbing Day. Here’s How to Celebrate in Shanghai
Flyer courtesy of UnTour Food Tours

Here’s a handy overview of the big day from UnTour Chief Eating Officer, Jamie Barys:

World Jianbing Day is an annual event founded by UnTour Food Tours in 2019. The team at UnTour wanted to spread the love of jianbing around the world and celebrate its many forms. From the original found streetside to the modern and fusion jianbings that you can now find globally, we love them all!

Jianbing is a savory traditional Chinese ‘crepe’ (but really isn’t a crepe just a French jianbing?) with a fried egg and other fillings that is traditionally found streetside. Its origins can be traced to Tianjin and Shandong province, but it is loved around China and now, more than ever, around the world.

According to legends, jianbing was invented nearly 2,000 years ago during the Three Kingdoms period (220-280) by Zhuge Liang, a military strategist who was coincidentally the same guy who invented the mantou! He also supposedly invented landmines, so, I mean, he had his faults but culinary skills were ace. 

Anyway, Zhuge Liang was faced with feeding an army of soldiers who’d lost their woks after a quick retreat, so ordered the cooks to evenly mix water with wheat flour and spread the dough onto a shield suspended over a fire. 

The dish lifted his soldiers’ morale and they fought their way out of an ambush. Take that story with a grain of salt (like most Chinese food histories) but I tell you, I’d fight someone for a good jianbing.

Now that you’re up to speed on this fabulous holiday, we’re sure you’re hankering for a jianbing right about now. Here’s what UnTour has planned for the second annual World Jianbing Day.

1. Shanghai’s Only Jianbing Cooking Class

Jianbing Cooking Class
Image courtesy of UnTour Food Tours

We hereby proclaim 2020 is the year of the “Quaranbing,” which means it’s time to put your jianbing prepping skills to the test. UnTour is hosting jianbing-making classes. Today’s class has already sold out, but you can still book a spot for the May 3 class. Space is limited to six spots per class. Price is RMB390 per person, and guests get a 25% discount on jianbing swag (more on that below).

Click here to book your spot now. 

2. Eat Jianbing at Participating Restaurants

Maybe you were lucky enough to try the Homeslice jianbing pizza last year? Well, it’s back, along with eight other limited-time special themed dishes created specially for World Jianbing Day. Scroll down below for a list of participating Shanghai restaurants.

3. Jianbing Swag

The Jianbing Making Kit

It’'s World Jianbing Day. Here’s How to Celebrate in Shanghai
Image courtesy of UnTour Food Tours

Want to turn your favorite street food into homecooked brunch? UnTours’ Jianbing Making Kit (RMB350) includes everything you need to make your own jianbing at home, as well as the Original Jianbing Blanket – the perfect after dinner treat as you can be the wrap up in the jianbing blanket on the couch after you’ve flipped your way through dinner!

The kit includes a griddle, jianbing making accoutrement (spatula, spreader, brush and scraper), recipe, dry ingredients (including four types of flour and baking soda), sauces (sweet bean paste and chili oil) and the Jianbing Blanket.

Order it here.

The O.G. Jianbing Blanket

Jianbing Blanket
Image courtesy of UnTour Food Tours

You haven’t really experienced quarantine until you’ve become the cuipi in your very own Jianbing Blanket (RMB350). The blanket is perfect for lounging on the couch, turning heads at a picnic, tanning on the beach, impressing your hipster friends with your street food knowledge, long nights in front of the fireplace with your partner in crime and so much more.

Order yours here.

4. Jianbing Photo Competition

Jianbing Photo Competition
Image courtesy of UnTour Food Tours

UnTour Food Tours is giving away one Jianbing Making Kit that includes everything you need to make jianbing at home. You’ll also get the O.G. Jianbing Blanket and a digital cookbook. To enter the competition, simply share a post and tag #worldjianbingday and @UnTourFoodTours on Instagram or Facebook. Whether it’s a throwback photo of your favorite jianbing or an attempt at #quaranbing cooking, UnTours wants to see your jianbing snaps!


Now, as promised, here are a few venues around town that are offering special jianbing-themed menu items for this special occasion:

Bird

Jianbing Day
Image courtesy of UnTour Food Tours

Bird has prepared two jianbing-inspired dishes: roasted pork neck served with garlic sprouts, northern-style laobing with roast chili mojo (RMB88) and pork belly vindaloo served with kaffir leaf and Vietnamese-style bahn xeo (RMB128). Both items are only available for dinner.

Bird, 50 Wuyuan Lu, by Changshu Lu 五原路50号, 近常熟路

Egg

World Jianbing Day
Image courtesy of UnTour Food Tours

Egg is serving up jianbing French toast, available all day long. This triple-stack white toast is dipped in an eggy cream batter and topped with French-style ham, roasted peanuts, Zhacai pickles, crispy wafer, tianmianjiang, cilantro, scallions, a fried egg and housemade chili oil with a lettuce salad on the side. It’s RMB60 with ham and RMB45 for the vegetarian option.

Egg, 12 Xiangyang Bei Lu, by Changle Lu 襄阳北路12号, 近长乐路

Heritage by Madison

Head over to Heritage by Madison for Shanghai 'fuerdai’ luxe jianbing, featuring a multigrain chive crepe wrapped around a salad of crabmeat, creme fraiche and fine herbs. That comes topped with sourdough bread tuile and finished with an obscene dollop of sturgeon caviar. Decadent! It’s RMB888 (yep, you read that right) and is available all week long from April 30 until May 7, in case you want to try it over the long Labor Day break.

Heritage by Madison, 107, N1, 600 Zhongshan Dong Er Lu, by Dongmen Lu 中山东二路600号BFC外滩金融中心北区一层N1栋107, 近东门路

Homeslice Pizza

Jianbing Pizza
Image courtesy of UnTour Food Tours

Jianbing and pizza – what more could you ask for? Homeslice’s jianbing pizza takes their signature sourdough crust and tops it with tianmianjiang, cheese and egg. Each order is also sprinkled with pickled mustard greens, cilantro and green onions, and customers can choose to add different crunchy toppings. Optional add-ons include ham, mortadella and pork floss. The original jianbing pizza is RMB15 per slice, or you can order a whole pie (RMB55-120 for a 12-, 16- or 20-inch crust). Grab a whole ham/mortadella pie for RMB65-145. The jianbing pizza is available at all three Homeslice locations, as well as the usual delivery platforms.

Homeslice Pizza (Found 158), 158 Julu Lu, by Ruijin Yi Lu 巨鹿路158号, 近瑞金一路

Homeslice Pizza (Zhongshan Park), 1398 Yuyuan Lu, by Dingxi Lu 愚园路1398号, 近定西路

Homeslice Pizza (Xujiahui), B1, Nanyang 1931 Mall, 111 Yude Lu, by Wending Lu 裕德路111号南洋1931商场B1, 近文定路

Papito Pancakes

For a Serbian twist on the Chinese breakfast classic, check out Papito Pancakes' palačinka jianbing. Savor egg, cheese, ham, green salad, roasted paprika and jianbing crisp on an East-meets-West jianbing (RMB48). It’s available all day in shop, and a free soft drink is included with every order.

Papito Pancakes, 325-5 Taixing Lu, by Beijing Xi Lu 泰兴路325号-5, 近北京西路

Perch

World Jianbing Day
Image courtesy of UnTour Food Tours

Perch is celebrating this magnificent occasion with a puffy bread prosciutto jianbing. For RMB48, enjoy puffy bread on a corn flour bing served with freshly sliced prosciutto, cilantro, tianmianjiang, green onions, tomato and a dash of mustard. Available all day.

Perch, Rm 107, 445 Jiangning Lu, by Wuding Lu 江宁路445号107室, 近武定路

Spread the Bagel

World Jianbing Day
Image courtesy of UnTour Food Tours

Spread the Bagel gives breakfast a whole new meaning with the NYC deconstructed jianbing bagel (RMB60). This open-faced everything bagel is topped with candied spicy bacon, sriracha cream cheese and a sunny side up egg. The bagel is also garnished with green onions, cilantro and garlic chili pepper sauce. The combo comes with the other half of the bagel, which has been turned into everything bagel chips served with a green onion and sour cream cheese dip. Available in-store and via delivery from April 30 to May 3.

Spread the Bagel x CinnaSwirl, 32 Yuyuan Dong Lu, by Changde Lu 愚园东路32号, 近常德路

Brew Bear x Spread the Bagel, 9 Donghu Lu, by Xinle Lu  东湖路9号, 近新乐路

Strictly Cookies

World Jianbing Day
Image courtesy of UnTour Food Tours

Strictly Cookies is celebrating the big day in fabulous fashion with jianbing cookies (RMB22 per cookie). Using a simple egg and wheat flour base, this cookie starts off with a spread of savory jianbing sauce, crumbled crunchy wonton crackers on top and cilantro, and it is finished off with an egg yolk and chili glaze. The cookies are available today only at their store on Yan’an Xi Lu (right next to Columbia Circle), or for delivery through their WeChat shop, website, Eleme, Sherpas and Meituan. 

Strictly Cookies, Room103, 1160 Yan’an Xi Lu, by Panyu Lu 延安西路1166号103室, 近番禺路

Tacolicious

With World Jianbing Day going on today and Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, Tacolicious has stepped up to the plate with a Mexican jianbing (RMB55), available all day in-store. Jianbing batter is topped with chicharonnes, Mexican chili paste, steak asado, mozzarella cheese, fried egg, BBQ sauce, cilantro and green onions. Sounds muy delicioso.

Tacolicious (Xuhui), 1 Yueyang Lu, by Dongping Lu 岳阳路1号, 近东平路

Tacolicious (Jing'an), Room 104-105, 34 Yuyao Lu, by Xikang Lu 余姚路34号1幢104-105室, 近西康路

Also participating are Naked Nut Butters, who are releasing a dessert jianbing recipe, while Sidechef will be posting a step-by-step recipe.

Finally, anyone who manages to hit up all nine spots listed above and tags @untourfoodtours and #worldjianbingday on Instagram or WeChat will automatically win a free Cook With UnTour cookbook. So hurry up and get eating!

[Cover image courtesy of UnTour Food Tours]

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