Appetizers 8: Thin Bing (薄餅)

The household of Provincial Officier1 Kong of Shandong makes thin bing that are thin as cicada wings, as big as a tea dish, and unsurpassed its pliancy, softness, and smoothness. My household tried to replicate this recipe, but the results were not up to par and we have no idea why it is so.
The people of Qin2 made small tins out of pewter, each of them holding thirty thin bing. Each guest was given a tin. The bing were each as small as the width of tangerines. The tins had lids and thus they can be stocked and stored.
Fill the bing with stir-fried shreds of pork, sliced as thin as hairs. The green onions should also be prepared in similar manner. They can also be wrapped with pork and mutton in equal parts, which are known as “Western bing”.3




1A fantai (藩台) is a dynastic provincial official in charge of civil and fiscal matters in a province.

2This is a literal translation of qinren (秦人), the term is used in modern times to describe people from Shanxi but I’m unsure if this was used in the same manner in Qing Dynasty.

3Western, because the large Muslim population in the region, unlike the Chinese, are major consumers of mutton and lamb. Interestingly pork is added here, which perhaps hint at this being something of a Chines-i-fied version of an original dish. Perhaps something like a Moroccan warqa (ouarka)? Or the South Asian dosa?

4Also known as popiah.

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