Taiwanese-Inspired Breakfast Crêpes
For this delectable ditty, we pulled inspiration from one of the most popular street-stall breakfast foods in China and Taiwan: jian bing. The loaded, sesame-forward crêpes are inexpensive, yet super fresh (they’re always made right in front of the customer) and gloriously flavorful.
This recipe starts with a thin layer of whole wheat crêpe batter hitting a sizzling-hot pan. We pour beaten egg on top, sprinkle it with sesame seeds and green onion, and flip it. Next comes a thin veneer of sweet, plummy hoisin sauce, as well as homemade soybean paste — think white miso, fish sauce, sesame oil, and sambal oelek — for a little funk and spice. And then you have the fillings: crisp shredded lettuce, savory hot dog slices, fresh cilantro, and two crunchy wontons, all folded up in an envelope of crêpe-y deliciousness.
We love, love, love the layers of texture. The wonton breaks in a perfect, crunchy, not-too-messy shatter. The lettuce is cool and crunchy; the egg and hot dog, tender and chewy. We’re also big fans of how the warm, nutty sesame oil and bright cilantro shine through the many goodies — and we like to serve more soybean sauce on the side so we can play around with the levels of salty heat.
As we mentioned, jian bing is traditionally street food, so you might eat these crêpes for breakfast on the go. In the test kitchen, we inhaled them, frozen in place, before our brains could send our feet the signal to move — they’re that good. (And we gotta say, these crêpes would be an awesome hangover balm.)
Taiwanese-Inspired Breakfast Crêpes
For the breakfast crêpes:
To make the crispy wontons: Fill a medium, heavy-bottomed pot with 2” of vegetable oil. Heat over medium-high heat to 350 F. Line a plate with paper towels.
Place the wonton wrappers in the hot oil, one at a time, until there is one, even layer of wrappers. Fry the wrappers until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Transfer the fried wonton wrappers to the lined plate. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.
To make the spicy soybean paste: In a small bowl, stir together the miso, sambal oelek, sesame oil, and fish sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until assembly time.
To make the crêpe batter: In a medium bowl, add the flours and water. Whisk until combined and set aside.
To make one breakfast crêpe: Crack 1 egg into a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
Heat a medium nonstick skillet or crêpe pan to medium heat. Lightly spray the pan with cooking spray. Ladle 1 to 2 tablespoons of crêpe batter into the skillet or just enough to cover the bottom of the pan while swirling the pan to make an even layer. Cook for 1 minute.
Pour the whisked egg over the batter. Using a rubber spatula, spread the egg over the crêpe in one even layer.
Sprinkle ½ teaspoon sesame seeds and 1 teaspoon green onions over the egg. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the bottom of the crêpe is starting to lightly brown. Use a rubber spatula to loosen the edges of the crêpe.
Flip the crêpe, and reduce the heat to medium-low.
Brush half the crêpe with about 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce and about 1 teaspoon of the spicy soybean paste. On top of the sauces, sprinkle ½ teaspoon sesame seeds, 2 teaspoons green onion, ¼ cup shredded lettuce, 6 hot dog slices, and 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro.
Place two crispy wontons side by side on top of the cilantro, and fold the empty side of the crêpe on top of the wontons. Fold the crêpe in half again, and transfer the crêpe to a plate. Repeat steps 5 through 11 to make the remaining crêpes.
Breakfast crêpes are best enjoyed immediately. Serve with the remaining spicy soybean paste, if desired.