Cheetos Jianbing

May 24, 2022
3 Ratings
Photo by Mandy Lee
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • makes about 4
Author Notes

Said to have originated in the city of Tianjin, jianbing guozi (or just jianbing for short) has become one of China's most popular street foods. The original formula consists of youtiao (long, crispy Chinese doughnuts) stuffed into a thin crêpe made with a batter of puréed mung beans. But the dish continues to evolve as it spreads across the globe, embracing a variety of different grains and fillings. The version I became familiar with while living in Beijing a few years back was a wheat-flour-based crêpe with a puffed, crispy pastry in the middle called baocui. But look, as long as you master a few key components—the crêpe, the sauce, and the crunch—you will be able to capture the spirit of jianbing with infinite possibilities.

In this version, the crêpe has a soft, supple body with a slight chew and mild nuttiness from rye. It is marbled with beaten egg, flipped, and brushed with a creamy sauce made of tickling gochujang and soothing Greek yogurt. And since I'm already walking down this path, I might as well throw in some toasty bits of kimchi and pork browned in sesame oil for good measure. Last but not least is perhaps the most important element of a great jianbing: the crunch, brought to you here by one of the all-time great American snacks, Flamin' Hot Cheetos, glued in place with two slices of cheese. Eggy, crunchy, spicy, tangy, cheesy—it's a party of different textures of flavors. And even though I already know how it tastes, it somehow exceeds my expectations every time.
Mandy @ Lady and pups

What You'll Need
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Cheetos Jianbing
  • For the Batter
  • 1 1/3 cups (180 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) rye flour
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) tapioca or potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) Greek yogurt or crème fraîche
  • 2 tablespoons (44 grams) gochujang
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
  • For the Browned Kimchi Pork
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 9 ounces (260 grams) ground pork
  • 1 cup (185 grams) drained kimchi, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 scallions, finely diced
  • For the Filling
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups Flamin' Hot Cheetos, loosely packed
  • 4 slices Gouda cheese
  • 4 slices Monterey Jack cheese
  1. In a blender, blend the all-purpose flour, rye flour, tapioca starch, sugar, salt, and 1⅔ cups (400 grams) of water on high speed for 2 minutes, until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 1 hour, or overnight in the fridge.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the fillings. In a bowl, mix together the yogurt, gochujang, mustard, black pepper, sugar, allspice, and garlic. Set aside, but remember to remove the smashed garlic before using.
  3. In a small pot or skillet (preferably nonstick) over medium-high heat, heat the sesame oil. Add the ground pork, breaking it into small bits with a wooden spoon, and cook until well browned on all edges, about 5 minutes. Add the kimchi and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the moisture has evaporated and the kimchi is starting to brown around the edges, another 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the scallions.
  4. Heat up a large flat round griddle or crêpe pan (mine is 13 inches wide) over medium heat. (If your griddle isn't nonstick, rub it with a little vegetable oil.) When a drop of batter sizzles when it hits the surface, it’s ready. Pour about a quarter of the batter—this amount will vary depending on the size of your pan—onto the griddle. Immediately, with a metal pastry cutter, slowly spread the batter out until it covers the entire pan. After a few seconds, once the batter solidifies, crack one egg in the middle. Use the pastry cutter to roughly mix up the yolk and white, then spread it out to cover the entire diameter of the crêpe.
  5. Let the crêpe cook for 3 to 4 minutes, just until it starts to take on some faint browning on the first side. Turn off the heat and flip the crêpe over. With a pastry brush, brush an even layer of the gochujang sauce over the entire surface. Scatter a scant ¼ cup of the pork-kimchi mixture in the center (creating a roughly 6-inch square). Add a slice of Monterey Jack cheese, then evenly scatter about a scant ½ cup of Cheetos on top of the cheese. Top the Cheetos with a slice of Gouda. Fold one corner of the crêpe over (it should partially cover the cheese) and gently press on it with a spatula so it sticks to the melting cheese, then fold the opposite corner over as well, gently pressing to stick. Then finally fold the remaining two sides over to enclose.
  6. Transfer into a paper bag (street-style) or a plate and eat immediately.

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