Let’s get right to it. I’m shutting down Bing of Fire on May 28, 2015.

I’m heartbroken. I’m barely even sure I’m making the right decision. But I can’t keep banging my head against the wall like this. I’m moving on.

What happens next? For the immediate future, I’m writing and will post (here) “Deconstructing the Bing of Fire” or “A Post Mortem Blog of Running a Jianbing Food Cart.”  It’s as much for me as it is for the next person. I am going to keep the cart around for some light catering. After that, who knows?

Now for the thank you roll!


To the regular customers: you were always awesome. No two ways about it. You know who you are. 谢谢大家.

To the people who came up with shock in their eyes (maybe it was more along the lines that you didn’t think you’d see jianbing outside of China) that this strange little white lady was selling jianbing: thanks for sharing the dream. I loved making jianbing for you.

To the suspicious customers who tried jianbing and ending up liking it: Thanks for giving it a shot. I know it was weird.

To the customers who didn’t like my jianbing: Well, I tried. Maybe your taste buds need an adjustment. 

To food truck/cart buddies! You guys were more helpful, funny, and supportive than I had any right to expect. Also, you let us food trade. THANK YOU.

Friends and family!

To Alex2 for making me laugh constantly. Also, for being a wonderfully enthusiastic employee. I’d heartily recommend you to any one in the area looking for a mad food merging apprentice.

To Andrea, owner of I Love My GFF. Mentor, information broker, friend, all around positive example. You’re scary as hell and it’s great. Thanks for everything. 

To all the GFF crew: You guys rock. 

To the Cheese Wizards. You guys make it look like *so* much fun. I’m pretty sure you’re from somewhere where science is indistinguishable from magic.

To my family and friends, close and extended: Sometimes I think you roll your collective eyes and think, “Aw, she’s sweet. But man is she weird.” Thanks for being encouraging. 

To my friends who visited the cart often: Don’t you know you could just eat Chinese food at my house?

To Alex1, my husband who is always my cheerleader. You know you my boo.

*By no means a complete list. Sorry if I missed you. Thanks for understanding. 

Where do you start when you’ve come back from China and you *need* to learn how to cook Chinese food?

Tried, true, and beautiful.

Every Grain of Rice by Fuschia Dunlop

I own and love Ms. Dunlop’s other books Land of Plenty and Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook but for general Chinese home cooking, this is the place to start.

Jianbing is a wonderful, uniquely Chinese street food. It’s difficult to describe. Visitors to China may only know it as ‘that delicious thing you get in the morning in the alley.” At Bing of Fire, we’ve gone through many iterations trying to find a succinct way to describe it.

Some examples for you:
Chinese crepes (But it’s not like a French crêpe.)
Chinese pancakes (Not thick/sweet enough to be a pancake.)
Chinese burritos (No whole beans or rice or tortilla.)
Chinese wraps (This is the version I use!)
Egg McMao (A common expat translation, but it has some negative connotations that I’d rather avoid thank you.)

Lately, I just call it “jianbing” or “bing.” It’s easier to import the word than try to describe or translate.

Jianbing is historically associated with northern China, specifically Tianjin. One legend claims the famous Chinese chancellor Zhuge Liang used jianbing to feed an army.

Locations ‘Round the World
Can you find jianbing in China? Well, BeijingShanghaiHong KongShenzhen and Chengdu all have it. You know, just to name a few major cities.

Can you find jianbing outside of the China? Yes! Can you get that street cart experience, yes! I highly recommend getting it from a cart. Watching jianbing being freshly made just for you is magical.

Meimei’s Street Cart, Manchester
Jianbing Johnny, San Francisco
Nali, Chicago
Bing of Fire, Seattle
Australia (these look more like mall kiosk setups):
Bing Boy, multiple locations
Bing Go, multiple locations

Do you know of other jianbing carts around the world?

Other sources: