One of my favorite street foods in Taiwan are the Chinese pancakes filled with either red bean or custard. They are no longer as popular in Taiwan and can be a bit hard to find, but there are usually a few stands that sell them. I think I like them so much because I used to eat them when I was a kid visiting my relatives in Taiwan. My mom introduced them to me when I was little; she used to eat them all the time as a child.
I was very excited to see a pancake stand placed inside Ranch 99 a few years ago. So far, it's the only Ranch 99 I know that has one. Actually, it's the only pancake stand I've seen in the U.S. There is usually a line for these little hotcakes. Unfortunately, they don't taste nearly as good as the ones I have had in Taiwan.
A pancake-like batter mix is placed into the hot metal pancake making contraption. When they are almost done, a red bean or custard filling is placed in the center. One pancake is then covered with another pancake and the two meld together. In Taiwan, the street vendors are super fast at churning these out. The ladies inside Ranch 99 are a bit slow- hence the line that is always around the stand.
It's been a while since I've had one of these. I decided to try them out again. Still not that great. The batter is way too chewy. Also, they don't taste very good once they are cold. The ones I ate in Taiwan tasted great hot or cold. Oh well. It's still fun to watch them being made though. I've seen a japanese version of these treats. They are usually shaped like fish.
If you are ever in the area, it wouldn't hurt to try one out. They are priced at 60 cents each. I think if I haven't had better ones, I might actually enjoy the taste of these treats more.
Located inside Ranch 99 Market
7330 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, #112
San Diego, CA