Kirbie's Cravings

Chinese pancakes with sweet filling – Taiwanese street food

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
(858) 565-7799

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18 comments on “Chinese pancakes with sweet filling – Taiwanese street food”

  1. I used to eat these all the time when I was little at a 99 ranch market in LA. They stopped making them forever ago and now that I’m pregnant I’m on the hunt for these!!! Any idea where I can get them? So sad that they’re no where to be found, one of the most nostalgic snacks ever.

  2. I’m in south africa , cape town and got mine tday  on long market street  after looking f it f years, ( my kids were hooked on them  years ago but the vendour closed since)  I  suggest everyone try them if they have the oppurtunity since its so hard t find, 

  3. Hello all, if you’re ever in the Phoenix area of Arizona I know of three great places where you can get these delicious little cakes. A woman at Lee Lee’s International Market in Chandler sells them near the bakery section, El Ranch Market in Phoenix has a lady who makes them, and you can find a woman selling them in Mekong Plaza near the market area. All three places make decent cakes, but I personally think the lady from Mekong Plaza makes the best cakes, that’s just a personal preference though.

  4. Hey im glad i came upon your blog while googling on oreo cheesecake recipes! You have so many wonderful recipes posted here! Singapore, the country im from, sell something similar fron Mr Bean here. The pancake is made from soy and there are many varieties to choose from! CHOCOLATE, CUSTARD, RED BEAN, CHEESE, TUNA, KAYA and more! Do check it out if you are bere!

  5. Pingback: Chinese pancakes with sweet filling – Taiwanese street food | Online REL

  6. I love taro filling foods, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen these filled with taro. At least not in Taiwan. I wish they did have a taro filling!

  7. I see these often sold along the streets here in bangkok. My favourite filling is taro 🙂

  8. Wow, I’ve never seen a daikon radish version!

  9. I did not have a hard time finding them in Taiwan but I can not find them in Texas. I like either cream or daikon radish in mine.

  10. Hi Carol- I prefer the custard over the red bean. Normally I like red bean, but I think the custard one complements the batter better. You should try it out if you are ever there. It’s not horrible tasting- just a bit disappointing after the delicious ones I’ve eaten in Taiwan.

  11. Hi Dennis- You might want to try it out if you are ever at Ranch. I think maybe if I hadn’t eaten the ones from Taiwan, these would taste better to me. I’ve never seen Imagawayaki before, only the Taiyaki, which I find to be super cute!

  12. Those look really interesting. Too bad they’re not as good as they look. I thought they resembled English muffins on the outside but the inside has the pancake bubble texture. How was the custard?

  13. Hi Kirbie, that’s too bad cause they look really good! They have a similar hockey puck shaped version in Japan as well called the Imagawayaki. Though I love the fish-shaped Taiyaki as well. I would always bite them tail end first. 🙂

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