Xian Bing is a Chinese meat pie. There are many variations, but one popular such variation is almost identical to the Romanian placinta. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or if trade routs of the past resulted in some culinary inspiration on either side, but what I do know is that both Xian Bing and placinta are wonderful foods.

The Xian Bing dough

  • 5 dl all-purpose flour
  • 1 dl of water, maybe some more to adjust
  • A pinch of baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  1. First, boil the water
  2. Mix flour, salt and baking powder. The latter to give it a slightly better texture.
  3. Add the boiling water while staring. You want a soft and tacky dough.
  4. Cover and leave to rest for 1 hour

The Xian Bing filling

  • 1/2 onion
  • 3 scallions
  • Ginger the size of four thumbs
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 400 grams of minced pork/beef (half half)
  1. Finely chop onions, scallions and garlic.
  2. Grate ginger
  3. Stir it all, and save half of it for later (remember, I’ll get back to it…)
  4. Now add the minced meat and salt. Combine thoroughly.
  5. Leave refrigerated for about 30 minutes, it makes it hold together better.

Dipping sauce

  • honey or sugar
  • the mix from before (see above, I told you to remember!)
  • 2 tablespoons of dried chili flakes (or less if you don’t want it spicy)
  • 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of neutral oil (e.g rapeseed oil)
  • A couple of drops of roasted sesame oil
  1. Heat up the oil in a saucepan until smoking hot
  2. Combine the mix from earlier and the chills flakes in a heat resistant little bowl
  3. Pour the hot oil over the mix so it starts bubbling and cooking in the bowl. Careful so you don’t burn yourself!
  4. When it stops bubbling, add soy sauce, vinegar and a couple of drops of sesame oil

Now, put it all together

  • The mat mix
  • The dough
  • Some chopped scallions
  • Flour
  • Neutral oil (e.g. canola oil)
  1. Make a large ball of meat
  2. Then, cover the ball with flour by rolling it around a bowl of flour
  3. Take a handful of dough, about the size of the meatball
  4. Flatten out the dough into disk shape using your hands
  5. Place the meatball in the middle of the disk, and then stretch the dough over the whole meatball, so you basically have a round ball of dough in which you know there’s a meatball.
  6. Grab the excess dough on the top of the ball (where you pinched the dough together) and just twist it until it comes off. Now you’re left with a large ball of dough with a large meatball inside.
  7. Place the ball on a flat surface, sprinkled with some flour, and use a rolling pin to roll it flat. You now have a flat disk in which there’s meat.
  8. A lot of oil in a pan, and heat it up
  9. Place the flat pie on there and fry it on one side, and then turn it around and fry the other side until all crispy and nice on both sides.
  10. Serve as is, or cut it in half
  11. Finally, sprinkle with some chopped scallions on top and a bowl of dipping sauce on the side
  12. Absolutely wonderful!

Xian Bing