Yesterday I mentioned the phrase “It’s like watching paint dry.” This video of a street vendor making jianbing (煎饼・Chinese breakfast crepes) is like watching socks go around in a clothes dryer.

Compare that method with this one:

I’m sure there are as many ways to make this as there are street vendors in Beijing.

A funny account of someone addicted to jianbing: “Let he who has turned down a delicious jianbing first call me fatty” (from Roads & Kingdoms).

Also: “Why Jianbing is China’s Most Popular Street Breakfast” (from Serious Eats)

And if you want to try making it yourself: a recipe (from Genius Kitchen).

Another recipe, with a slightly different take on it, called Jidan Bing (from The Woks of Life).

Or wait four years and make a plan to go to the next Winter Olympics in Beijing.



Fry that

A student announced in her research presentation yesterday that “fried sushi” was one of the popular types of sushi outside of Japan. Everyone agreed that it wasn’t popular here in Japan. Maybe not, but it does exist (of a sort):

“Deep-fried sushi exists in Japan, and here’s where to try it” (from Japan Today)

And speaking of unusual fried things, in a suburb of Osaka, fried maple leaves are a traditional snack going back to the 14th century:

Deep frying makes almost anything taste better. Even candy bars (?) — see the famous Scottish fried Mars bar in the video below (after Scotch pie and before haggis, at about the 2-minute mark):

Street food stories

This YouTube channel may not give you much language input, but it’s a good example of the demonstration task and you could try adding English explanations to one of these videos, or try making your own.

I sometimes visit family in Portland, Oregon, where street food is very popular. My favorite is Nong’s Khao Man Gai.

And this is a favorite memory, from a trip to Enoshima (and the cat waiting for leftovers)

What’s your favorite street food story?

Seat 14C

This writing competition is already over, but it’s fascinating. It’s called Seat 14C and here’s the intro video:

The contest was to write the story of what happened, as a person sitting in one of the seats on ANA Flight #008, which departs Tokyo in June 2017 and arrives in San Francisco 20 years later.

You can read the stories that were submitted to the contest, including the winner:

The contest offered a prize worth $10,000, including 2 round-trip tickets from SF to Tokyo. Read more about it here: “Seat 14C jets into the future” (from Wired).

It’s too late for this contest, but I’ll encourage students to write their own science fiction stories in your portfolio.

I’m glad I found this *after* a recent ANA flight between Tokyo and the West Coast and not before.