For­eign­ers learn the se­crets to mak­ing pop­u­lar Chi­nese recipes and serve them in restau­rants abroad

Global Times – Metro Beijing - - FRONT PAGE - By Zhang Xinyuan

Al­though he was born with a sil­ver spoon in his mouth, 26-yearold Adrian from the Philip­pines started to learn how to make Chi­nese Jinyun shaob

ing (clay oven rolls) from scratch in Jinyun,

Zhe­jiang Prov­ince in April.

“One month ago, I ate Jinyun shaobing for the first time, and I was im­me­di­ately drawn by the fla­vor. So, I de­cided to learn how to make Chi­nese shaobing and open shops sell­ing them in the Philip­pines,” Adrian said.

“For now, I plan to open at least three stores in the Philip­pines. I be­lieve there is a huge mar­ket for Chi­nese shaobing there.”

With more for­eign­ers com­ing to China to study, work or do busi­ness, many of them are at­tracted to tra­di­tional Chi­nese food like shaobing, jian­bing (sa­vory Chi­nese crepes) and baozi (steamed stuffed buns).

Not only do they en­joy these foods by din­ing on them, but some turn them into suc­cess­ful busi­ness sto­ries in their own coun­tries and in­tro­duce the fla­vors around the world.

Bring­ing Chi­nese del­i­ca­cies back

Adrian was born in Manila, but he is of Chi­nese ori­gin. Adrian's grand­fa­ther went to the Philip­pines from Fujian Prov­ince decades ago. His Chi­nese name is Cai Qingyuan.

Adrian's fa­ther runs a gro­cery store chain in the Philip­pines, and his busi­ness is deeply con­nected to China. He con­stantly trav­els to Yiwu in Zhe­jiang Prov­ince and Guangzhou in Guang­dong Prov­ince for busi­ness.

Since Adrian's fa­ther is groom­ing him to take over the fam­ily busi­ness, Adrian trav­els to China with his fa­ther all the time.

Adrian said that his fa­ther's busi­ness is quite suc­cess­ful and his fam­ily has a 2,000-square- me­ter manor in Manila.

“I am not re­ally in­ter­ested in tak­ing over his busi­ness though; I want to start my own busi­ness, and I be­lieve Chi­nese shaobing is my busi­ness op­por­tu­nity,” Adrian said.

Af­ter only a month, Adrian and his aunt flew to Jinyun, found a lo­cal Jinyun shaobing maker named Zhou Kai and asked him to be their teacher. The lo­cal gov­ern­ment had named Zhou a se­nior mas­ter of Jinyun shaobing in 2016.

Adrian and his aunt each paid 5,000 yuan ($784) for a 15-day train­ing course. From 7 am to 7 pm, they stayed in Zhou's store, learn­ing how to make shaobing.

Adrian and his aunt learned from scratch, which started with how to knead the dough, then how to add the stuff­ing and paste and fi­nally, how to put it into the siz­zling hot oven.

Adrian car­ries a pad and pa­per with him at all times, and he writes down ev­ery­thing Zhou tells them.

Af­ter 15 days of learn­ing the process of mak­ing shaobing, they still need to hone their tech­nique. Zhou promised Adrian that he will con­tinue to coach Adrian and his aunt on­line un­til they have mas­tered the tech­nique.

Adrian has or­dered an oven from China specif­i­cally for mak­ing Jinyun shaobing.

“As soon as the oven ar­rives, my aunt and I will con­tinue to prac­tice mak­ing shaobing and start pre­par­ing to open stores,” Adrian told Met­ro­pol­i­tan.

It is not the first time that Jinyun has re­ceived for­eign­ers who are ea­ger to learn how to make Chi­nese shaobing.

Ac­cord­ing to Zhou Ya­jun, an em­ployee at the Jinyun Shaobing Of­fice (an or­ga­ni­za­tion that pro­motes Jinyun shao

bing to the world and or­ga­nizes train­ing ses­sions), back in Oc­to­ber 2014, a man named Mark from Rus­sia also came to Jinyun to learn how to make shaobing.

“He was our first in­ter­na­tional stu­dent. Mark was very tal­ented in learn­ing mak­ing shaobing; it only took him a cou­ple of days to learn,” Zhou re­called.

“He told us that he was go­ing to open shaobing stores in Rus­sia, but I don't know how he is do­ing now. We didn't keep in touch af­ter he left.”

Mark said that Chi­nese shaobing is like pizza in Western coun­tries. The dif­fer­ence is that a shaobing's stuff­ing is on the in­side, while pizza puts top­pings on the out­side. The bak­ing method is also very dif­fer­ent; the temperature of the

shaobing oven could reach 300 C, and it is a real test of one's tech­nique to stick a hand into the oven and place the dough in­side, ac­cord­ing to Zhou.

Ying Yao­qiang, the deputy di­rec­tor of the Jinyun Shaobing Of­fice said that there are over 7,000 Jinyun shaobing stores glob­ally, and the to­tal sales vol­ume could reach 1.5 bil­lion yuan.

“In re­cent years, there are more for­eign­ers like Adrian and Mark com­ing over to Jinyun to learn how to make

shaobing,” Ying said. “Chi­nese shaobing are be­ing ac­cepted by more for­eign­ers. I hope Adrian can help in­tro­duce shaobing to more peo­ple in the Philip­pines, and I hope his busi­ness is a suc­cess.”

Good eco­nomic re­turns

Be­fore Jinyun shaobing, jian­bing were brought to the Western world by en­thu­si­as­tic for­eign food­ies, and the busi­nesses have been a big suc­cess.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by China News Agency in De­cem­ber 2015, Brain Gold­berg from the US opened a jian­bing food truck in Time Square called Mr. Bing af­ter liv­ing in China for four years.

Gold­berg went to uni­ver­sity in Beijing back in 1998, and dur­ing that time, he would al­ways grab a jian­bing in the morn­ing on his way to class.

“When I left Beijing, I missed the taste of jian­bing so much, and I missed the times when I would eat them on cold win­ter morn­ings with my Chi­nese class­mates,” Gold­berg said in the re­port.

So, he came back to Beijing to learn how to make jian­bing.

He learned how to make the crepes in the orig­i­nal Chi­nese way and also adapted the jian­bing recipe to ac­com­mo­date a wider range of cus­tomers, such as putting Peking duck and roast pork in them.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, each jian­bing in Gold­berg's store sells for $15, and he earned al­most 1 mil­lion yuan in just a cou­ple of months.

“I want to let peo­ple from all over the world en­joy jian­bing like I did,” Gold­berg said in the re­port.

“In the fu­ture, I am go­ing to open more food trucks to sell the fla­vored crepes, pro­vide cater­ing ser­vices and par­tic­i­pate at lo­cal food fes­ti­vals to pro­mote jian­bing,” he said.

Photo: Cour­tesy of the Jinyun SShaob­ing Of­fice

A for­eign ap­pren­tice places Jinyun shaobing into a spe­cial oven.

A make mas­ter in Jinyun teaches how to

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