QIN JIA BING DIAN 秦家餅店No. 12, Lane 6, Siwei Rd.
MRT: ZhongXiao/ DunHua
website: Qin Jia Bing Dian's FB page
Hours: 11:30AM - 7PM
Visit reviewed: 11/6/2015
I was walking around the lanes behind Renai circle after lunch when I found a little shop that specializes in handmade chinese leek boxes, or jiu cai he zi, that are cooked on a griddle without oil, as they are typically fried. At first glance when I was peering into the window, I couldn't tell what was in the steamer when the solitary white haired woman lifted the bamboo lid for another customer- they almost looked like handmade tortillas or empanadas- so I had to come in the shop to try it.
As I was trying to decipher the signs for what the shop was selling, I observed to see what the people in front of me were ordering so I could gauge what was the popular item here. One customer asked the auntie, "what did you make yourself? I only want to try things you made herself." She mentioned she still personally makes the braised beef as well as the dumplings which you have to preorder. Their Facebook page has a few videos of her inspecting a table full of chinese leeks as well as explaining how to steam one of their frozen items when the customer got home, with a real Taitung rice cooker.
I've had chinese chive pie or chinese leek box before, but this shop's version is griddled without oil, and is a revelation. The wrapper is supple and chewy, like a doughier pita pocket or handmade naan, while the contents inside are still moist. Some online googling revealed that the secret in the dough is that they use cold water with the flour when making it.
I folded the flat pie in half as advised and demonstrated by the owner when she was packing it for me, so the chopped #chineseleek and glass noodles were bundled on one side.
The portion is just right for a snack and it's not as greasy as the usual fried #chinesechivepie. I almost devoured the whole thing before remembering to take a photo (NT$45)