The other day I had a hankering for chang fen; pronounced “Chong Fun” in newspaper-phonetics. It’s not the cleanest option for eats in the neighborhood, but it tastes awesome. Getting good chang fen in China is like getting good pizza in America – the most dilapidated pizza dive is usually the best.
Basically, chang fen is made of rice flour that starts out quite runny- kind of like very runny pancake mix. It gets spooned into a steam tray and spread around as you can see in the photos below. Eggs, meat, chives, etc. are tossed on randomly and then the tray gets put in the steamer. After a couple minutes the tray gets pulled out the the contents get scrapped out. I chose extra egg because I don’t trust the meat in these places…
Others call this simple dish a “noodle”, but that’s hard to justify in my opinion. It often gets scraped in a smoother way which makes it look more like a noodle. My favorite is Shrimp Chang Fen, which you get at morning tea(早茶) in Guangdong (Canton province). Similar versions of this dish are made at chinese restaurants around the world, but I really enjoy eating it in mainland China. Like most ethnic cuisine, it’s better to eat it in the country of origin.