Foodie Friday: Sao Bing

Sao bing: baked and layered flatbread

sao bing

This version has youtiao (Chinese doughnut) in the middle.


What is your ideal breakfast spread? Is it a stack of pancakes, fluffy and moist, served with maple syrup? Maybe a pile of strawberries on the side?

In Taiwan, the traditional breakfast is sao bing. It’s a baked bread made with flaky layers. The ones sprinkled with sesame add a nice crunchy taste. They’re generally eaten with some warm soymilk.

They’re the flavor of comfort; they taste like sleeping in and lazing around on a Saturday morning. I even have a friend who buys frozen versions from Taiwan to bring back to the United States. You can’t put a price tag on foods that are associated with love and comfort.

What foods make you nostalgic?


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  1. The “Sao Bing” sounds like a very delicious breakfast. I would have to say that mines would be between French toast or waffles. I do like pancakes, but the former two I like much more!

    • jenniferjchow says

      I used to love French toast as a kid. I wouldn’t even need to look at the menu at a restaurant because I would always order the same thing for breakfast. I started using real French bread for the dish, and it was excellent. There’s also a baked version I found on that saves you some time in making the dish.

  2. Um, flaky bread around a doughnut? Seriously? YUM. I’m an eggs girl myself, but I could be convinced to try that…

  3. Nostalgic? Well, Jennifer, you know MY story of a breakfast in Taipei. I just needed you to supply the name of this treat. One of the most memorable experiences of my life: waking up in the damp fog of predawn Taipei, having the mist lift with the sunrise as I witnessed the ghostly movements of hundreds (what seemed to me, thousands) of Tai Chi practitioners, then a scurry through the noisy market streets to a quite corner where a big bowl of soy milk was placed before me with the accompanying sao bing. What a breakfast! Nearly 4 decades later, it still commands a place in my memory!

    • jenniferjchow says

      Thanks for sharing again, Lori! I also see this man practicing tai chi at my local park, and it brings a smile to my face whenever I see the gentle motions. (I took a class myself once. I was not so graceful.)

      So, now that you know the proper name for sao bing, hopefully you can find the treat locally!

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