Chinese Beef Rolls (Niu Rou Jian Bing)
Serves 4 – Adapted from Goodies à Valanté

Red chiles and pinto beans find their way into this northern Chinese street food that is assembled like a burrito.

Note: Make the bean paste and beef filling a day ahead. The beef gets better the longer it sits and soaks up all the flavors.

Sweet pinto bean paste

  • 1 cup dried pinto beans
  • 4 cups water, divided, or as needed
  • 3/4 cups sugar

Beef filling

  • 3 pounds beef shank
  • 2 whole black cardamom pods
  • 3 scallions, ends removed, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1 thumb ginger, sliced
  • 3 dried hot red chiles, stems and seeds removed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/3 cup rice wine
  • 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3/4 tablespoon rock sugar
  • Hot water


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 4 scallions, cut in thin slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Sweet pinto bean paste
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bok choy, thinly sliced
  • Favorite hot sauce
  • Prepared beef filling

For the bean paste, place beans in a saucepan and cover with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and discard water. Place drained beans in a clean saucepan and cover with 2–3 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover the saucepan, and simmer for 2 hours, adding more water as needed, until beans are soft and can be crushed between your fingers. Drain beans and discard water. Stir beans and sugar together in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until sugar melts and beans form a loose, shiny paste. Immediately transfer the paste to a container to cool.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat a large, oven-safe pot with oil. Add garlic, scallions, dried chiles, star anise, cardamom, peppercorn, cinnamon, rock sugar, and ginger. Cook until fragrant, about 2 – 3 minutes. Add rice wine, dark and light soy sauce, beef shank, salt, and add just enough hot water to cover the beef shank. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to the oven to cook for 1 1/2 hours. Remove and let meat rest for 5 minutes. Stir liquid through a fat seperator. Slice meat thinly and place in bowl with remaining liquid and refrigerate overnight.

For the pancake, mix flour and water in a bowl until it comes together, then knead the dough until smooth. Cover in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes. Roll out to a 1/4 inch thick rectangular shape, spread a thin layer of vegetable shortening on top, and sprinkle with salt and scallions. Roll up the dough and pull as tightly as possible from the longest side, until it forms a sausage. Divide into four pieces; seal each end. Roll each piece into a pinwheel and let rest for 5 minutes. Flatten the pinwheel by hand and roll out into a disk, as thin as possible. The dough may stick a little but it should be workable. Use a bit of oil, not flour, to prevent sticking, if necessary.

Heat a large pan with oil on medium high heat and cook the pancakes until golden on each side. About 1 minute per side.

To serve, spread 1/2 tablespoon bean paste on a pancake, top with warm beef slices, bok choy, cilantro, and hot sauce, and roll up. Repeat with remaining pancakes.

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