Short answer: you can’t!
Reader Joyce wrote in, wondering where she might find Da Bing - sesame bread with green onions - in the area. Joyce had done a lot of research and only found it to be available in California, and wondered if we had any insight.
Well, it’s basically a cousin of the scallion pancake, but unlike that universal dish, it’s seemingly only served in Hui restaurants. The Hui are ethnic Chinese Muslims who live all over the country. Well, not our country; in fact, they seem to be concentrated in California (is there anything that state doesn’t have?) The many blogs and message boards that reference Da Bing all do so with respect to Islamic Chinese restaurants in LA and the Bay Area, and there simply aren’t any Islamic Chinese restaurants in Chicagoland.
Please, correct us if we’re wrong; the closest thing we were able to find was an out-of-business Halal Chinese restaurant on Devon, but their menu didn’t have anything close to Da Bing. We’re thinking the only person who can fix this is Tony Hu of Lao Beijing/Lao Shanghai/Lao Sze Chuan fame; he seems dedicated to bringing the myriad cuisines of China to Chicago, so maybe he can be pestered to put Da Bing on one of his menus. Speaking of which, are there any Uyghur restaurants in Chicagoland? The Uyghurs are Turkic Muslims native to China’s northwestern territory of Xinjiang, and they do a mean thrown noodle and thousand year old egg. Lots of goat, too.
[Photo: Da Bing, Orange County Register]