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Xiang Chun Egg Cake

Xiang Chun Dan Bing {香椿蛋饼} Chinese toon egg cake

by Shirley
Xiang Chun Egg Cake

Xiang Chun Egg Cake featuring tender Toona Sinensis tree leaves, eggs, and coconut flour is hearty and naturally flavorful. A blend of stone-milled whole wheat flour and organic all-purpose flour is added to bind everything together. Slow grilled in a deep cast iron pan on the stovetop, this semi-fluffy superfood Xiang Chun Egg Cake is perfect for breakfast, side dishes, or snacks.

By the way, homemade cherry jam is excellent to pair with Xiang Chun Egg Cake as a sauce to balance the flavor and texture. It is my favorite way of enjoying this hearty dish featuring the seasonal fresh superfood Toona Sinensis.

Xiang Chun Egg Cake dipped in cherry jam

What is Xiang Chun? Why it is a superfood?

Also known as Chinese mahogany or Chinese toon, Xiang Chun {香椿}, or Toona Sinensis, is a popular tree in China. Dubbed “vegetables growing on the tree”, Chinese toon is a seasonal fresh deliciousness.

Xiang Chun {toona sinensis} tender leaves growing in early spring

Xiang Chun often reminds me of my hometown Suzhou, in the heart of China’s Yangtze River Delta and home to the delicious Huai Yang Cuisine. Perhaps it is because there were Xiang Chun trees in my late grandma’s backyard. I had fond memories of making tasty food out of this seasonal delicacy.

Toona Sinensis is truly an interesting tree. It sheds all leaves including branches before winter and does not grow leaves until mid to late spring. However, once it starts, it grows incredibly fast and is extremely productive shooting out new leaves.

Chinese Toon {Xiang Chun} Health Benefits

The reason I call it “a superfood vegetable growing on the tree” is that Chinese toon leaves deliver extremely impressive health benefits. They are loaded with many essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Most importantly, it contains powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and detoxing substances.

Toona Sinensis mainly comprises triterpenoids, phenylpropanoids, and flavonoids. All have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances. By the way, olive oil is also rich in triterpenoids, and flavonoids are especially instrumental in promoting cardiovascular health.

Research also indicates that Chinese toon has the potential to develop into drugs that can treat various diseases including cancer.

It is worth mentioning that the tender reddish leaves are the most delicious and suitable to eat as a vegetable. I do not recommend eating the aged green leaves. This is because the toon leaves, especially the aged ones contain nitrate and nitrite, which if intake excessive amount can be toxic. To mitigate this, blanch the green toon leaves in boiling water briefly first before cooking.

You do not need to blanch the reddish tender leaves, as the blanching will get rid of the precious reddish color. Plus the tender leaves are very low in nitrate and nitrite anyway. Read here to learn more about Xiang Chun.

Chinese Toona Sinensis Tree {Xiang Chun}

What is so special about this Xiang Chun Egg Cake?

Firstly, tender toon leaves and eggs are the two primary ingredients of this Xiang Chun Egg Cake

This Xiang Chun recipe is for when you have lots of tender Toona Sinensis leaves. I use half a pound of Chinese toon leaves to pair with 6 large eggs for a super hearty Xiang Chun dish.

Xiang Chun Egg Cake Ingredients

Secondly, it uses three types of flour blend – coconut flour, whole wheat flour, and all-purpose flour

The coconut flour and organic stone-milled whole wheat flour add accent texture, taste, and extra nutrients.

Coconut flour is a superfood flour alternative. I incorporate it in making pancakes or waffles. I also use it to make yummy flourless brownies.

Stone-milled whole wheat flour keeps all the goodies that whole wheat has to offer. When adding a splash of it to the recipe, it provides a wonderful aroma and texture. For instance, the whole wheat French Crepe, or the Country Style Bread.

Thirdly, a tiny bit of baking soda for the semi-fluffiness

The semi-fluffy egg cake dipped in the homemade cherry sauce is the perfect breakfast to prepare you for a busy day.

Chinese toon Egg Cake
Xiang Chun Egg Cake

Xiang Chun {Chinese Toon) Egg Cake Recipe

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Xiang Chun Egg Cake featuring tender Toona Sinensis leaves, eggs, coconut flour, and whole wheat flour is hearty and naturally flavorful. Perfect for breakfast to kick-start a busy day.

Ingredients

  • 0.5 lb tender Xiang Chun {Chinese toon} leaves
  • 6 eggs
  • 60 g coconut flour
  • 60 g whole wheat four, organic stone-milled preferred
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 tsp apple cider vinegar, organic preferred
  • 50 g milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt, Himalayan Pink salt, or sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 15 g sugar, organic unrefined preferred
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, organic virgin preferred, for greasing the cast iron pan

Instructions

  • Gather ingredients.
    Xiang Chun Egg Cake Ingredients
  • Sift all three types of flour and baking soda in a bowl. Crack eggs in a large mixing bowl, add milk, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and black pepper, and whisk well using a hand egg whisk or an electric hand mixer. Cut Chinese toon leaves into small pieces.
    whisked egg, sifted coconut whole wheat and all-purpose flour blend, and chopped Toona Sinensis leaves
  • Add the chopped Xiang Chun leaves into the mixing bowl and mix well.
    mix egg liquid with chopped Chinese toon
  • Gradually add the flour/baking soda blend. Use a silicone spatula to fold into the liquid until everything is blended well and turns into a soft sticky batter.
    Mixing Chinese Toon {Xiang Chun} egg batter
  • Turn the heat to medium-high and heat a deep cast iron pan for 2 minutes and then add 2 tbsp of coconut oil into the pan. Generously grease the pan including the walls.
    Chinese toon {Xiang Chun} Egg Cake Batter and deep cast iron pan
  • Spread and level the batter in the cast iron pan, turn the heat to medium and cook for 6 minutes.
    Grill Chinese toon egg cake in a deep cast iron pan stovetop
  • The toon egg cake should be solidified by now. Use a flexible turner to flip the toon egg cake and cook the other side for 3 minutes.
    Grill Chinese toon egg cake in a deep cast iron pan stovetop
  • Turn the heat to simmer, flip the toon egg cake and cook for 10 minutes. Then flip the egg cake again and cook the final 10 minutes.
    Grilled over stovetop Chinese toon egg cake in the cast iron pan
  • Turn off the heat, wait for it to cool down, and then use a cake knife to slice and serve. Enjoy!
    Chinese toon {XiangChun} egg cake
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 239Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 153mgSodium: 711mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 13g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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