60 cents is all you need for one of these crispy, chewy, hot, perfectly sweet little cakes from the Yi Gee cart.
Stationed right up at the entrance of Hawaii Supermarket in San Gabriel is a food cart where the air is warm and fragrantly sweet. Yi Gees, hot mini Chinese cakes, are made in double digit quantities on a cast iron mold over a flaming burner. The vendor pours a liquid cake like batter half way into the hot mold, adds one of the many selections of fillings, then tops it off with another finale of batter.
If you're lucky, you'll catch the freshest lot of Yi Gee still hot off the mold, where the mini cakes are still crispy from the thin layers of batter that oozed out onto the cast iron. And if you're tough, you won't blister your tongue when hot, sweet filling oozes out at 115 degrees.
The Yi Gee lady is also quick to offer a deal: Buy 10 and you get one free. So any big spender with $6 can choose from taro, coconut, sweet cream and red bean. A super sweet deal for the bitter recession.
Location: In front of Hawaii Supermarket 120 E Valley Blvd San Gabriel, CA 91776-3544 (626) 307-0062
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Diane Cu also co-writes White On Rice Couple with her partner.