The delights of Peking Duck

On May 29, 2012, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Restaurants, Restaurants & Food, by Jack Li

Duck is without doubt one of my favourite meats, and for this reason it only feels right to attribute an article to a classic Chinese dish, namely Peking Duck. Tke a China travel trip, and you will find duck restaurants nationwide so this dish is definitely a must-try on all China tours. This popular dish […]

Duck is without doubt one of my favourite meats, and for this reason it only feels right to attribute an article to a classic Chinese dish, namely Peking Duck. Tke a China travel trip, and you will find duck restaurants nationwide so this dish is definitely a must-try on all China tours. This popular dish has certainly made itself known worldwide to the extent that the white duck is often seen as symbolic of China. Indeed, one way in which to totally engross oneself in Chinese culture is to sample this savoury dish.

The typical accompaniments to this dish consist of pancakes, trimmings of spring onion and cucumber sticks to give that extra crunch. Even the duck meat only comprises of about fifty percent of each slice with the crispy fat bringing out the flavours. Finally, sweet bean sauce is applied to top off the dish – let me add that (as I was corrected by a waitress) the sauce is for ‘dipping’ as opposed to ‘dripping’ on the pancake. When you bite in to the pancake expect a cool, sweet, slightly salty sensation as the ingredients combine to provide mouth-watering taste.

The beauty of this dish is this that customers can really experience the serving process. For instance, in many Peking Duck restaurants, the carving of the duck will actually be done in front of customers. It sure is a pleasure to see who the chefs, who are normally hidden in the kitchen can show their culinary skill by slicing through the duck ever so finely. The next part is where you come in. In traditional Chinese fashion, you and your friends will dine around a large table with a huge Lazy-Susan and share the dish. The duck per se, is generally presented on a dish which resembles a white Peking Duck. After that, the taste of the dish absolutely depends on how you arrange the ingredients!

In reference to one of my earlier articles, ‘Browsing Beijing’, I mentioned Quanjude restaurant which indeed ranks highly as a duck eatery. This is a well-established restaurant chain (founded in 1864) and serves over 2 million ducks yearly. Alas, prices at this restaurant do not come cheap, but this is quite obvious considering its reputation with many dignitaries having sampled Quanjude’s duck. For a more cost-effective solution, then note that there a surprising amount of local restaurants which serve duck even though it may not be the specialty dish. When all said and done, the next step is to book your China flights and absorb in the culinary delights of the delicious Peking Duck.

Entertainment in Beijing: Acrobatics, Opera & Kung Fu Shows!

On September 15, 2011, in Beijing, Entertainment, Nightlife, by Jack Li

A must see experience on any China tour is a visit to an acrobatic show. Attractions like this can be very hit and miss but Chinese acrobatics is definitely a hit and has to be seen to be believed! The shows are an eclectic mix of dance, gymnastics, contortion, martial arts and incredible stunts, with […]

A must see experience on any China tour is a visit to an acrobatic show. Attractions like this can be very hit and miss but Chinese acrobatics is definitely a hit and has to be seen to be believed! The shows are an eclectic mix of dance, gymnastics, contortion, martial arts and incredible stunts, with insane acts such as five men on motorbikes whizzing around a gigantic hamster like ball.

 

The history of Chinese Acrobatics dates back over two thousand years and when you travel to Beijing the best and most recommended location to see the extravagance is the Chaoyang Theatre. The theatre is easy to get to and located in the east of the city, the nearest subway stop is ‘Hujialou’ on line 10. Performances are available each night, with a viewing at 5.15-6.30pm and another at 7.15-8.30pm with the cost being around 200RMB for the cheapest seats, however this can rise up to 800RMB for those with the best views.

 

Chaoyang Theatre has a souvenir stall selling merchandise related to the performance including a DVD of the show, and there is also a small shop selling drinks and snacks to bring into the theatre with you. Performances are around 75 minutes.

 

The show is a spectacular combination of movement, lighting and sound and makes for some beautiful photos. Other theatres in Beijing offering shows are the Tiandi ‘Heaven and Earth’ Theatre (nearest subway stop is Dongsishitiao on Line 2) with shows daily at 7.15-8.30pm and Tianqiao Theatre (best accessed by taxi) with shows at 7.15pm. Both cost in the region of 180RMB for the cheaper seats.

 

In addition to Acrobatics there is also an energetic Kung Fu performance on show at the Red Theatre (closest subway stop is Tiantandongmen, Line 5) entitled ‘The Legend of Kung Fu’. There is more than just martial arts to this show which follows a narrative, as it involves dangerous stunts with variety of props and sharp instruments. There are performances every evening beginning at 7.30pm and tickets cost from 180RMB. Shows last 1 hour and 20 minutes.

 

Another traditional attraction is the Beijing Opera (known as Jingxi) which, although not as comprehensible as the above attractions, is still worth a visit – if not for the impressive costumes, make up and stage design. The most popular theatres for this are Liyuan Theatre (accessed via the Liyuan stop on the Batong line) and the National Centre for the Performing Arts (subway stop Tian’anmen West (Xi)), both have evening performances starting at 7.30pm. Alongside the original opera performances many popular Chinese teahouses also combine the traditional tea tasting experience with Opera entertainment, and often this can be combined with a Peking Duck dinner too.

 

If you are unsure about organising any of these activities or would rather be a part of a group visit many Beijing Hotels and online travel companies offer tours or package deals to all of the above attractions.

Travel Tips for China: Local Cuisine II

On November 25, 2010, in China Travel Gossip, Cultural Experience, Restaurants & Food, by Jack Li

When you just go for China Tours in mainland China, some local cuisine you have to taste when you after visiting famous places. Here are some tips and information for you and your mouth. Book a China Flight to visit China, you will never forget the flavor. Peking Duck, or Peking Roast Duck is a famous duck dish from Beijing that […]

When you just go for China Tours in mainland China, some local cuisine you have to taste when you after visiting famous places. Here are some tips and information for you and your mouth. Book a China Flight to visit China, you will never forget the flavor.

Peking Duck, or Peking Roast Duck is a famous duck dish from Beijing that has been prepared since the imperial era, and is now considered one of China’s national foods.

The dish is prized for the thin, crispy skin, with authentic versions of the dish serving mostly the skin and little meat, sliced in front of the diners by the cook. Ducks bred specially for the dish are slaughtered after 65 days and seasoned before being roasted in a closed or hung oven. The meat is eaten with pancakes, spring onions, and hoisin sauce or sweet bean sauce. The two most notable restaurants in Beijing which serve this delicacy are Quanjude and Bianyifang, two centuries-old establishments which have become household names. A variant of the dish known as crispy aromatic duck has been created by the Chinese community in the United Kingdom.

The cooked Peking Duck is traditionally carved in front of the diners and served in three stages. First, the skin is served dipped in sugar and garlic sauce. The meat is then served with steamed pancakes, scallions and sweet bean sauce. Several vegetable dishes are provided to accompany the meat, typically cucumber and carrot sticks. The diners spread sauce, and optionally sugar, over the pancake. The pancake is wrapped around the meat with the vegetables and eaten by hand. The remaining fat, meat and bones may be made into a broth, served as is, or the meat chopped up and stir fried with sweet bean sauce. Otherwise, they are packed up to be taken home by the customers.

A number of restaurants in China specialises in Peking Duck. Examples include Quanjude, Bianyifang, Changan Yihao, Beijing Xiaowangfu and Dadong Tuanjiehu Kaoyadian. Some restaurants, in particular Quanjude and Bianyifang, have long histories of serving high quality duck that they are now household names, or laozihao, literally “old brand name”. In addition, Quanjude has received worldwide recognition, having been named a China Renowned Trademark in 1999.

Crispy aromatic duck is a similar dish to Peking duck. It is very popular in the United Kingdom and there are claims that it was invented there. Actually, it is a traditional Chinese dish, and was originally (and still is) served on, in, or around steamed buns. Serving it à la Peking Duck (with pancakes and scallions) is also a variation found in China, the only difference in the UK seems to be the shredding of the meat before serving.

The duck is first marinated with spices, then steamed until tender, and finally deep fried until crispy.  The meat has less fat and is drier and crispier compared to that of Peking Duck.

Book a China Flight to visit China, you will never forget the flavor. chinatraveldepot.com will offer you more information you may need.

The Beijing Duck

On November 3, 2010, in Beijing, Cultural Experience, Restaurants, by Jack Li

When talking about the best dish in Beijing, then undoubtedly the Beijing’s Duck is the most notorious. It is one of the most well known and luxurious dishes in Beijing and in China. To have savoured the sweet aroma of a chef speciality and relished the crisp flavour of the Beijing Duck is an experience in itself and definitely […]

When talking about the best dish in Beijing, then undoubtedly the Beijing’s Duck is the most notorious. It is one of the most well known and luxurious dishes in Beijing and in China. To have savoured the sweet aroma of a chef speciality and relished the crisp flavour of the Beijing Duck is an experience in itself and definitely one to choose across your China travels. You should have this dish on your to-do list when coming to China so setting up a tour in Beijing is a must.

The Beijing Duck

Beijing Duck or originally named ‘Shaoyazi’ has been popular in China for centuries, since the Dynasty era and for the Emperor of China. One thing you’ll find almost everywhere in China is the tables are always round and have a moving plateau on it. This is very efficient as large tables with a host and many people eating, can all reach the foods easily. In my experience, it was fun and gave me lots of opportunity to choose different types of foods, taking as little or as much as I wanted at different times. Additionally, the ability to have a selection of foods on the table to eat seemed something like a buffet style, which was also very different to most Western restaurants. This is due to most buffets in the Western parts of the world would require a guest to stand up and fetch the foods from a big counter where as this way, the foods are already presented on your table depended on how much you are willing to order.

Beijing Duck Served

The are many places in Beijing in which you can order this speciality dish, mainly in top end restaurants that are known for their quality service and food. For a chef to provide such quality food, it requires a skilled chef who specialises in Duck slicing, this would mean that they have the ability to cut around 100 – 120 slices of duck every 5 or so minutes. In that amount of time, it no wonder that this dish is desired among thousands of people. The duck itself needs to be cooked in a special way by inflating the skin in order to roast the meat properly. This is a technique that is used by another speciality chef in this area of cooking. It is by no means unusual that the Beijing Duck is a dish that has a lot of careful attention paid to it for pure perfection.

Duck with pancake roles

If you would like to taste the burst of flavour of this amazing dish, then begin planning your flights to Beijing to begin your tasteful journey across China. You won’t be disappointed!

Tagged with:  
Page 1 of 11