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Best places to try the famous «Beijing Duck»


Vestige of the Southern and Northern Dynasties the famous Beijing Roast Duck, originally named "Shaoyazi" (燒鴨子), now called Běijīng Kǎoyā (北京烤鸭) in mandarin, is one of the oldest and most traditional dishes in Beijing.

Reserved to the Imperial Palace, the roasted duck was the favorite delicacy of the Emperor Qialong and his wife the very renowned Empress Cixi. It was only back in the 1864 when the public was able to taste the Beijing duck, when Yang Quanren opened his first Quanjude restaurant.

How to cook:

Prepared from a plucked white feathered duck, we can witness that through the years people use different ways to prepare and cook this treat. However the most traditional one was pumped with air between the duck skin and flesh followed by a small incision to remove the entrails.

Once the bird has been thoroughly cleaned, a wooden skewer is inserted through it to facilitate its hanging and ultimate heating; the body cavity is filled with water and the incision that had been made is closed, then the skin of the duck is air dried and brushed with a layer of sugar. The duck is then put into a large oven using a smokeless hardwood fuel and heating to about 270 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. It is turned frequently during the roasting process to ensure even cooking and a fair date-red color skin with an unique flavor and crispy skin.


How to eat:

The chef starts by cutting off the head and carefully splitting it in half, revealing the ducks brain—intended to be eaten at the end of the meal. He goes on, removing the skin from the breast of the duck in three wide strips. Watch carefully, because it takes literally seconds from start to finish.


The most incredible part is that the flesh underneath is completely undisturbed—you can clearly see the space where the inflated skin has pulled away from the meat.

Next up in your in-flight entertainment: your waitress will demonstrate how to wrap your duck. She starts by peeling apart a single pancake. They're cooked by rolling two balls of dough together and heating them on a griddle. That way, after separating, each one ends up half as thick as you could get it on its own.

Next, she takes a bit of duck and dips it into fermented bean sauce. She places two to three small slices of duck along one edge of the pancake.


Next up: pickles. Your condiment tray will probably have at least one, perhaps two different types of chopped, very mild pickles.

Thinly sliced scallion whites go on next followed by some cucumber batons. Your duck is now ready to wrap. First the bottom folds over the top followed by the edges. The idea here is to create a sealed package that will prevent the juices from leaking out of the bottom when you subsequently pick it up. When you do pick it up, make sure that the folded-over side is facing you, with the clean side facing outwards, lest you be mistaken for an uncouth heathen.


This ends your in-flight entertainment, though your waitress will probably stick around and watch you to make sure you get it before leaving you alone.

Meals end with a bowl of creamy white duck bone soup, served hot and intentionally bland in order to cleanse your palate of the rich, flavor-packed duck you just finished.



Where to go:

It is not hard to find a restaurant that serve a nice Beijing Duck, but it is interesting to know that some of them stand out from the other such as:

Quanjude 全聚德 the oldest and first Beijing Duck house who allowed the public to try this succulent dishes. There is many Quanjude around Beijing, including one within the nice Guangqumenwai Street with its ancient and authentic look.

     Shuangjing / Dongsihuan双井东四环

     8 Guangqumenwai Dajie (west of Shuangjing Qiao)


     Phone:+86-10-5861 2288

Duck de Chine 全鸭季there is only two restaurant around the city, but Duck de Chine definitely stand out with its mixed Chinese – French style cuisine, with a nice surrounding including bars inside courtyard the Sanlitun location is really the place to be.


     1949 – The Hidden City, Courtyard 4, Gongti Beilu (opposite the south gate of Pacific Century Place Mall)

     工体北路4号院 (太平洋百货南门对面)

     Phone: +86-10-6501 8881


Da Dong Roast Duck 北京大董烤鸭店 has contributed towards innovating methods of cooking Beijing Duck by using a spherical wood fired oven instead of the more traditional method of a square oven for a better cooking. Placed in the area of Wangfujing with its famous scorpion skewer, the Da Dong in Jianbao Jie will please yourbuds.


     5/F, Jinbaohui Shopping Center, 88 Jinbao Jie

     Dongcheng District


     Phone: +86-10-8522 1234



Tassadite Kadi
Tassadite Kadi

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