According to a Chinese saying, there are two essential things people do when visiting Beijing, the capital city of China. One is to eat Beijing Roast Duck (also known as Peking Duck) in order to understand more about Chinese cuisine and culture. The other is to see the Great Wall of China. The good news is that Peking Duck is served in many restaurants around Beijing.
1. The history of the roast duck can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty, which is about 600 years ago. Cooks from all over China traveled to the Forbidden City and wanted to cook for the Emperor because only the best chefs could enter the palace kitchens.
2. When the Qing Dynasty ended in 1911, the chefs who left the Forbidden City worked in restaurants around Beijing and brought the Peking Duck to all people.
4. Ducks bred specially for the dish are slaughtered after 65 days and seasoned before being roasted in an oven.
5. Air is pumped into the duck in order to separate the skin from the fat, so that will be rendered out during roasting and the skin, and the most scrumptious part of the dish is very crisp. It is then hung up to dry in the open air before it is roasted in an oven.
6. The chef brings the whole duck to your table before taking it away for slicing (sometimes the chef slices it in front of the table). The whole duck can to be sliced into about 120 pieces.
7. The thin and well cut duck slices are brought back to the table with hoisin sauce (a commercially prepared, reddish brown, sweet, and spicy sauce), scallion, cucumber, and thin wheat-flour pancakes (steamed what-flour buns).
8. The best way to enjoy the Beijing duck is to take a piece of the small and think pancake in one hand, put three to four slices of the duck onto the pancake, put vegetables and seasonings provided. Finally, roll up the pancakes with the fillings and eat it. You will be surprised with the wonderful taste.
9. The Quanjude Restaurant, the largest roast duck restaurant in Beijing opened for business since 1979.
10. The Peking Duck is popular in China as well as abroad. Many Chinese restaurants abroad also serve the Peking Duck.