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Main Dishes in of Beijing Roasted Duck
Quanjude Roasted Duck
With its long history, Quanjude roast duck is well known among both domestic and overseas customers. The duck is hung in the oven and roasted by flame burning from fruit-wood. It takes about 45 minutes for the duck to be done. The finished duck is characteristic with crispy skin, tender meat and the fragrance from the fruit-wood. It looks wonderful and appealing with a full figure, even claret color and the brightness and shine on the duck skin. It tastes pure and mellow with lotus leaf-shaped cake, scallion slices and sweet sauce jam, leaving a lasting and pleasant aftertaste.
To enjoy the famous duck, the Restaurant QuanJuDe is the best choice for you. It has multiple outlets in Peking (Beijing). The old restaurant first opened in 1860. The duck here is said to be the best in Peking, and the service is very good as well.
Before you take up the menu, you might want to know more about how Peking Roasted Duck is made and how it is served. The ducks are raised for the sole purpose of making the food. Force-fed, they are kept in cages which restrain them from moving about, so as to fatten them up and make the meat comparably tender. Peking Roasted Duck is processed in several steps: first the ducks are rubbed with spices, salt and sugar, and then kept hung in the air for some time. Then the ducks are roasted in an oven, or hung over the fire till they become brown with rich grease perspiring outside and have a nice odor.
Peking Duck is always served in well-cut slices. The whole duck must be sliced into 120 pieces and every piece has to be perfect with the complete layers of the meat. Normally there are many dishes served with the duck, including a dish of fine-cut shallot bars, a dish of cucumber bars and finally a dish of paste-like soy of fermented wheat flour. Without these the dainty duck is surely in the shade.
When first served Peking Duck I hesitated to take up my chopsticks, not knowing what to begin with. There is a knack to it: first, pick up a slice of duck with the help of a pair of chopsticks and dip it into the soy paste. Next, lay it on the top of a thin cake and add some bars of cucumber and shallot. Finally, wrap the stuff into a bundle with the sheet cake (a thin pancake). The real secret of Peking duck's flavor lies in your carefully nibbling away at the mixture. You will find all the different ingredients very compatible.
Of course, beer is the popular drink for the dinner. It helps to fade away the greasiness of the duck. But it is not necessary to order extra soup, for the duck-bone soup is always included in you order. It will be served as the rear dish for the dinner.
In my four visits to the different duck restaurants of Quan Ju De, I found the services there were always quite good. And the price of the duck there was quite moderate----400 RMB Yuan for a duck feast. Furthermore, the clean and well-decorated rooms and the character of the waiters and waitresses impressed me quite deeply. "Where's my next restaurant to enjoy the Peking Roasted Duck?" you may ask. Quan Ju De is surely among my answers.
I hope you will enjoy the delicacy of the Roasted Duck on your next visit to Peking. But don't forget to practise dealing with chopsticks before you enter Quan Ju De. However, tips for the service are not necessary in Chinese restaurants, although a pair of chopsticks are.
Author of this article
by Guest Author Ronghe Yu
Edited by Rhonda Parkinson. The author graduated from the Shandong Teacher's University, China, and lives in Shandong province. As a bilingual writer and cameraman, he devotes himself to promoting the exchange of cultures between China and the English world.
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