【Learn Chinese】Traditional Chinese Food: Beijing Duck

Beijing Duck is a dish that is synonymous with the city of Beijing and is a huge hit with foreigners and locals alike. When you think traditional food in China you think Roast Duck!

The Chinese name for Beijing Duck is 北京烤鸭 běi jīng kǎo yā.
Generally, many western Chinese takeaways offer Beijing duck with small pancakes on their menus, but the quality doesn’t come anywhere near the real thing.
Beijing Duck is so much more than just Duck. The skin, served with sugar, melts in your mouth. The little sides of cucumber, spring onion (alongside various other surprises). The variety of different sauces you can enjoy in your Duck Pancake such as Sweet Bean and Plum flavours.
Every restaurant has their own little variations to this classic dish, and you’ll be hard pressed to go wrong.
You can enjoy Beijing Duck on the cheap, or if you want to splash out at a more fancy restaurant, you have the option at the likes of Dadong Duck and Quanjude – two of the more famous Chinese Beijing Duck restaurants. The latter was actually formed in Beijing way back in 1864!
The more high end options will also give you the experience of enjoying the duck being prepared and served in front of your very eyes, a quite unique experience to whet the appetite.
You are served with a plate (or more if the group is larger) of duck, the duck skin either accompanies the meat or is served on another plate.
Pancakes are brought alongside; the idea is to fill these small sized pancakes with duck and anything else you are served.
Generally, cucumber and spring onion are bankers, from there you may enjoy thinly sliced shallots or lettuce for example alongside other treats that enhance the experience.
The great thing is that, despite the name tying the dish to Beijing, Beijing Duck restaurants can be found throughout China and it’s generally just as good no matter where you travel. It’s a must try.