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.

Roast duck has remained a staple on Beijing’s culinary scene for over a hundred years. It is world famous for being the most delicious and delightful dish that Beijing has to offer. Like London with its fish and chips, Philadelphia with its cheese steak, Beijing is unique with its Beijing Roast Duck. 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.

Peking Roast Duck

Peking Roast Duck

Beijing’s most famous dish, Peking Duck is traditionally served with Mandarin pancakes, and green onions for brushing on the hoisin sauce.

Eat Peking Roast Duck

Eat Peking Roast Duck

History of Peking Roast Duck (Peking Duck House)

The use of ducks in Chinese cooking dates back 1,500 years. I’ve read mainly two conflicting sources about where Peking Duck originated. One states that Bianyifang (Convinience shop) was the earliest Beijing Duck restaurant, founded about 400 years ago, and another mentions that the modern Peking Duck was first prepared by an imperial chef during the Ming Dynasties (1368 – 1644). Both dates back about 400 some years.

Recipe: Peking Roast Duck

Peking Duck

Prep Time: 10 hours, 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Ingredients for Peking Roast Duck: Serves 4 to 6.

8 cups water
1 slice ginger
Scallions for garnish
1 scallion, cut into halves
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sherry
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
One 5 to 6 pound duck (Ducks bred specially for the dish are slaughtered after 65 days)

Direction for cooking Peking Roast Duck:

1, Clean duck. Wipe dry and tie string around neck. Then Hang duck in cool, windy place 4 hours.

Note: If you don’t live near a cool, windy place another option is to dry the duck in an unheated room with a fan blowing on it.

2, Fill large wok with water. Bring to boil. Add ginger, scallion, honey, vinegar, and sherry. Bring to boil. Pour in dissolved cornstarch. Stir constantly.

3, Place duck in large strainer above larger bowl. Scoop boiling mixture all over duck for about 10 minutes. Then hang duck again in cool, windy place for 6 hours until thoroughly dry.

4, Place duck breast side up on a greased rack in oven preheated to 350 degrees. Set a pan filled with 2 inches of water in bottom of oven.

5, (This is for drippings). Roast 30 minutes. Turn duck and roast 30 minutes more. Turn breast side up again. Roast 10 minutes more.

Tips: I seem to recall that, for Peking Duck, one is supposed to blow air between the skin and the meat before roasting. When done properly, there is virtually no fat under the skin.

6, Use sharp knife to cut off crispy skin. Serve meat and skin hot immediately on a prewarmed dish.

The duck is eaten hot with hoisin sauce rolled in Mandarin pancakes. Garnish with scallion flowerets.

Peking Duck House & Beijing Duck Restaurant:

Beijing Qianmen Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant
32, Qianmen Street
Tel: 86-10-6701-1379

Beijing Wangfujing Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant
13, Shuaifuyuan Hutong, Dongcheng District
Tel: 86-10-6525-3310

Restaurant of Peking Roast Duck
Beijing Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant
14, Qianmen Xidajie
Tel: 86-10-6511-2418

Beijing Jingxin Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant
A2 Dongsanhuan Beilu, Chaoyang District
Tel: 86-10-6466-0895

Beijing Hepingmen Roast Duck Restaurant
Hepingmen Dajie, Xuanwu District
Tel: 86-10-6552-3745

Bianyifang Roast Duck Restaurant
A2 Chongwenmenwai Dajie, Chongwen District
Tel: 86-10-6712-0505

Note: the phone numbers listed above, also included the country code, province code, and then the phone numbers.

The most famous Peking Duck restaurant that offers the best tasting ducks is the Quanjude restaurant, which opened in 1864 outside Qianmen (front gate).

Quanjude has been known for its trademark Peking roast duck and its longstanding culinary heritage since its establishment in 1864, during the Qing Dynasty under the reign of Emperor Tongzhi.

Quanjude has its own unique method of preparing its roast duck. Using open ovens and non-smoky hardwood fuel such as Chinese date trees, peach trees and pear trees, to add a subtle fruity flavor and add a crisp golden tinge to the skin.

Today, Quanjude has become one of the largest food enterprises in China, preparing dishes using more than four hundred recipes. It is commonly regarded as a good representative of Chinese food, and a must for every visitor to Beijing.

The name of the restaurant, Quanjude, together implies perfection, union and benevolence.

{September 25, 2010} {Tags: }