A Dish to Remember

Originating during the Yuan Dynasty, Beijing Roast Duck is one of the city’s most renowned dishes. Throughout the dynasties the dish grew more and more popular until it became a mainstream dish for the social elite. The cooking preparation practices over time have become streamlined into the form it has today. This dish is so characteristic of Beijing, that a trip here would not be complete without trying it.


In the restaurant I visited, each duck was prepared in a glass walled kitchen so the customers could watch. Each duck is slowly roasted in a hung oven and then carved into thin slices to be served. Each slice was then laid out on a large platter, a mix of meat, skin, and a combination of the two. Each customer is then provided a private pallet with a variety of sauces and spices. When eating the meat, one has an number of options: wrapping the meat in a thin pancake, eating it with cucumber, and a variety of other savory sauces. The skin is more of a crispy delicacy and is often dipped in sugar or some sweet sauce when consumed. One of the best characteristics of this dish is how it can be altered to fit each person’s preference. With a whole group sharing the duck, each person can get a mix of interesting flavors and combinations that they enjoy.

Anyone who visits Beijing needs to sit down for a delicious meal of roast duck. One of the first dishes that every Chinese student learns about is Beijing roast duck. Chinese people from all over China rave about this dish and insist that everyone passing through the city should try it. For hundreds of years, roast duck has been a favorite of Chinese people from the lowest class to the highest class. This relatively simple dish can bring friends, coworkers, and family together for a delicious, savory meal that anyone can enjoy.