Peking Roast Duck

Peking DuckEssential to your Beijing dining experience is a brief tour of the many establishments offering Peking Duck: a delicious, lightly-smoked, rich meal complimented by pancakes, dipping sauce, vegetable filling and irresistible slivers of juicy meat, fat and crispy skin.Peking Duck is said to originate from Inner Mongolia and was first served in a Peking restaurant in 1855. The original recipe for Peking Duck includes a description of how to build and fire the oven for smoking the bird!

Peking roast duck is a signature dish in China's capital city, but there's more than one way to roast a duck, and that has opened a door to competition in a field that is hotly contested by some of Beijing's most famous Time Honoured Brands (laozihao).

One of these is 600-year-old Bianyifang, a Peking roast duck restaurant with a difference, located on Chongwenmen Dajie near the Hademen Hotel in Chongwen District.

The Peking roast duck tradition is divided into two schools, roast duck made using a "closed" oven (where the heat radiates from inner-oven walls) and roast duck made using "half-open" ovens (where the duck is hung over a heating source such as a wood fire). Unlike some of its famous competitors, Bianyifang's product is representative of the closed-oven type; its taste is easily recognizable by experienced Beijingers. It is made without using an open fire, and involves a specially made soup that fills the duck while it's cooking. That is, the duck roasts outside and boils inside during the cooking process. Tan outside and tender inside, fat, but not greasy, closed-oven roast ducks enjoy a reputation as a green food. That is the major reason why Bianyifang is considered irreplaceable and has survived during its long history in China.