Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Yun dou juan

Kidney bean roll is a traditional dish of Beijing cuisine. The traditional culinary method of this dish begins with the preparation of the main ingredient by first crushing the kidney beans and then soaking the crushed beans overnight. The skin of the crushed beans would stay afloat on the surface after a night and thus separated and discarded.
After the water is heated to the boiling point, the kidney beans would then be boiled in the hot water for at least an hour and then steamed for at least twenty minutes afterward. The kidney beans would then be crushed and compressed into linear mash/paste form with diameter of 3.5 . The mash/paste would then be placed on a piece of wet cloth and formed into rectangular shape with knife, and a layer of bean paste is placed on top of the rectangular shaped kidney bean mash/paste, and rolled together. When serving, the resulting roll would be cut into smaller pieces.

Xin ren cha

Almond drink is a traditional dish of Beijing cuisine. The traditional culinary method of this dish begins with the preparation of the main ingredient by soaking rice and almonds in cold water for two hours. Almonds are then soaked in hot water for fifteen minutes to have the skin removed. Almonds and rice would then be ground into powders and mixed with cold water to form a thin paste. Water is boiled to the boiling point, the thin paste would be added to the boiling water. After the mix reached its boiling point, it is continuously heated for another five minutes and then ready to be served.
Other ingredients that could be added included peanuts, sesame, rose flower, laurel, raisins, cherry, sugar, honey and others.

Ruan zha li ji

Soft fried tenderloin is a traditional dish of Beijing cuisine. The traditional culinary method of this dish begins with the preparation of the main ingredients that include 200 grams of tenderloin, four eggs, 30 grams of cooking wine, 30 grams of flour, 10 grams of sesame oil, 1 kg of pork fat, and salt. The tenderloin is cut into slices each is approximately 4 cm long and 2 cm thick, and then soaked in the mixture of rice wine and salt. Egg whites are mixed with flour in a container to form a paste, which had to be thick enough to keep a chopstick in a standing position. Pork fat is heated and the soaked meat slices are then fried for five minutes and stirred with chopsticks while frying. When the cooked tenderloin slices are ready for serving, sesame oil is added.

Due to the use of pork fat, the dish is considered unhealthy and the vegetable oil has been used as an alternative, but many have claimed that this results in the dish not being as tasty as when pork fat is used.

Qing tang wan zi

Meatballs soup is a traditional dish of Beijing cuisine.


The traditional culinary method of this dish begins with the preparation of the main ingredients: 300 grams of tenderloin, 50 grams of egg white, wood ear, oil, cooking wine, sesame oil, coriander, green onion, and ginger, etc.

The tenderloin, ginger and green onions are chopped into extremely small pieces and made into meatballs by mixing it with egg whites. The meatballs are boiled until they floated to the surface and then taken out and served with coriander and sesame oil. Usually, some vegetable is served together with meatballs.

Peking Duck

Peking Duck, or Peking Roast Duck is a famous duck dish from Beijing that has been prepared since the Yuan Dynasty, and is now considered one of .

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. Ducks are bred specially for the dish, which after 65 days are and before being roasted in a closed oven or a hung oven. The meat is often eaten with pancakes, spring onions, and hoisin sauce or sweet noodle sauce. A variant of the dish known as crispy aromatic duck has been created by the in the United Kingdom. The two most notable restaurants in Beijing which serve this delicacy are Quanjude and Bianyifang, two centuries-old establishments which have become household names.


Duck has been roasted in since the Southern and Northern Dynasties. Peking Duck was first prepared for the Emperor of China in the Yuan Dynasty. The dish, originally named "Shaoyazi" , was mentioned in the ''Complete Recipes for Dishes and Beverages'' manual by Hu Sihui , an inspector of the imperial kitchen in 1330. In the Ming Dynasty, the Peking Duck was one of the main dishes on imperial court menus. In the same period, the first restaurant specialising in Peking Duck, Bianyifang, was established in the Xianyukou, Qianmen area of Beijing in 1416.

By the of the Qing Dynasty, the popularity of the Peking Duck spread to the upper classes, inspiring poetry from poets and scholars who enjoyed the dish. For instance, one of the verses of ''Duan Zhu Zhi Ci'', a collection of Beijing poems was, "Fill your plates with roast duck and suckling pig". In 1864, the Quanjude restaurant was established in Beijing. Yang Quanren , the founder of Quanjude, developed the hung oven to roast ducks. With its innovations and efficient management, the restaurant became well known in China, introducing the Peking Duck to the rest of the world.

By the mid 20th century, the Peking Duck had become a national symbol of China, favoured by tourists and diplomats alike. For example, Henry Kissinger, the met Premier Zhou Enlai in the Great Hall of the People on July 10, during his first visit to China. After a round of inconclusive talks in the morning, the delegation was served Peking Duck for lunch, which became Kissinger's favourite. The Americans and Chinese issued a joint statement the following day, inviting President Richard Nixon to visit China in 1972. The Peking Duck was hence considered one of the factors behind the rapproachement of the United States to China in the 1970s. Following Zhou's death in 1976, Kissinger paid another visit to Beijing to savour Peking Duck. The Peking Duck, at the Quanjude in particular, has also been a favorite dish for various political leaders ranging from Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro to former German chancellor Helmut Kohl.


Raising the duck

The ducks used to prepare Peking Duck originated from Nanjing. They were small and had black feathers, and lived in the canals around the city linking major waterways . With the relocation of the Chinese capital to Beijing, supply barge traffic increased in the area which would often spill grain during trips the ducks fed. As a result, the ducks slowly increased in size and grew white feathers. By the Five Dynasties, the new species of duck had been domesticated by Chinese farmers. Nowadays, Peking Duck is prepared from the Pekin Duck . Newborn ducks are raised in a free range environment for the first 45 days of their lives, and 4 times a day for the next 15–20 days, resulting in ducks that weigh 5–7 kg. The force feeding of the ducks led to an alternate name for the dish, Peking Stuffed Duck .


Fattened ducks are slaughtered, , and rinsed thoroughly with water. The duck is then soaked in boiling water for a short while before it is hung up to dry. While it is hung, the duck is glazed with a layer of maltose syrup, and the innards are rinsed once more with water. Having left to stand for 24 hours, the duck is roasted in an oven until it turns shiny brown.

Peking Duck is traditionally roasted in either a closed oven or hung oven. The closed oven is built of brick and fitted with metal griddles . The oven is preheated by burning Gaoliang wood at the base. The duck is placed in the oven immediately after the fire burns out, allowing the meat to be slowly cooked through the convection of heat within the oven.

The hung oven was developed in the imperial kitchens during the Qing Dynasty and adopted by the Quanjude restaurant chain. It is designed to roast up to 20 ducks at the same time with an open fire fuelled by hardwood from peach or pear trees.


Whole Peking Ducks can be ordered as takeaways. The ducks can be reheated at home with an oven, grill or boiling oil. When an oven is used, the duck is heated at a temperature of 150 °C for 20 minutes, and then at 160 °C for another 10 minutes. The grilling method involves filling the duck with boiling water before placing it on a griddle, 70 cm above the cooking fire. The boiling water is replaced every 3–4 minutes until the duck's skin is piping hot. To reheat the Peking Duck with oil, the duck is sliced into thin pieces and placed in a strainer held over a wok of boiling oil. The duck is then rinsed several times with the oil. Some restaurants, in particular Quanjude and Bianyifang, have long histories of serving high quality duck that they are now household names, or ''laozihao'' , literally "old brand name". In addition, Quanjude has received worldwide recognition, having been named a China Renowned Trademark in 1999.

Crispy Aromatic Duck

Crispy aromatic duck is a variant of Peking duck that originated from the Chinese community in the United Kingdom in the latter half of the 20th century, served by most Chinese restaurants as a signature dish on the menu. To prepare crispy aromatic duck, the duck is first rubbed inside and out with a mixture of spices including five spice powder and Sichuan peppercorns. Having left to stand for 24 hours, the duck is placed into a wok and steamed for two hours, with the fat constantly poured off. Afterwards, the duck is cut into quarters and dusted with corn flour and deep fried for 8–15 minutes. The cooked duck is drained on kitchen paper and taken to the diners' table, where the meat is shredded off. The meat is served with pancakes, finely chopped cucumber and spring onions and hoisin sauce. The meat has less fat, but is drier and crispier compared to that of Peking Duck.

Mi zhi hu lu

Pork fat with flour wrapping glazed in honey is a traditional dish of Beijing cuisine. The traditional culinary method of this dish begins with the preparation of the main ingredients by mixing the pork fat with flour and then rolling it into circular forms.
Flour is mixed with warm water to form spheres, which would be then soaked in boiling water. After the flour sphere is taken out of boiling water, the process is repeated three times, and finally mixed with eggs to form a paste. The pork fat covered with flour would then be cut into pieces and each piece would be covered with the paste made of flour and egg, and then deep fried. Honey is stewed until its color turn dark, and then the fried pork fat spheres covered with paste would be dipped into the honey, and the dish is ready. Before serving, other ingredients such as sugar could be added.
Usually, for every three hundred grams of pork fat, two hundred grams of honey and two eggs are used. Due to its high sugar content and the usage of pork fat, the dish is current rare because it is considered unhealthy.

Luo si zhuan

Freshwater snail shaped cake is a traditional dish of Beijing cuisine. The traditional culinary method of this dish begins with the preparation of the main ingredients: flour, sesame paste or tahini, oil, salt, baking soda and Sichuan pepper. Mixing the flour, baking soda, oil and crushed Sichuan pepper and cut the dough into small pieces weighing 75 grams each. The small pieces of dough would be pressed into flat pieces and sesame paste would be applied and then rolled together, compressed, and cut open from the middle. The dough would be held at one end and twisted at the other end, and then pressed down. After baking, the freshwater snail shaped cake is ready to serve.

Another traditional dish in Beijing cuisine named Gan Ben Er, 干迸儿, is the leftover Luo Si Zhuan from previous day that is baked one more time to have water completely dried out, thus it is very crisp, and is often consumed with baijiu.

Instant-boiled mutton

Instant-boiled mutton is a very popular Chinese hot-pot dish.

Eating method

In China, when having instant-boiled mutton, people put a hot-pot filled with water at the middle of a table. Normally food materials boiled in the pot include Tofu, Chinese leaves, bean vermicelli etc.

Lamb is pre-sliced and served on the table. The requirement on the lamb slices is that the slice must be very thin like a paper, and each slice is complete.

Because lamb can be cooked in very short time and longer cooking will make the lamb more solid, the way of having the lamb is to take some pre-sliced raw lamb using chopsticks, put it in the boiling hot-pot and take out as soon as the lamb changes color.

Each person has a small bowl to hold some sauce. Cooked lamb is eaten with the sauce. The sauce normally is a mixture of sesame sauce, chili oil, leek etc.

Hot pot

Hot pot, or less commonly Chinese fondue, refers to several Chinese varieties of . It consists of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. Typical hot pot dishes include thinly sliced meat, leafy vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, egg dumplings, and seafood. The cooked food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce. In many areas, hot pot meals are often eaten in the winter.


Some have claimed that the Asian hot pot tradition had its origins in the region of Mongolia, even before the rise of the Mongols, although there is little historical evidence to support this. A much more popular claim of origin is from Sichuan province of China.

The Mongolian hot pot tradition originated from northern nomadic tribes. The Mongolian version of the steaming feast has been called the father of all Chinese hot pot. The Chinese hot pot boasts a history of more than 1000 years. Both the preparation method and the required equipment are unknown in the cuisine of Mongolia of today. Due to the complexity and specialization of the utensils and the method of eating it, hot pot cooking is much better suited to a sedentary culture. A nomadic household will avoid such highly specialized tools, to save volume and weight during migration.

Hot pot cooking seems to have spread to northern China during the Tang Dynasty . In time, regional variations developed with different ingredients such as seafood. By the Qing Dynasty, the hot pot became popular throughout most of China. Today in many modern homes, particularly in the big cities, the traditional coal-heated steamboat or hot pot has been replaced by electric or gas versions.

Because steamboat and hot pot styles change so much from region to region, many different ingredients are used. While not strictly traditional, it is fun to experiment with ingredients and sauces according to one's own tastes.

Cooking method

Frozen meat is sliced deli-thin to prepare it for hot pot cooking. Slicing frozen meat this way causes it to roll up during cooking, and it is often presented as such. Meats used include lamb, beef, chicken, and others. The cooking pot is often sunk into the table and fueled by propane, or alternatively is above the table and fueled by a portable butane gas stove or hot coals. Meat or vegetables are loaded individually into the hot cooking broth by chopsticks, and cooking time is brief. Meat often only takes 15 to 30 seconds to cook.

There are often disagreements between different styles of hot pot enthusiasts. Some like to place items into the hot pot at a relaxed, leisurely pace, enjoying the cooking process, while others prefer to throw everything in at once and wait for the hotpot to return to a boil.

Common ingredients

* Condiments:
** Hoisin sauce
** Soy sauce
** Coriander / Cilantro
** Sesame oil
** White pepper
** Sa cha sauce
** Sesame butter
** Chive flower paste
** Satay or Peanut butter sauce, made by mixing peanut butter with water to a thick consistency

Regional variations

In Beijing , hot pot is eaten year-round. Typical Beijing hot pot is eaten indoors during the winter. Different kinds of hot pot can be found in Beijing - typically, more modern eateries offer the sectioned bowl with differently flavored broths in each section. More traditional or older establishments serve a fragrant, but mild, broth in the hot pot, which is a large brass vessel heated by burning coals in a central chimney. Broth is boiled in a deep, donut-shaped bowl surrounding the chimney.

The Manchurian hot pot uses plenty of Suan cai to make the pot's stew sour.

One of the most famous variations is the Sichuan or Szechuan "''má là''" hot pot, to which a special spice known as '''' is added. It creates a sensation on the tongue that is both spicy and burns and numbs slightly, almost like carbonated beverages. It was usual to use a variety of different meats as well as sliced mutton fillet. A is markedly different from the types eaten in other parts of China. Quite often the differences lie in the meats used, the type of soup base, and the sauces and condiments used to flavor the meat. The cities of Chengdu and Chongqing are also famous for their different kinds of ''huǒ guō''. "''Sì Chuān huǒ guō''" could be used to distinguish from simply "''huǒ guō''" in cases when people refer to the "Northern Style Hot Pot" in China. "''Shuān yáng ròu''", could be viewed as representative of this kind of food, which does not focus on the soup base.

In Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province in southwestern China near the border with Myanmar, the broth is often divided into a yin and yang shape - a bubbling, fiery red broth on one side, and a cooler white chicken broth on the other.

A variation includes mixing a raw egg with the condiments to reduce the amount of 'heat' absorbed by the food, thereby reducing the likelihood of a sore throat after the steamboat meal, according to Chinese herbalist theories.

In hot pot, people eat the food with a dipping sauce consisting of shacha sauce and raw egg yolk.

In Thailand, hotpot is called "sukiyaki", although it is quite different from Japanese-style sukiyaki. A sauce, often mixed with broth from the hot pot, is based on tofu, sesame seed oil, s, and garlic.

In , a hot pot is called ''l?u'', and the sour soup called ''canh chua'' is often cooked in hot pot style . The generic term for a salted fish hot pot is l?u m?m. Some famous Vietnamese hot pots include: l?u cá kèo, l?u dê- goat hot pot, l?u b?ng bí, l?u cua tía t?, l?u l??n chua me, l?u cá trê om m?, l?u v?t n?u s?u, l?u m?ng chua, l?u h?i s?n, and l?u n?u chao.

Food poisoning

A few things should be kept in mind to prevent ''E. coli'' or Salmonella poisoning. After handling raw meat with chopsticks, dip the chopsticks in the boiling broth to kill any microbes. If a raw egg is used, use only the freshest possible. Another alternative is to use separate chopsticks for the hotpot. It is important to note that these are just preventative measures and there is always a risk of food poisoning when handling or eating around raw food.

Related dishes

* Steamboat
** Jjigae Chongol - Korea
** Nabemono - Japan
*** Shabu shabu
*** Sukiyaki
*** Chankonabe
*** Oden
** - Thailand
*Clay pot cooking - referred to as "hot pot" or "hotpot" on Chinese restaurant menus in English-speaking regions
*Lancashire hotpot - a dish referred to as "hot pot" in

Fuling jiabing

Fuling jiabing
is a traditional specialty snack food of Beijing and is an integral part of their culture. It is a pancake-like, thin white piece of snack made from flour, sugar, and ''fuling'' , sandwiching some contents made from nuts, honey, and other ingredients. The flour is usually mixed with ''fuling'' , which is a kind of Chinese medicine from Yunnan province. Different contents sandwiched give a variety of ''Fuling jiabing''. The pancakes can be carved into beautiful patterns, too.

It used to be light snack served to the royal family or governmental officials in the Qing Dynasty. Now it has become one of the tourist's must-have snacks of Beijing. Century-old traditional Daoxiangchun is the best known for its ''Fuling jiabing''.


Douzhi is a dish from Beijing cuisine. It is similar to soy milk, but made from mung beans. It is a by-product of cellophane noodle production. It is generally slightly sour, with an egg-like smell.

Bing guo

Iced fruit is a traditional dessert dish of Beijing cuisine. The traditional culinary method of this dish begins with the preparation of the main ingredients that include 250 grams of lotus root, 100 grams of almond, 100 grams of walnuts, 100 grams of lotus seed, 250 grams of sugar and a sheet of lotus leave. With the exception of sugar and lotus leave, everything else is chopped into small pieces and then steamed. The sugar is mixed with water and then boiled to become syrup. The lotus leave is cut into small pieces and soaked in boiling water in a bowl. The steamed ingredients are placed on the lotus leave with syrup poured on top and then cooled by ice and after cooling, the iced fruits are served in cold. Since the container is a bowl, the dish is also called Ice Bowl . The last step can also be completed by simply placing the bowl into refrigerators in modern days.

Beijing cuisine

Beijing cuisine is a cooking style in Beijing, . It is also formally known as Mandarin cuisine.


Since Beijing has been the capital city for centuries, its cuisine has been influenced by culinary traditions from all over China, but the cuisine that has exerted the greatest influence on Beijing cuisine is the cuisine of the eastern coastal province of . Beijing cuisine has itself, in turn, also greatly influenced other Chinese cuisines, particularly the cuisine of , the Chinese imperial cuisine, and the Chinese aristocrat cuisine. "The Emperor's Kitchen" was a term referring to the cooking places inside of the Forbidden City, Beijing where thousands of cooks from the different parts of China showed their best cooking skills to please royal families and officials. Therefore, it is at times rather difficult to determine the actual origin of a dish as the term "Mandarin" is generalized and refers not only to Beijing, but other provinces as well. However, some generalization of Beijing cuisine can be characterized as follows: Foods that originated in Beijing are often snacks rather than full courses, and they are typically sold by little shops or street vendors. There is emphasis on dark soy paste, sesame paste, sesame oil, and scallions, and fermented tofu is often served as a condiment. In terms of cooking method, methods relating to the different way of frying is often used.

Well known Mandarin dishes

* Peking Duck
* Hot and Sour Soup
* Peking Barbecue
* Instant-boiled mutton
* Sweetened Vinegar Spareribs
* Stir Fried Tomatoes with Scrambled Eggs
* Beggar's chicken
* Sweet Stir Fried Mutton/Lamb
* Plain Boiled Pork
* Fried Small Meatballs
* Fried Pig Liver wrapped in Chinese Small Iris
* Shredded Skin Salad
* Cold Pig ears in Sauce
* Pickled Chinese Cabbage with Blood Filled Intestines
* Sauced Meat
* Pickled Sauced Meat
* Upper Parts of the Pork Hand/Leg
* Three Non-Stickiness
* Wood shavings meat 木须肉
* Quick-Fried Tripe
* Fried Triangle
* Roast (Mutton/Beef/Pork
* Peking Dumpling
* Peking wonton
* Braised fish
* Soft fried fish
* Fish cooked with five spices
* Fish cooked with vinegar and pepper
* Shrimp chips with egg
* Fish soaked with soup
* Family style boiled fish
* Sea cucumber with quail egg
* Fish cooked with five kinds of sliced vegetable
* Abalone with peas and fish paste
* Meat wrapped in thin mung bean flour pancake
* Egg and shrimp wrapped in corn flour pancake
* Fried tofu with egg wrapping
* Wheaten cake boiled in meat broth
* Fried wheaten pancake with meat and sea cucumber fillings
* Fried butter cake
* Fried cake with fillings
* Fried dry soybean cream with diced meat filling
* Dried Soy Milk Cream in Tight Roll with Beef Fillings
* Lotus ham
* Pork in broth
* Stewed pork organs
* Goat/sheep intestine filled with blood
* Beef wrapped in pancake
* Soft fried tenderloin
* Meatballs soup
* Fried sesame egg cake
* Pork fat with flour wrapping glazed in honey
* Glazed fried egg cake
* Steamed egg cake
* Lotus shaped cake with chicken meat
* Fried thin pancake with meat stuffing

* Noodles with Thick Gravy
* Zhajiang mian
* Naked oats noodle

* Mustardy Chinese cabbage
* Beijing preserved fruit
* Beijing candied fruit
* Hawthorn cake
* Stir fried hawthorn
* Iced fruits
* Watermellon jelly
* Almond drink
* Beijng 'yoghurt'
* pancake sandwich
* Thin Millet Flour Pancake
* Thin pancake
* Pancake Lao Bing
* Deep Fried Dough Cake
* Baked Sesame Seed Cake
* Purplevine Cake
* Shortening cake
* Glutinous rice cake
* Thousand-layer cake
* Lamma cake
* Proso millet cake
* Glutinous rice cake roll
* Glazed steamed glutinous rice cake
* Rice and white kidney bean cake with jujube
* Honeycomb cake
* Buckwheat cake
* Rice and jujube cake
* Mung bean cake
* Soybean flour cake
* Bean paste cake
* Fried Cake
* Rice cake with bean paste
* Chestnut cake with bean paste
* Chestnut broth
* Glazed/Candied Chinese Yam
* Glazed thin pancake with Chinese yam and jujube stuffing
* Thin pancake of pork fat
* Sweet hard flour cake
* Sweet flour cake
* Fried sugar cake
* Fried cake glazed in malt sugar
* Cake with bean paste filling
* Freshwater snail shaped cake
* Chinese "fajitas"
* Chatang / Miancha / Youcha
* Fermented Mung Bean Juice
* Baked Wheaten Cake
* Sweetened baked wheaten cake
* Bean Jelly
* Sweet Potato Starch Jelly
* Crisp Fritter
* Crisp Fritter with Sesame
* Crisp Thin Fritter Twist
* Crisp Noodle
* Stir Fried Starch Knots
* Fried Ring
* Fried Dough Twist
* Pea Flour Cake
* Fermented Mung Bean Juice Dried
* Jellied Bean Curd
* Glutinous rice ball
* Noodle roll
* Kidney bean roll
* Dried Soy Milk Cream in Tight Rolls
* Sugarcoated haws on a stick
* Millet zongzi
* Tangyuan