With the exception of Beijing’s best-known culinary export, Peking Duck, most of the popular dishes in Beijing have been adopted from surrounding areas. Regardless of their origin, all of the following dishes are now fully ingrained in Beijing life and can be sampled at restaurants throughout the city.
Popular Dishes in Beijing:
Beijing Roast Duck (Peking Duck):
Beijing roast duck or Peking Duck is a dish that has been prepared since the imperial era. The dish is serves mostly thin, crispy skin with little meat, sliced in front of the diners by the cook. The meat is eaten with spring onion, cucumber, sweet bean sauce, and with pancakes rolled around the filling. Sometimes this dish is accompanied by pickled radish and other sauces.
Jiaozi – Chinese Dumplings:
A plate of Jiaozi with soy sauce, vinegar, and chili dip is synonymous with Northern Chinese cuisine. Traditional recipes contain minced pork, ginger, and leek. However, you can find restaurants that offer all types of different meat and vegetable fillings.
Jiaozi is another dish that can be found anywhere across Beijing. Some of the tastiest dumplings (and most interesting experiences) can be found in smaller, less conspicuous family eateries where dumplings are the only thing on the menu. At these restaurants, you can often sit and watch the next batch of dumplings being rolled and filled as you eat.
Jing Jiang Rou Si – Shredded Pork in Beijing Sauce:
Unlike many of the city’s other popular dishes, jing jiang rou si originated in the capital. It’s popularity may stem from its simplicity; sliced pork cooked in a sweet bean sauce served with soy bean wraps.
Although it doesn’t look like the most appealing meal, once you have tried the first wrap you will understand why it is so widely enjoyed. Jing jiang rou si is a necessary component of any authentic Beijing dining experience.
Gangou potatoes are slices of potato, crispy pork and chilies simmered in an iron pot atop an open flame. It is served on a bed of sliced onions. It’s a dish best enjoyed during the colder months but is popular with locals all year round.
Zhajiang Mian – Noodles with Soybean Paste:
Zhajiang mian is very popular when it comes to traditional Beijing cuisine. It has three main ingredients: wide hand-pulled noodles, vegetable pieces, and pork. Vegetables vary seasonally, but there are never less then seven kinds. It is an ideal lunch time snack for visitors in a hurry as it is usually ready minutes. As an added bonus, it is very inexpensive.
Mongolian hotpot is a dish with history that dates back over 1,000 years. A traditional hotpot restaurant’s diners will sit around a large pot of boiling soup, in which they cook their own food. While traditional Mongolian hotpots usually involve a large amount of lamb, any number of meats, vegetables, and breads are available. These are sliced thin to ensure they cook quickly and evenly.
This northern-Chinese style of hotpot uses a soup which is less spicy and generally less flavored than its southern counterparts. More emphasis is placed on the ingredients that are cooked rather than what they are cooked in.
We hope you’ll try and enjoy some of these popular dishes in Beijing! During the Summer China Seminar, students will have plenty of opportunities to try these traditional dishes!