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Roast with the most

China Daily | Updated: 2022-01-29 16:16
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Peking duck is synonymous with Beijing and a must-try when visiting China’s capital city.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Peking duck is an icon of Beijing cuisine and enjoying the treat is one of the must-dos in the capital. Among the fast-changing trends of international cuisine, the dish is a rare, enduring classic, receiving worldwide recognition for its tempting sheen, crispy skin and tender, juicy meat.

When serving the dish, chef and duck appear before diners. The chef deftly slices off delectable parts of skin first, with the meat then pared together into succulent slivers, enough to serve a full meal for four or five.

The morsels are delicately paired with a sweet bean paste, rested on a bed of shredded cucumber, spring onions or radishes and wrapped in a bite-sized, wafer-thin crepe. Rolled into little envelopes, these duck pancakes are a taste and tactile experience that most characterizes the sophisticated palate and pragmatism of the city.

Local diners like to dip the fatty duck skin in sugar to emphasize the crunch.

Sometimes, any extra meat is stripped from the bones, shredded and stir-fried with garlic, chives or asparagus.

Taste is not the only reason for Peking duck’s unique status, though. The Chinese believe that other poultry is hot in nature and therefore brings excessive heat to the body. Duck, however, is considered moderate, even slightly cold, because it comes from water and it is believed to be good for the lungs and other parts of the respiratory system.

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