Beijing, the capital of China, is a great location to get an authentic cultural experience in China, and for good reason: the city is over 3000 years old. There are so many amazing sites to see in Beijing, like the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, and Summer Palace. But if you miss Beijing’s signature dishes, you will be kicking yourself later. Tickle your taste buds with these top 10 foods you absolutely have to try while staying in Beijing.
You can find all of these foods and restaurants on the Spoonhunt App.
10. Mung Bean Milk 豆汁
Okay so admittedly this first breakfast on the list is a tough sell. But true Beijingers love Douzhi so it has to make the list. Similar to soymilk, this fermented meng bean milk is the by-product of cellophane noodle production. The color is greyish and the aroma is of rotten eggs, but the sour taste is something that old-school Beijingers pine for, so it must be good after 2–3 tastes.
9. Donkey Rolls 驴打滚
Donkey Rolls are a popular Beijing snack or dessert. They are gluntinous rice cakes with sweet red bean paste on the inside rolled in soybean powder. Similar to Japanese mochi, Donkey Rolls are chewy and heavy. The gluntinous rice is mostly unassuming, but the red bean paste and soybean powder add sweet flavor and texture to the cake.
8. Boiled Lamb Tripe 爆肚
Yes I know, people get overly scared of tripe. But this Beijing snack is more bark than bite. This Muslim dish is made by rapidly boiling cut up pieces of lamb tripe then serving with a variety of sauces, such as sesame sauce and soy sauce. This dish dates back to the Qing Dynasty, and the most popular restaurant in Beijing to feature this dish is Bao Du Feng 爆肚冯.
7. Stir Fried Pork Liver 炒肝儿
Liver fans rejoice, this Beijing dish is the king of Chinese Liver dishes. Oddly enough this dish is served for breakfast and is sipped straight from the bowl, only using the spoon to fish out the bigger liver and intestine pieces. The thick soup is made of bone stock and mushroom broth. Raw garlic is added to make it even more savory.
6. Imperial Court Cuisine 宫廷菜
While this isn’t just one specific food, you will find this elegant dining experience fulfilling anyways. The dedicated restaurants in Beijing preserve the Imperial authenticity with large banquet halls, ornate dining places and exotic dishes that once served emperors. Here you can get dishes like stewed camels hump, sesame stuffed meat buns and slow roasted honey prawns.
5. Jian Bing (Chinese Crepe) 煎饼
This Chinese Crepe 煎饼果子Jiānbing guǒzi is a fantastic breakfast cheap eat that will cost you under USD$1. It’s a delicious Chinese breakfast burrito made with a thin dough spread over a flat, circular griddle. Egg, cilantro, mustard pickles, fried dough and sweet hoisin sauce are then added to create a breakfast that is the perfect balance of soft and crunchy, sweet and savory. It’s important to eat it when it’s hot and fresh off the grill so that the “pancake” stays soft and fluffy and doesn’t get stiff.
4. Jiaozi Dummplings 饺子
Dumplings are popular in every corner of China. They take on different shapes, cooking styles, ingredients and presentation based on the regional influences. In Beijing, the dumplings are usually boiled in a crescent shape and are filled with either pork and cabbage, egg and chives, or mutton. Most popular around Chinese New Year, these snacks go well with vinegar.
3. Fried Sauce Noodles 炸酱面
Zhajiang Mian, or Fried Sauce Noodles, are thick, hand-pulled wheat noodles topped with Zhajiang sauce, cucumbers, sprouts and soybeans. The sauce is made by simmering stir-fried ground pork with soybean paste. The richness of ingredients brings out the sweet and savory flavors of the sauce that perfectly compliment the noodles.
2. Mongolian Hot Pot 涮羊肉
Also known as Instant Boiled Mutton, Mongolian Hot Pot is actually a specialty in Beijing. It’s named after Mongolia because this style hot pot dates back to the Yuan Dynasty when Mongols ruled China. Unlike Chongqing Hot Pot, the broth is mostly clear and the main ingredient is thinly sliced mutton that cooks very quickly in the broth.
1. Beijing Roast Duck 北京烤鸭
This is an easy one. Far and beyond the best food from Beijing that you absolutely have to try is Beijing Roast Duck. In Beijing there are a few 100+ year old restaurants and chains that serve this delicious delicacy to perfection. The skin should be crispy while the meat should remain juicy and succulent. Take the wrap, put some bean sauce, cucumber and spring onions inside and top it off with a slice or two of duck.
To find any of these foods at place near you, search their names in the Spoonhunt app!
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