Like carving a turkey on Thanksgiving or ham on Easter, there is something that feels ceremonial and special about indulging in Beijing duck. Sometimes referred to as “Peking” duck, a transliteration of Mandarin that means Beijing, the classic Chinese dish has a rich history, dating back to the 13th century when it was said to have originated in Hangzhou in the Northwestern Zhejiang province of China. Its complex preparation and subsequent presentation are just as intriguing as its roots.
The hours- and sometimes days-long process includes poaching and drying out the duck before marinating and roasting it in a dedicated Beijing duck oven. The result yields duck meat with crispy skin and robust flavor that is traditionally presented with accouterments, like hoisin sauce, scallions, and a wrap or a cradle for the meat — typically thin crepe-style rice pancakes or steamed buns. Oftentimes, the presentation features a second and third course, which incorporates the remaining parts of the bird that are mixed with vegetables to make a stir-fry or simmered with its bones to make a soup.
Tasked with preparing your own Beijing duck can sound daunting, to say the least, but fortunately, many Chinese restaurants in Houston offer their own iterations. Here are 12 restaurants to consider for a feast starring Beijing duck.
Don’t see your favorite place for Beijing duck on this list? Shout it in the comments.Read More