China Trip – New Culinary Experience – Peking Duck
A duck inviting us into the Bian Yi Fang Roast Duck Restaurant
After the Pearl Market experience I was quite hungry! Who knew four and a half hours of shopping and bargaining could be so draining. We went to Bian Yi Fang Roast Duck Restaurant for the world-famous Peking Duck. We were greeted at the door by a six-foot-tall fiberglass duck in traditional Chinese garb, who could have easily been Donald Duck’s cousin. Poor guy must not have realized that he was welcoming us to a restaurant that served his kind on a plate.
The dining area was an enormous room with large circular tables. In the center of each table was a huge glass turntable. Fortunately for me, the consummate shutterbug, the prep area for the Peking Duck was adjacent to our table.
I watched and took pictures as the skilled chef quickly and expertly carved a duck into over 100 pieces of meat. Our guide told us that the sign of a true master chef is one who can slice the whole duck into 120 pieces so that each piece is the same size. I didn’t count the pieces, but I would guess that we had a master chef!
Our master chef at work
Once the duck was delivered to our table, on an oval porcelain plate, whose handle was in the shape of a duck head and neck, we were instructed on the proper method of eating the duck. You start with a paper-thin pancake, pick up a piece of duck with your chopsticks, dip the duck in sweet bean sauce and place it on the pancake near the edge. Then, you add julienned cucumber and scallions beside the duck.
Finally, you roll the pancake around your chopsticks, fold it in half and pull out the chopsticks. You eat the rolled and folded duck pancake with your fingers. It’s a little work, but it is totally worth it. It was delicious! (Unfortunately, I was so busy assembling and eating the duck, I did not get any pictures of that process.)
Aside from the Peking Duck, we were served about twelve other dishes of various meats and vegetables! Needless to say, I was no longer hungry after the meal.