Beijing (Peking) Roast Duck & Quanjude

Beijing (Peking) Roast Duck brief

Beijing Roast DuckBeijing Roast Duck is prepared from specially-bred Beijing crammed duck with a unique roasting process which gives it a perfect combination of colour, aroma and taste, a crisp thin skin, and a mouth-melting, and delicious flavour.
Beijing Roast Duck dates back 300 years, and originated in the imperial kitchens of Jingling (today’s Nanjing).

China is one of the first countries to domesticate ducks for the table, Cooking, methods include steaming, boiling, stewing, frying and so on.Historical records show that Beijing Roast Duck started some 300 years ago, and roasting duck first began in Nanjing, then known as Jinling,capital city of Jiangsu province. At that time, Jinling was the capital of the early Ming Dynasty. When the capital moved to Beijing, the dish was also brought to Beijing as a delicacy on the imperial menu. In about 1630, a eunuch wrote a book on the imperial diet and referred to roast goose, pork, chicken and duck as the most favored courses in the palace.

Today there are two major schools of roast duck preparation, each with its own heritage. The first makes use of a conventional convection oven,in which on flames come into direct contact with the duck. The prime exponent of this technique is the Bianyifang Restaurant in Chongwemen,which traces its history back to 1816.

The second and better known method was developed in the imperial kitchens of the Qing Dynasty palace. Among many roast duck restaurants, Quanjude is the most popular.

Beijing (Peking) Roast DuckIdeally, the duck must be the white Beijing variety, it should be 65 days old when slaughtered and weigh two and a half kilograms. Every six hours of the last 20 days of their life, they queue obediently for a force-feeding of highly nutritious mush that thickens the layer of for the oven, After plucking, the bird is thoroughly cleaned, with each part carefully set aside for late use. Air is pumped into the duck between its skin and flesh to give the rich, crispy texture when the duck is cooked. It is then brushed with a glaze and hung up to dry for 24 hours, to further separate he skin from the meat. When roasting, the duck is filled with water until the roasting is done and then the duck is hooked on a spit in a huge, round oven which can take up to 20 ducks at a time.

The ducks are roasted in a doorless oven, using non-smoky hardwood fuel such as Chinese date, peach or pear to impart a subtle fruity flavor to the skin, the oven is heated to 270 degrees Centigrade and the ducks are left to roast for 30-40 minutes, depending on the sizes of the ducks, and the ducks must be turned frequently throughout the roasting process to ensure even cooking and to prevent them from burning. From time to time, the chef will hook down a duck and suspend it directly over the fire-usually for no more than 30 seconds. Since 1949, Beijing chefs have created over 100 dishes using every part of the duck from brains to webs.But while every Beijing Roast Duck is served at over 60 restaurants in Beijing, where the daily consumption of ducks is about 3,000 Connoisseurs quibble about whether to eat the crispy skin alone, or the skin and the meat, or the meat alone...Maybe all parts Who knows? Just make your own choice, and choose the parts you like.

A Beijing duck dinner is more than just a meal, it's a ritual. Beginning with the cold appetizers, using liver, wing, stomach, web and eggs, and moving on through the four-part duck soup the hot dishes-fried duck's heart in salt and pepper, tongue, kidneys--the whole roast duck is carried to the table for all to see before the meat is sliced and served.

Normally, there is an accepted method of treparing Beijing Duck. Likewise, there is also a proper way to eat it. Holding a wafer pancake in his left hand, the diner picks up two or three pieces of meat, cut into two-inch-square slices, and having dipped them into a thick, sweet sauce called "Jiang"(bean soy), places them in the center of the pancake, and adding some spring onions, fold the pancake--and munches.

Quanjude roast duck restaurant

Quanjude Restaurant is the most famous roast duck restaurant in Beijing.

peking duck quanjudeQUANJUDE, a famous historied brand of China, was established in 1864 (the third year of Tongzhi of Qing dynasty). During the 136 years, QUANJUDE has experienced business vicissitudes and survived the arduous ordeal of time. Throughout the years, QUANJUDE dishes have been greatly enriched due to developing and innovation.

In 1864, Yang quanren, a man who sold chickens and ducks, bought a food shop called De Juquan at Qianmen, one of the most busy and popular streets in Beijing, Yang Quanren reversed the three characters of the food shop name to be Quan Jude (Repertoire to All Virtues) to open his roast duck business. He invited a noticed chef who used to serve in the palace to work for his new restaurant.Not long after, Quan Jude's reputation spread all over the country and everywhere. Since has been associated with Beijing Duck.

With its long history, Quanjude roast duck enjoys a high reputation among domestic and overseas consumers for the peculiar roast technique and outstanding quality. It ranks the first not only in Chinese Famous Dishes, compiled by all-China famous chefs under the organization of Ministry of Commerce in 1958, but also in Elite of Chinese Famous Dishes, published by China and Japan in 1982. In many cases, Quanjude lists the first among famous restaurants.

The well-known All-Duck Banquet is headed by QUANJUDE roast duck and supported by over 400 dishes with QUANJUDE characteristic flavor. Government leaders, officials and VIPs from nearly 200 countries and regions have visited QUANJUDE roast duck restaurants and had dinner here.

In January of 1999, QUANJUDE was awarded the title of “China Renowned Trademark”, which is the first and unique case as of now in the service trade. This honor also contributes to QUANJUDE’s image of high quality, excellent taste, rich and profound culture.

There are four branch restaurants of Quanjude, Quanjude Hepingmen, Quanjude Qianmen, Quanjude Wangfujing, Quanjude ins Xiushui Street (Silk Street)

Address: No. 14, Qianmen West Street, Beijing
Tel:86-10-63048987

Quanjude Culinary Culture

Quanren Yang, the establisher and the first manager of QUANJUDE

QUANJUDEQuanren Yang (1822-1890), the first manager of QUANJUDE roast duck restaurant, came to Beijing from a famine-stricken area of Hebei Province. After arriving in Beijing, he was firstly engaged in buying and selling raw chicken and duck. In 1864, he rolled the dice with a grocery on the verge of bankruptcy. He renamed the firm QUANJUDE. Due to his extreme smartness and painstaking management, QUANJUDE developed from an ordinary roast duck shop front to a real restaurant characterized by roast duck done by hanging in the oven. This laid a sound foundation for the roast duck to become well known throughout Beijing.

Gold Tablet

QUANJUDE gold tabletAbove the gate of every QUANJUDE roast duck restaurant, there is a tablet where the three Chinese characters of QUAN JU DE are inscribed. The three characters were written by a scholar of Qing Dynasty whose name is Zilong Qian. On the tablet, the three characters are covered with gold leaf, a special Chinese technique for preservation. The gold tablet glitters through the vicissitudes of a century, telling silently an ancient story, the hardships and achievements of generations in QUANJUDE.

Acient Wall

The old shop front saved till now was established in the 14th year of Guangxu (1888) and witnessed QUANJUDE’s development. Now it is built in Qianmen Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant, Beijing. QUANJUDE

Acient Wall

QUANJUDEMoney reflects from a profile other social changes accompanying QUANJUDE. These coins are the very ones received on the very first day of the establishment of QUANJUDE in 1864.



Duck Sites--precious pictures taken 67 years ago

QUANJUDEOn the Dragon Boat Festival of 1933 (the 5th day of the 5th lunar month), Helen Morrison, a German photographer came to QUANJUDE roast duck restaurant for dinner. She was so deeply impressed by the special fragrance and taste of the roast duck. When seeing then manager Kuiyao Yang, she praised the taste of the duck as “beyond compare” and the extraordinary technique of the chef, asking eagerly to visit the spot of duck roasting. At that time, QUANJUDE’s roast duck done by hanging in the oven was a top commercial secret and QUANJUDE had never agreed anyone to see the site. But Yang was so satisfied with the busy business that day that he broke the rule and showed the lady to the roast oven. Helen was conquered by the scene: the claret ducks were being kissed by the red stove fire, the fragrance permeating; the chef was turning the ducks with the shaft handsomely. She immediately took the picture with her camera.

According to the old-timers of QUANJUDE restaurant, Helen Morrison was so interested in QUANJUDE roast duck. What amazed her was how an ordinary duck could achieve such pleasant fragrance after roast. QUANJUDE Under Helen’s request, Kuiyao Yang showed her to the duck farm where the ducks were raised specially for QUANJUDE. The duck farm was situated in the northwest of Beijing and the boss Laowu Wang was unique and the best in raising ducks and had a nickname of Duck King. The Wangs and Yangs had been old family friends. The key to Wang’s success in raising ducks was that he used only grains as feed, which resulted in the duck meat without any unpleasant smell. What is more, the duck farm was favorably sited in terms of geomantic quality. With the good water quality nearby, the duck meat was tender, fresh and delicious. Helen was attracted by the story and shot this picture.
quanjude old menu
Old Menu

According to historical documents, All-Duck-Banquet was initiated by QUANJUDE restaurant. In its early time, the All-Duck-Banquet is substantial rather than sumptuous. This banquet menu in the 1930s is saved by a foreign guest who usually visited QUANJUDE restaurant. Now it is stored in the Capital Museum of China