Beijing JJStyle 02: The Perfect Peking Duck

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Yes Beijing is mostly known as the center of China’s Political and Historical center… but another thing the city is known for is its cuisine… and most notably… the Peking Duck! The duck, originally named Shaoyazi, is the country’s National Dish, with roots going back to around the 1300’s and is a staple of Imperial Cuisine.

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The duck for the perfect Peking, is bred especially for the dish. Hilton Beijing Wangfujing gave me and my friends the opportunity to help the Hotel Chef make one for our dinner at Chynna, one of the city’s premier Chinese cuisine destinations located in the hotel.

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Of course as part of the deal, we would be filmed making the Duck. I was just afraid I’d mess it up! But of course with the help of the Chef and my friend, Denise, it turned out to be a messy, yet fun learning experience.

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I couldn’t quite get the duck to open up the right way in order to put in the right herbs and spices. The Chef had to help me struggle with it, which was pretty funny.

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After the setup, and boiling and glazing the duck in a special soup… we were able to check out the roasting area.

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This is where the Chef would line up the ducks that were ready for roasting after hanging to dry for 24 hours. The duck cooks for less than an hour… then it’s ready to serve!

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Before dinner, my friends and I were treated to some wine and cheese as an appetizer in the Wine Room, which was cool.

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Then it was on to Chynna for dinner to finally taste the duck. 

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The interiors were pretty cool… a nice update of Chinese themes in a very modern and contemporary fashion. It was very very “Beijing Style” NOW.

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Of course the chef was ready for us to have our feast… and boy we DID have an amazing feast there.

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Just some of my favorite dishes… Fresh egg rolls.

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Marinated jellyfish with aged vinegar

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Sautéed assorted mushrooms with spinach and tofu

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Beef with sautéed porcini mushrooms and black pepper! SO yum!

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My friends loved this stewed pork rib dish in sweet and sour sauce

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We also had tons of dessert… like this mango yogurt dish… and the Tiramisu in a cocktail glass. So good.

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I’m full just looking at the pictures again. Thanks Hilton Hotels and Resorts for the amazing dining experience!

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EAT Chynna 

This post was originally published on November 15, 2012 for CNN.com and Hilton Hotels and Resorts for the CNNGO Experience Asia Contest.

JJ.