I’m finally back from my blogging hiatus, after spending almost a month in Asia! I traveled to Beijing, Hong Kong, Macau, Taipei, and Guangzhou to sightsee, visit family, and of course, enjoy all the delicious food. It was my first time visiting mainland China (Beijing and Guangzhou) and Taipei, Taiwan. Today’s blog – part 1 – focuses on some good eats in Beijing and Guangzhou. Beijing is the capital of China and historic site where the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, and Forbidden City are located. Guangzhou is the third-largest Chinese city (after Shanghai & Beijing), located in Southern China.
The number one must-eat food in Beijing is authentic Peking Duck. Baker Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes raved about this traditional Northern Chinese dish at his go-to Chinese restaurant in Virginia – see his video on Best Thing I Ever Ate on The Food Network. The duck is smoked and then cooled so that the skin is very crispy. The duck is carved at the dinner table into thin slices, which you eat with paper-thin rice crepe, sliced green onions, and hoisin sauce (Asian BBQ sauce), and voila! It’s almost like a mini wrap. In Boston, you can order this in Chinatown at King Fung Garden or China King. Like roast pigs that require long prep time, peking duck must be pre-ordered in advance. Oh, it just so happens that today (January 18) is Peking Duck Day!
Guangzhou, China is the epicenter of Chinese cuisine, mainly Cantonese style. Supposedly, dim sum was first originated in Guangzhou. Dim sum is traditional Chinese brunch – tapas style, i.e. small bites, served on small plates and bamboo steamers. Popular items include: shrimp dumplings (har gow), pork/seafood dumplings (siu mai), steamed or baked BBQ pork buns (char siu bao), spare ribs, steamed lotus leaf rice, turnip cake, chicken feet, spring rolls, and sponge cakes. It is customary to drink tea (yum cha) at dim sum. Dim sum is affordable and delicious. There are plenty of dim sum restaurants in every Chinatown in the U.S.
From top left, clockwise: baked BBQ pork buns, shrimp/pork dumplings, stuffed fried dough wrap in crepe, steamed shrimp dumplings, barley sponge cake.
Stay tuned for more posts from my Asia Food Tour, Part 2: Hong Kong & Macau.