Beijing Cuisine – Flavors, Famous Dishes, Food Menu

Beijing cuisine, the food popular in Beijing, China’s capital, is a combination of Shandong cuisine, Halal dishes, Chinese aristocrat cuisine and imperial dishes, etc. The cooking methods of Beijing food are rich and it tastes salty, fresh, and tender with strong sauce aroma. The notable dishes are Peking duck, Instant-boiled Mutton, Sautéed Meat Shreds with Soy Bean Paste, Quick-fried Tripe, etc. It also has the famous snacks like Stir-fried Liver, Thousand-layered cake, Pea Cake, Donkey Rolls, Mung Bean Milk, etc.

Chinese Name: 北京菜, 京菜
English Names: Beijing food, Beijing cuisine, Peking cuisine
Popular in: Beijing
Flavors: fresh, salty, sauce aroma, and tender
Famous Beijing Dishes: Peking duck, Instant-boiled Mutton, Sautéed Meat Shreds with Soy Bean Paste…
Famous Snacks: Stewed Liver, Thousand-layered cake, Mung Bean Milk, Quick-fried Tripe, Pea Cake, Donkey Rolls…

Beijing Cuisine

Origin & Development of Beijing Cuisine

As mentioned above, Beijing cuisine is a combination of multiple cuisines. In the 7th century, Muslims started to settle in Beijing, bringing halal dishes. In Southern Song Dynasty (1127 - 1279 AD), Jurchen found a capital in Beijing, followed by Mongols. During these time periods, different racial dishes coexisted in Beijing and influenced each other. In Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 AD), the Emperor Yongle moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing, and southern chefs also came to Beijing and brought famous dishes from south China. What’s more, the imperial dishes had gradually taken shape. In Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911 AD), some Manchu cooking methods were spread to Beijing. In addition, Shandong people came to Beijing to do business and brought their food culture and cooking skills. By late Qing Dynasty, Peking dishes had formed their own style and special features. 

Features of Beijing Cuisine

Beijing dishes taste salty, fresh, tender, and having a special flavor of various thick sauce like broad-bean sauce. The materials are extremely rich and dishes are of a lot varieties. Compared with other cuisines, mutton is more frequently used. A lamb can be cooked into over a hundred dishes with using different parts.

Special Cooking Techniques

The cooking methods are rich: brewing, quick frying, frying, barbecuing, roasting, boiling, etc. The most common cooking method in Beijing cuisine is “Bao”, that is quick frying, including quick frying with hot oil, quick frying with soup and quick frying with sauce. The chefs are also good at “pa”, which means cook the semi-finished food materials again with soup or sauce. Both the two are skills from Shandong cuisine.

Notable Dishes in Sichuan Cuisine

Peking Duck

Peking Duck is probably the most famous Beijing dish. The Duck is roasted as a whole. The skin tastes crispy and the meat inside is tender. When eating, the duck is cut into slices, wrapped in lotus-leaf-like pancake with sliced scallion, sliced cucumber and sweet flour paste.


Instant-boiled Mutton / Mutton Hot Pot

Mutton Hot Pot

This dish is originated from Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368 AD). The mutton is cut into thin slices and boiled in the copper pot quickly. The boiled mutton is dipped into a condiment sauce made of sesame paste, sesame oil, soy sauce, pickled leek flowers, coriander and so on before eating.


Sautéed Pork Shreds with Soy Bean Paste

 Sautéed Pork Shreds with Soy Bean Paste

 It is a traditional Beijing food. The main ingredients are pork, green onion and ginger. They are quick-fried with soy bean paste. The dish tastes moderately salt and slightly sweet. Usually, the pork shreds together with sliced scallions are wrapped in the dried bean curd sheets when eating.


Quick-fried Mutton with Scallions

Quick-fried Mutton with Scallions

It is a classic Beijing dish. The scallion is added to relieve the strange smell of mutton. They must be fried over very high heat quickly, by which the mutton is the most tender and tasty. It is always eaten together with baked wheaten cake, a staple food like bread in Beijing cuisine.


It’s a kind of Beijing noodles popular in Beijing, Shandong and other northern areas in China. The soy bean paste is made of salted and fermented soya paste, chopped pork, sweet flour paste, ginger and green onion. The boiled noodles are topped with finished soy bean paste and other shredded vegetables like cucumber and bean sprout.


Quick-fried Tripe

Quick-fried Tripe

It is a traditional snack popular in Tianjin and Beijing. You can find the dish in Muslim restaurant easily. The ingredients are always ox tripe, goat tripe, and omasum. Before eating, the finished tripe should be dipped into sauce made of sesame paste, vinegar, soy sauce, hot chili oil, sesame oil, white sugar and fermented bean curd.


Beijing Cuisine Menu

                           English                                              Chinese                      Pinyin             
Peking Duck 北京烤鸭 běi jīng kǎo yā
Instant-boiled Mutton 涮羊肉 shuàn yang ròu
Sautéed Meat Shreds With Soy Bean Paste 京酱肉丝 jīng jiàng ròu sī
Quick-fried Mutton with Scallions 葱爆羊肉 cōng bào yang ròu
Noodles with Soy Bean Paste (Zhajiangmian) 炸酱面 zhá jiàng miàn
Quick-fried Tripe 爆肚 bào dǔ er
Peking Barbecue 北京烤肉 běi jīng kǎo ròu
Steamed Bread Soaked in Fish Head Soup 鱼头泡饼 yú tóu pào bǐng
Tofu With Crab Roe 蟹黄豆腐 xiè huáng dòu fu
Luohan Prawns 罗汉大虾 luó hàn dà xiā
Braised Shark’s Fin in Rice Wine Sauce 黄焖鱼翅 huáng mèn yú chì
Bird’s Nest Soup 清汤燕窝 qīng tāng yàn wō
Chinese Cabbage Wrapped Chicken 菜包鸡 cài bāo jī
Boiled Chinese Cabbage in Mustard 芥末墩儿 jiè mò dūn er
Stewed Liver 炒肝 chǎo gān
Mung Bean Milk (Douzhi) 豆汁儿 dòu zhī er

Best Beijing Cuisine Restaurants in China

 Jingweizhai Restaurant
Chinese name: 京味斋 jīng wèi zhāi
Address: No.18, Xinyuan Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing

 Si Shi Tong Tang
Chinese name: 四世同堂
Address: No.59, middle East Third Ring Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing

 Tan Jia Restaurant
Chinese name: 谭家菜馆
Address: No.20, the Third Street, Tanggu District, Tianjin

 Yanyun Lou Restaurant
Chinese name: 燕云楼 yàn yún lóu
Address: No.288, Guangxi North, Huangpu District, Shanghai
See more Beijing Restaurants in Shanghai

Major Styles of Beijing Cuisine

What is the main style of food in Beijing? Beijing cuisine is actually an integrated cuisine. It learns from other cuisines like Shandong cuisine a lot. But roughly there are three major types of Beijing food: Halal dishes, imperial dishes and Tan cuisine. Halal food plays a crucial role in Peking cuisine. Taking mutton and beef as the main materials, Halal dish is the most famous among the three. Most of Beijing dishes now were imperial dishes before, which are exquisite, appealing and made of precious and the best materials. Tan cuisine tastes moderately sweet and salty and is picky in raw materials.

- Last updated on Apr. 08, 2021 -
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