Since Beijing was the Chinese capital city for five different dynasties, Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing, its cuisine was influenced by eating habits of the ruling class. Mutton dishes were popular during Yuan dynasty when Beijing was ruled by the Mongolian rulers. These mutton dishes are still made today, such as stewed mutton, instant boiled mutton, quick fried mutton tripe, and fried dumplings with minced mutton.
The Qing Dynasty rulers ate pork before moving to Beijing from Shenyang in north eastern China. Their cooking methods were stewing, roasting, and boiling.
Inside the Forbidden City thousands of chefs from different parts of China showed their best cooking skills to please royal families.
Beijing was the gathering place of the literati and officials, and many skilled chefs followed these people to Beijing. These chefs brought the different cuisines to the capital and greatly enriched the flavours of Beijing cuisine. Over the centuries Beijing cuisine has been influenced by people from all over China.
Beijing cuisine is famous for its hundreds of dishes with special flavours that are unmatched by any other cuisine. Beijing cuisine does not emphasize strangeness or uniqueness, only delicious food made from common ingredients with tastes that are very agreeable.
Some of well-known Beijing dishes:
Beijing Duck or Peking Duck
Hot and Sour Soup
Four Seasons String bean
Sweetened Vinegar Spareribs
Candied Chinese Yam
Stir Fried Tomatoes with Scrambled Eggs