Popular Chinese dishes you must know

They say to eat well you have to order well.

Despite the endless options to eat out, foreigners in Beijing often have no idea of what they are ordering because the menus in many restaurants in the city are neither printed in English nor carry photos, and the non-existent English skills of the waiters doesn’t help either.

Here we deconstruct a few of the most popular dishes foreigners in Beijing often patronize. Hopefully, this will help you to order the right dish when you visit the restaurant next time.

Kung Pao Chicken (宫保鸡丁)

Kung Pao Chicken is called Gong Bao Ji Ding in Mandarin Chinese. Pronounce the Chinese name correctly and you will be rewarded with a spicy stir-fried dish made with chicken, peanuts, scallions and chili peppers.

The Kung Pao Chicken dish uses chicken as its primary ingredient. The chicken meat is typically diced and mixed with a prepared marinade. The wok is seasoned and then chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorns are flash fried to add fragrance to the oil. Then the chicken is stir-fried, and scallions and deep-fried peanuts are added. Shaoxing wine is often used to enhance the flavor of the dish.

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