One of China’s national treasures, Peking duck is a special dining experience where even the meticulous tableside presentation is a treat. Everyone has a favorite part, whether it’s the lacquered, crackling-like skin, or slices of dark meat with lush, fatty ribbons, wrapped in pancakes with scallions and hoisin sauce.
Call them “the glass noodles of the sea.” Jellyfish is usually served cold and tossed with green onions and toasted sesame oil. It is not slimy and is in fact crunchy, like raw clams.
Also called Millennium Eggs, they are neither kept for one century nor ten. Like a fine Époisses de Bourgogne, it is an acquired taste, and is delicious alone or with tofu.
Chicken Feet a.k.a. “Phoenix Claws”
The Chinese are indeed cruel to kill off mythical creatures to harvest their feet. Mostly skin and cartilage, the pleasure is in loudly sucking the bones dry. They’re even dyed Phoenix Red and served for brunch (dim sum).
You can’t go wrong with this popular Cantonese staple of fluffy, wide rice noodles stir-fried with your choice of seafood, sweet-glazed roast pork or beef in a savory sauce.
Glenn Close gave it a bad name in “Fatal Attraction,” but this Chinese version of fondue is a favorite cold-weather way of dining. Cook your own meats and vegetables in a large communal pot of steaming-hot broth.
Considered a delicacy, these medieval pickles are often served during special occasions. When faced with danger in the ocean, they’ll propel themselves to safety by expelling all their guts. Maybe that’s why they’re free from cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates and fat.
Shrimp Dumpling Soup
Hong Kong-style bundles of minced shrimp and hearty egg noodles swim in a delicious and distinct-flavored wonton broth. A great year-round comfort food that’s fun for slurping.
This zesty Sichuan dish is an array of flavors and textures. Soft tofu acts as a buffer in a bright red sauce of ground pork, garlic, fermented black beans, green onions and fire-breathing dragons.
Xiao Long Bao
“If you put water into a dumpling, it becomes the dumpling.” These Shanghai soup dumplings (which share a name with Bruce Lee) are filled with a flavorful broth — which become lethal weapons when eaten too quickly. Third-degree burns never tasted so good.