Journeywomen writer Dr. Jane Liedtke learned a lot about the cuisine of China in her many visits to the country. She passes on her tips about the best food in the country in her article She Eats Great Chinese Food In China.
Mongolian Hot Pot
“Hot Pots are a copper or brass pot with coals inside to keep broth boiling. Brought to the table are shaved meats, sliced greens, and noodles (also seafood is available but that is not the traditional hot pot). Mutton is the meat of choice although pork, chicken, and beef available. At your place you will have a bowl of dipping sauce that is a sesame paste and tastes more like peanut butter than anything else. To that a hot chili pepper oil is added to taste – mild to ultimately spicy. The meat is dipped into the pot like fondue and then fished out (with your chopsticks) and into the bowl of sauce. It is a fun way to enjoy a meal by yourself or with friends. Hot Pot restaurants abound so it’s often best to ask for one near your hotel.
Everyone coming to Beijing must have some Peking Duck. Most restaurants have duck (yazi) available so it is really not necessary to go to one of the tourist restaurants. As with anything touristy, you are bound to pay far more than you need to for a multiple course meal with every possible part of the duck served. Near the end of the feast, around course five, you will finally receive the worth-waiting-for duck, pancakes, plum sauce, and scallions. This is actually Beijing’s version of a burrito.
If you do not want more tea, leave some in your cup.
It is considered rude to tap your chopsticks on the table.
Sauces are for dipping. Do not pour them into your rice bowl
Dropping your chopsticks is considered bad luck.
Do not place your chopstick parallel on the top of your bowl. This, too, is considered bad luck.”