Over the weekend, while biking to Shanghai’s Silk Market, Jacob and I got lost in a maze of side streets. This was a side of Shanghai visitors seldom see. We rode past a few “free-range” chickens (with feet leashed to a pole, to prevent straying) pecking on some dirty lettuce. On the other side of the road was a scene that would never pass American health inspection, but which made my heart skip a beat.
Open air duck roasting! Now, I think Peking duck is a neat art form, but the elaborateness of the preparation, ordering, and eating gets tiring after the 20th time. Some days you just want a crispy, juicy duck without the fuss. For example, one you can pick up while whizzing by on a bike.
So what does the inside of the metal inferno look like?
Inside the drum, nude-colored ducks were neatly hung around a circle of flaming charcoal.
The skin of the pre-roasted ducks appeared to have been lightly boiled, if only to remove the feathers. Some scallions and garlic cloves are stuck into the cavities. According to the duck stand vendor, the roasting takes only an hour. Then, he hangs the just-roasted ducks in his little wooden stand, behind a Plexiglass case, and sells them for only 12 rmb a jin (about 1 pound).
Look at the sheen on these birds. I am hoping these ducks were fed better food than their neighbors across the street.
Roadside duck stand
Small side street between Quxi Lu and Zhongshan Nanlu
Near Silk Market, Shanghai