Every few days our team will scour Shanghai’s dining scene for scrumptious dishes that’ll fill your belly without emptying your savings. Not to discriminate, we’ll search everywhere from bicycle carts to chic venues with twenty-course tasting menus, knowing that any spot could have the next Dish of the Day.
It can prove quite challenging to replicate the Thanksgiving experience in Shanghai. Turkeys cost you an arm and a leg and are generally only sold at high-end expat stores, and do they even sell pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce in China? But one element of the traditional Thanksgiving mosaic that’s readily available and cheap is the grilled sweet potato, which is vended out of medieval-looking drums on most food streets and at many metro-stop exits. Sweet potato vendors are identifiable by the aroma of burnt caramel that permeates the air around them.
Sweet potatoes run you about 4RMB per jin. Pick out the desired number and either lug them home or devour them on a nearby stoop. To eat, just bite through the skin into the fluffy orange belly. They come dolloped with sugar, but this isn’t necessary, as sweet potatoes are naturally syrupy-sweet, hence the name. No need to mash them up too much at home either, they take on a mashed consistency when grilled.
So to save yourself some work at your upcoming Thanksgiving dinner, simply serve a couple of these titillating tubers on a plate along with the rest of your spread. You can even say you cooked them yourself.
Last time on Dish of the Day: Naan and kebab sandwich @ Sapar Uygur Restaurant
See a complete list of our Dish of the Day series here.
Have a recommendation for Dish of the Day? Let Shanghaiist’s food editor Benjamin Cost know at [email protected]!