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.
Nothing insulates you from winter’s bite like earthy duck meat nestled in warm fat and crispy bronze skin. Unfortunately, like with chickens in China, feedlot farming has made this experience harder to find; swapping delicious ducks for chewy “other-white-meat” fowl with soggy skin and fat that clings rather than melts. Thankfully, duck die-hards can still find country ducks for dirt-cheap at Cantonese dive, Lao Guangdong.
Situated on seafood-strewn Shouning road, Lao Guangdong is recognizable by what looks like an automated clothing rack with hanging duck carcasses inching along it like juicy golden gondolas. It works like a production line. The ducks start out pale and plain-looking like car molds, and then they’re painted with a mixture of ginger, green onion, oil sauce and vinegar, and finally hung, dried, and ushered along the metal rails. A 45-minute whirl in the roaster bronzes the birds. The result is one of the tastiest quackers in Shanghai, and for only 25 RMB. The skin on Lao Guangdong’s rendition isn’t the greatest – a bit more greasy than crackling – but the actual meat tastes like regular duck meat combined with pâté.
If you want your duck hot, you’ll want to line up with the locals at 7:30 am.
Lao Guangdong – 924 Renmin Lu, near Shouning Lu (人民路924号,近寿宁路). Tel: (0)21-6328-8474. Hours: 8am-8pm.
Last time on Dish of the Day: Miao roast lake fish @ Lotus Eatery
See a complete list of our Dish of The Day series here.
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