Shanghai Bites - Shanghai, China.

shanghaistreet1_remix.jpgOne of many food stalls. Shanghai, China.

The expression to be "shanghaied" roughly means to be conked on the head then dragged on to a ship and waking up to a crappy future of swabbin' decks, matey. Nowadays this definition seems charmingly obsolete. I'd like to see being "shanghaied" as an idea that has become decisively more culinary.

In Shanghai, China, there are thousands of food stalls scattered all throughout the vibrant city (a good thing considering the city's population is projected to double, even triple, in the next few years). You can find anything - and I mean ANYTHING - at any number of these shanty restaurants.

One particular stall I found was slightly off the beaten path and mostly offered impaled snacks. My favorite was the octopus tentacles on a stick. The tentacles, marinated in a sweet soy paste, are grilled to a tender perfection. They're absolutely delightful and almost candy like - maybe because they're served on a stick. Anyhow, after a long, hard day of buying pirated Spiderman DVDs, food stall treats are just what the Doc Ock ordered!