This article aims to show the value of viewing migration through the lens of skill, by considering the case study of a restaurant selling <i>mala tang</i>, a Sichuanese hotpot-like noodle soup. Inspired by the German anthropologist Gerd Spittler’s concept of “work,” the skills needed to work in a <i>mala tang</i> restaurant are analysed. Data was collected through ethnographic fieldwork in 2007/08 in a restaurant run by rural migrants from Anhui in urban Shanghai. The purpose of this study is to fill a gap in the research on food and migration, by focusing on migrant work and related skills, and to add the aspect of fast food prepared in informal street restaurants by rural migrants to the corpus of research on the Shanghainese culinary landscape. It is argued that focusing on the everyday strategies of migrants, and particularly on the work and (food-) skills of these migrants, provides a useful perspective through which to gain an in-depth understanding of migration processes. These include migrants’ agency, migrants’ motivations, the organisation of their migration process and everyday lives, and the overall dynamic of the migration process.