Saturday February 24, 2024

VIDEO: Grilled spicy ice cubes? How this weird dish became China's coolest street food?

The very low-fat icy Chinese popsicle is dusted with chilli, cumin, scallions and coriander

By Web Desk
December 09, 2023

We appear to have reached "rock bottom" in terms of weird eating trends: A Chinese street hawker reinvented "cold cuts" after being caught on camera grilling ice cubes on a grill, as shown in a viral video.

The unknown hawker can be seen putting ice cubes on a makeshift pan in the video, which was shot in Changsha, Hunan Province, in a way reminiscent to a grillmeister on Pluto, according to Newsflare.

The very low-fat popsicle is then dusted with chilli, cumin, scallions, coriander, and other ingredients.

A client is shown in the video sampling the savoury shaved ice, which she describes as "spicy" and "interesting."

We have yet to test this edible icicle, so we cannot confirm whether ice is a meal best served hot.

The vendor claimed that the spiced ice, which cost around $2 per cup, was a speciality from Northeast China – a claim that locals have since refuted.

A senior engineer at Harbin Standardisation Research Institute, who sets management standards for the accreditation of landmark food brands in Heilongjiang, a region in China's far north, slammed the frozen treat.

“There is no such thing as grilled ice cube snacks in the northeast,” he declared. “This is a fabrication by the street vendor.”

“I’ve lived in the northeast for so many years, and I’ve never seen this dish,” seconded one self-proclaimed native of the region.

The precise origin of having spices on the rocks is still being debated: Some say that these delicious icecapades first appeared in 2021 at Harbin, the Middle Kingdom's famed ice festival.

Other Chinese cultural vultures on TikTok, however, argue that it was a Changsha-based creation (consider how many Americans associate Fortune Cookies with Chinese food despite having originated in California).

In any case, fried ice has gone viral, with several TikTok videos exhibiting this street sorbet.

This spartan sundae is garnished with anything from sesame seeds to cumin and comes in cubes, cones, and other shapes la edible ice sculptures, as the films show.

In an August Instagram post, the Chinese cultural website Radii described the icy-hot snack as China's response to the "girl dinner."

They were alluding to a trend in which female TikTok users assemble low-effort dinners from leftovers and prepackaged items rather than cooking dinner from scratch.

In any event, this latest creation shows that Chinese street hawkers are no more immune to ridiculous TikTok food combinations than we are.