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'Is there no food there?' Netizens bemused by China's grilled ice street food trend

'Is there no food there?' Netizens bemused by China's grilled ice street food trend
PHOTO: Screengrab/TikTok/k0pinions

It looks like bizarre food trends are not ending anytime soon.

From isopod and crocodile ramen to chicken rice sushi and now grilled ice - yes, you read that right. 

The frosty dish was thrown into the spotlight when TikTok user K0pinions featured it in a 21-second clip on August 25. 


According to the video, the dish hails from northern China. Aptly called grilled ice, the ice is "cooked" over charcoal and then covered, or shall we say seasoned, with spices and sauce. 

Since the dish is essentially just ice, it can come in different shapes such as cubes, cones and even in the form of a water bottle shaped icicle. 

It can be be consumed cold or hot, however, the video also mentioned that the dish is seen as a gimmick for tourists, with people wondering who would actually eat grilled ice.

The comments section was flooded with scepticism with the general consensus was the disbelief that grilled ice is actually a proper dish. 

One user commented, "Bro is there no food there", while another remarked, "Nah that's a joke. No way it's legit."

One user pointed how this dish is similar to a Mexican snack, which is made of shaved ice, lime, salt and chilli.

Others also drew parallels with China's other peculiar dish - stir-fried pebbles which are similarly slathered in spices and aromatics. 

It's trending on China's social media

On Chinese video-sharing platform Douyin, there are a handful of clips featuring the grilled ice dish, garnering over 30,000 likes. But don't let that fool you into thinking the dish is celebrated in China. 

In the comments section of a Douyin post on the grilled ice dish, Chinese users also shared similar sentiments like netizens from the aforementioned TikTok video.

A couple of users were intrigued whether the dish is served hot or cold. 

In June, China made the headlines with a rather peculiar dish: stir-fried pebbles

Originating from Enshi, Hubei province, the dish was spotted in the Changsha Night Market.

First, the pebbles are doused in chilli oil and then stir-fried with dry chilli, garlic and other spices.

To consume the dish, you actually just suck on the seasoned pebbles to get the flavour out. 

Once you're done, you spit the stones out. The dish goes for about US$2 (S$2.69). 

ALSO READ: Pizza with your noodles? Ramen restaurant in Malaysia whips up odd new dish

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