Saturday, December 09, 2023
Web Desk

WATCH: Spicy grilled ice cubes emerge as year's weirdest Chinese street food

Priced at approximately $2, the vendor claims the spiced ice is a speciality from Northeast China

Web Desk

In a peculiar culinary twist, a Chinese street vendor has become the talk of the town by grilling ice cubes, creating a sensation on TikTok and raising eyebrows worldwide. 

The vendor, situated in Changsha, Hunan Province, was spotted skillfully cooking ice cubes on a makeshift skillet, reminiscent of a unique street food trend. The frozen concoction is then seasoned with chilli, cumin, scallions, coriander, and various garnishes, offering a savoury shaved ice experience.

The viral video captures a customer trying the unconventional treat, describing it as both "spicy" and "interesting." Priced at approximately $2 per serving, the vendor claims the spiced ice is a speciality from Northeast China, a statement disputed by locals and food experts.

A senior engineer from Harbin Standardisation Research Institute debunked the claim, stating, "There is no such thing as grilled ice cube snacks in the northeast," calling it a fabrication. 

The origin of this peculiar street food remains disputed, with some suggesting it dates back to 2021 in Harbin, while others argue it is a creation from Changsha.

Despite the controversy, videos on TikTok showcase the growing trend of spiced grilled ice cubes, adorned with various toppings. This fusion of hot and cold has gained popularity, challenging traditional culinary norms and showcasing the inventive spirit of Chinese street hawkers. 

The seemingly minimalist preparation hides the skill required to balance the icy-hot paradox, making it a social media sensation.