Fried rice, I’m familiar with. In fact, it’s one of my favorite foods.
But fried ice?
Apparently, yes, it’s a thing, although how long the supposedly native Chinese street food will remain available to the public is something of a question.
In a video posted to X on Dec. 4 that has been viewed over 36 million times, The South China Morning Post showed a Chinese street vendor “grilling” ice, adding seasonings, and then offering it to a customer for a taste.
Though the video has done viral on social media, the street vendor’s business may go the way of the dodo bird before too long.
The vendor, who sells a small portion of the seasoned ice for the equivalent of just over $2, claims that it’s a “specialty of northeastern China,” according to the video.
The only problem with that claim is that it doesn’t appear to be remotely true.
“There is no such thing as grilled ice cube snacks in the northeast,” argued a senior engineer at Harbin Standardisation Research Institute, which is responsible for certifying food brands in the north of China, according to the New York Post. “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,” a self-identified northern native also told the Post.
Fabrication or not, people obviously find the idea interesting.
One customer, who apparently isn’t sure how ice works, asked the vendor, “Should I eat it when it’s still hot or later when it has cooled down?”
Upon being advised to eat the ice while it was still hot — advice apparently given with a straight face — she tried it, exclaiming, “It’s so spicy! … What a wonderful taste.”
You can watch the viral video that started it all below.
The ‘hottest’ street food in China: grilled ice cubes. pic.twitter.com/5FoaHsQT2m
— South China Morning Post (@SCMPNews) December 4, 2023
For anyone who wants to try this out at home, you’ll have to watch the video and attempt to re-create the recipe from there. I simply refuse to write a sentence that starts with “First, scoop some ice onto the grill …”
Not that I’m against flavored ice in any way. I like a snow cone as much as the next man. Just because the flavor is spicy or savory doesn’t necessarily make it a bad idea. And I have to believe this would be one of the lowest-calorie, lowest-fat snack options out there.
But grilling it? Thanks, but, you can save the propane for my hot dog.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.