Grilled Ice Is Apparently a Real Street Snack in China

Videos of people grilling ice cubes and seasoning them with sauces and spices have been doing the rounds on Chinese social media and leaving people with unanswered questions.

Move over, stir-fried stones, it’s time for grilled ice cubes to enjoy their time in the social media spotlight. According to a number of news reports from China, the bizarre street snack was made famous by a short clip shot at a street food stall in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province. In it, we can see large ice cubes being cooked on an open grill and seasoned with sauces and spices, before being served on a plate. We can’t see anyone actually eating the dish, but it is apparently very popular on hot summer days, especially since it’s offered as a free treat.

After the original video went viral, Chinese news outlets managed to track down the street food stall operator and learn more about his popular dish. Apparently, the man came up with the idea for grilled ice on a hot day, as a way to cool people off. It was meant as a joke, but people ended up loving it, so he kept making it. The bizarre street food doesn’t cost anything, but people wanting to try it – and there are reportedly plenty – have to request it in advance.

I know what you’re thinking – does this count as cold or hot food? It’s tricky, because it is cooked over an open flame, but not enough for the ice to melt completely. And how exactly do you eat something like this? Does it work like stir-fried pebbles, where you can suck the sauce off of the stones before spitting them out, or do you just eat the ice as well? No one really knows.

“Should I eat it while it’s hot, or eat it when it’s cold,” one person asked on Weibo.

“What is this?” someone else wondered.


Yes, it is one of the gimmickiest ‘foods’ we’ve ever featured on Oddity Central, but it fulfilled its goal. Grilled ice has not only the whole of China talking about it, but the rest of the world as well. Who knows what they’ll think of next…

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