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The hardest dish in the world is made with stones

A centuries-old dish from China, cooked with stones, started to go viral, with social media users dubbing it as the ‘world’s hardest dish’

A screen-grab of suodiu from the YouTube channel Refreshment.
A screen-grab of suodiu from the YouTube channel Refreshment.

The food universe of social media is filled with astonishing finds: one discovers nifty hacks for popular recipes; soothing ASMR baking videos; and the most thrilling is to stumble upon something that can be easily qualify as the weirdest recipe ever. One such find is the Chinese suodiu which loosely translates to suck and dispose. This dish has stir-fried, spice-coated stones!

As CNN story titled, World’s hardest dish? Stir-fried stones are China’s latest street food fad, reports the dish originated in the Hubei province, located in eastern China, centuries ago. The story says, “Suodiu is believed to date back hundreds of years. It was passed down for generations by boatmen through their oral history, according to a local media report. Back in the old days, boatmen could become stranded in the middle of a river and run out of food while delivering goods. To “find happiness in the bitterness,” the report said, they would find stones to cook with other condiments to make a dish.”

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So far, so fascinating. The idea is to coat the stone with spices to induce a feeling of satiety. The stones have a smooth surface and can be lifted with chopsticks or eaten with hand. The sauce or spices that coat it are meant to be sucked and the stone is discarded. As a variation, the dish is served with vegetables, pork and seafood. As per CNN, the dish gained popularity recently, as street vendors in parts of China took to selling it from their shops and carts, and it caught the attention of social media users on ‘Xiaohongshu, China’s equivalent to Instagram.’

On YouTube, there are multiple shorts and videos about this dish. One of them is on the channel, Refreshments, which documents a chef preparing this dish from scratch. Take a look:

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