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Suodui, the ‘world’s hardest dish’ is going viral on the internet. Will you try it?

You might have heard about the world’s most delicious dishes, but have you ever come across the “world’s hardest dish”? If you’re willing to indulge into a unique culinary experience, “Suodui”, a Chinese dish might be right up your alley.

China is known for its rich culinary history. From chowmein, to spring rolls, and dim sums, Chinese dishes are popular across the world. But this stir-fried stone dish, known as “Suodiu” is making waves on the internet with several people trying out the delicacy.

Dubbed the “world’s hardest dish”, it is a traditional stir-fry featuring stones as the key ingredient. Surprised? Well, so are we. But wait, you do not need to eat the stones in this case. Suodiu, which literally translates to “suck and dispose”, requires people trying out the dish to suck off the flavours, and then spit out the rocks.

Originating from the eastern Chinese province of Hubei, the small rocks are covered with a rich and spicy flavour. To make the dish, vendors pour chilli oil onto the pebbles sizzling on a teppanyaki-style grill, sprinkle garlic sauce all over them, then stir-fry everything with a mix of garlic cloves and diced peppers, according to CNN.

Reportedly, the pebbles have a fish-like taste, which is further accentuated through the frying process with spices. Closely associated with the Tujia people, an ethnic minority, this traditional Chinese dish may pose a choking hazard if not consumed correctly.

As sidewalk chefs prepare the ingredients, they sometimes narrate their every move in rhymes, as per videos circulating on Xiaohongshu, a Chinese social media platform akin to Instagram.

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“A portion of spice brings the passion alive,” says a chef in one video, explaining the dish is as popular as alcohol.

Suodiu is served in palm-sized boxes with each portion costing 16 yuan (approximately ₹180), as per the video.

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With roots believed to extend back centuries, it is said that Suodiu possesses a rich history. Passed down orally through generations of boatmen, this dish’s origin story finds its roots in adversity. Political analyst Shen Shiwei shared on X that back in those days, boatmen traversing rivers would face dwindling food supplies during their voyages. Seeking a way to “find happiness in the bitterness”, these boatmen would combine condiments on stones to create an eatable dish, he said.

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