It’s been called “the world’s hardest dish” literally, a classic stir-fry that uses stones as the main ingredient has ignited culinary curiosity in Chinese Social media.

The guests are expected to sip on the small rocks to enjoy the spicy and rich flavor of the dish that originated in Hubei, the east Chinese region of Hubei.

The recipe instructs the diners to sip off the flavors and to spit the rock out, which is why the dish’s designation as sodium, which means “suck and dispose.”

YouTube videos of users enjoying sodium have popped up across Chinese websites for social networking in the last week.

They also demonstrate how street vendors cook the unique dish. The vendors pour chili oil on pebbles, frying on a teppanyaki grill, sprinkle garlic sauce on top, and then stir-fry them using a mix of diced and garlic cloves.

When preparing the ingredients, the street chefs often narrate their movements in rhymes, as per videos posted on Xiaohongshu, China’s equivalent of Instagram.

 

“A portion of spice brings the passion alive,” the chef stated in one video that this dish has become equally well-known as alcohol.

Customers are served flavorful stones in small, hand-sized containers. Each portion is priced at 16 Yuan (US$2.30) by the video.

“Do I have to return the pebbles to you after I finish?” one customer asked in the same video.

“Bring them home as a souvenir,” the chef said.

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Suodiu can be believed to have been hundreds of years ago. According to an article in the local press, it was handed down through generations of boatmen via their oral tradition.

In the past, boatmen could get stuck in the river and need food when delivering their goods.

To “find happiness in the bitterness,” according to the report, the stone would be found to cook together with other spices to create the dish.

Lamb or beef sliced and pan-fried in butter, onion, and garlic. Tibs are among the most requested dishes among Ethiopians.

It comes in various styles, differing in the type, size, and shape of the pieces of meat, and may range from spicy to mild or have little to no vegetables. One of the most popular variations is Shukla Tibs, where the meat pieces arrive on your table and are cooked in a clay pot fueled by hot coals. It’s spectacular and delicious.

Tips were traditionally used to express a thank you or to show respect for an individual. At present, it’s considered an exclusive dish, which is why it’s popularity to mark special occasions and holidays. However, it’s also a popular choice. It’s a good idea to walk into the bar with a crowd on the weekend in Ethiopia’s lively capital city, Addis Ababa; most partygoers will likely be swarming with orders and eating Tibs.

Most of the time, the meat from the tibs you’ll find on your plate has been cut off from carcasses hanging outside the restaurant’s entryway. Don’t be deceived that beef doesn’t always taste better or better.

Kitfo

Made from the tiniest of meat, it is seen as a treat for regular Ethiopians, and its nutritional qualities are appreciated.

Like French tartare made of steak, the meat is minced and cooked in a pan, along with some butter and mitmita (a more robust version of berbere) and, occasionally, thyme. Kitfo is usually served in leb Leb (warmed but not cooked); however, you can request the dish to be called beta (“very warm,” which is cooked).

Kitfo is served alongside Aib (like dried cottage cheese), and gomen (minced spinach) is an excellent choice for a combination that makes the dish more tasty and nutritious – highly recommended following an exhausting day on the road or when one is faced with a hangover following an extended night.