The Chinese Stir-Fried Stone Trend Is Essentially Sucking On Savory Rocks

Without a doubt, humankind has crafted countless weird food trends, from Jell-O salads to freeze-dried ice cream. We've even invented Rocky Mountain oysters. However, the recent stir-fried pebbles trend takes funny fads to a whole new level.

Suodiu, which CNN translates as meaning "suck and dispose," is a Chinese street food. Chefs toss bite-size pebbles in a pan of oils and seasonings, essentially stir-frying the lot. Customers then carefully suck the flavors from the pebbles, all the while taking care not to swallow any.

As strange as this trend sounds, it's not a new concept. Hundreds of years ago, fishermen would stave off hunger by sucking minerals and fishy flavors from river stones. When prepared with condiments and other edible ingredients, like the modern trend entails, the remaining sludge could also be enjoyed as a soup of sorts. Still a bit weird, sure, but no more so than fried bull testicles.

Making soup with rocks isn't too hard a concept to grasp

At first glance, we can't deny that sucking on oily rocks sounds like an odd choice. That being said, when you really think about it, this trend isn't too far off from some strange American habits to which we never even give a second thought.

Upon seeing a video explaining the suodiu trend and how the dish is consumed, several TikTok users were actually excited. One person compared suodiu to licking the seasoning off chips (like how Chrissy Teigan licks the seasoning off Doritos), while others equated it to chewing gum.


Stir-fried #pebbles 🗿 #chinesefood #chineseculture #stirfry #cooking #fyp #foryou #fypシ

♬ 原聲 – FabulousCathy

Coincidentally, chewing gum also came about as a way to stave off hunger. As many of us have experienced firsthand, chewing gum releases a variety of flavors, while the simulated 'eating' helps suppress hunger. And just like the suodiu pebbles, you certainly don't want to swallow gum. Per Cleveland Clinic, our stomachs cannot digest gum, so routinely swallowing gum can cause intestinal blockages. Truly, sucking the flavor from rocks isn't that strange.