Recently, on Chinese social networks, users have shared a video of a dish of pebbles that is stir-fried with a variety of flavors and sold to diners for about 16 yuan (about $2.21). The video attracted more than 4 million views and made many people want to experience this unique dish.

The owner happily introduced that this is an heirloom stone, ordered once but "eating for 3 generations". Because when eating, diners only taste all the spices wrapped, while the stone can be reused or brought back as a souvenir. Therefore, this dish is also known as suodu, which means "smoke: (spice) and “throw away".

The stones are stir-fired with various flavours (Image: South China Morning Post) 

When preparing stir-fried stones, the chef needs to choose round ones without many sharp edges and pre-process them before putting them on the stove. After heating the stove, the stones are stir-fried with spices such as chili, garlic, perilla, rosemary... When eating, the stone is sprinkled with a layer of sauce to increase the flavor.

This dish is said to be spicy and hot. Even, because the stones are located in rivers and streams, they taste like fish, clams, and oysters and are suitable for being used while drinking alcohol. At present, many elderly people in Hubei province still keep the custom of eating stir-fried stones when drinking alcohol.

A comment on social media about this dish (Image: Asian One). 

According to CNN Travel, the stir-fried stone dish, or suodiu, has been around for hundreds of years. Once upon a time, when the ferrymen ran aground in the middle of the river and ran out of food, they endured by eating dishes made of stones. Since then, the stir-fried stone dish has been passed down through many things and has become a unique culinary feature of the country of billions of people. 

The owner in the video added: "This is a three-generation heirloom, you can pass away but these stones are still there." (Image: CNN Travel).  

However, many people comment that this dish can be unhygienic because the thrown stones are reused.