The Ridiculously Easy Way To Make Sugar-Free Tanghulu

Once upon a time, as early as the Song Dynasty, tanghulu was a sweet street food that hawkers of ancient China sold to children. Traditionally made with hawthorn berries coated in a hard sugar shell, these fruit candies on a stick have gained massive popularity over the years, especially on social media. Without considering the serious dangers of microwaving sugar, influencers make tanghulu after tanghulu, heating sugar and coating all kinds of food with it, including instant ramen and marshmallows. Recently, food influencers all over TikTok have found a new way to make tanghulu, and this method doesn't even involve sugar.

This ridiculously easy way to make sugar-free tanghulu is also safer, as one does not have to heat sugar to boiling temperatures hot enough to cause even third degree burns. All you have to do to make this easy, sugar-free tanghulu is freeze some fruits, like strawberries, blueberries, and grapes, then dip the fruits in iced water once they are frozen solid. A few dips later, a glassy, icy shell forms over the fruit with similar aesthetics to the hard sugar shell. Of course, this ice shell is sugarless and, well, tastes like ice and water instead of sugar or candy.

Add sweetener to make sugar-free tanghulu sweeter

While tanghulu is the sweet and crunchy way to enjoy your favorite fruit, making it the traditional way with melted sugar can be tricky. We've uncovered a simple test to ensure your homemade tanghulu is done, but accidents can still happen when you work with very hot sugar. 

So we're all for making sugar-free tanghulu at home with iced water, especially when making it with children. It can be a fun at-home activity to freeze fruits and watch them develop a hard, icy shell when dipped into cold water for about a minute. Now, if the fruits taste too tangy or not sweet enough like traditional tanghulu, here's an easy trick for you: drizzle honey or syrup over the sugar-free tanghulu to add sweetness. Alternatively, you can always sweeten the water so that the icy shell will be sweet. Although, note that it still won't be as sweet as a shell made with pure melted sugar.

Tanghulu and binghulu, which some netizens are calling this ice-based tanghulu, is a viral trend from China that we can get behind, especially when it's made at home safely. We can't say the same about another food trend however – TikTok's latest iced coffee trend that involves a totally unexpected ingredient, green onions!