In troubled times, there are exactly two things that will generally provide emotional release and emotional relief. The first: making elaborate playlists (Syrup has a water sign heavy team), and the second, the wonderful world of food YouTube and ASMR cooking channels.
We’ve chatted about our love of the Bon Appétit test kitchen fam and their excellent quarantine cooking tips before—Claire I would die for you—but today, we thought we’d take a scroll through some of our other favourite channels. You know, for when the world is just too much and you need to watch someone in rural China make tofu from scratch.
ASMR content has exploded across the internet in recent years, from slime vids, to whispering, to hair brushing, if you’re into it, there’s an ASMR niche for it. The beauty of the below channels, is that as well as having peaceful soundtracks, delightful cooking noises and absolutely fascinating culinary processes is that they’re also low-key informative. It just feels a little bit kinder on your brain than watching TikTok videos for *checks screentime* uh… too many hours.
Depending on your mileage, the below may or may not give you an actual autonomous sensory meridian response. However, if you’re tired of being told now is the time to watch ~French new wave cinema~ or read Ulysses or start working on your novel and just want to let the wrinkles in your brain smoothen out (#smoothbrain) and relax, these are for you.
My man Ryoya Takashima is a delightful watch for soothing vegan cooking, soft-spoken Japanese (though most of the videos are voice over free), and a delightful aesthetic. His videos look like he lives inside of a cosy home that’s always got a warm Instagram filter on it.
Silently Cooking really does exactly what it says on the tin. Super high quality, well produced cooking vids for when you really don’t wanna hear someone going on about the RiGHt wAY to chop an onion. We really enjoy the close up shots of things browning and sizzling. Love a good Maillard reaction.
小穎美食 (Xiaoying Food)
Based out of Taiwan, the chef behind this channel must literally be magic. She uploads every single day and the videos are so wholesome and use ingredients in such a neat way. Most of the recipes, despite their super beautiful outcomes are also p simple. Who knew there are *so many* things you can turn into bread?
Okay so, I adore Dianxi, but a fun fact I didn’t know about a tonne of these channels that feature traditional cooking from various provinces around China: they’re part of a culture promotion program funded by the government. This propaganda is extremely soothing and I’m here for it tbh. If you watch ONE video on this list, make it the hairy tofu one ^.
Korean Cooking and Vlog Healing Channel
From YouTuber Delaserna, comes the peaceful delight that is the Korean Cooking and Vlog Healing channel. This one is definitely more of an explicit example of an ASMR cooking channel, and features a couple of recreations of iconic dishes. Thing the IG famous egg sandwich and the Levain chocolate chip cookies.
쿠킹하루 Cooking Haru
If you like jazz and fluffy clouds of eggs, please, watch the above video. Cooking Haru makes everyday Korean dishes like Tteokbokki (spicy chewy rice cakes) and Aglio e olio (I don’t make the Korean diet rules okay), and desserts that look like clouds. Get amongst it.
Cooking With Dog
Classics are classics for a reason okay! Protect the Cooking With Dog YouTube at all costs. While much less of a traditional AMSR cooking channel than the others we’ve featured, CWD gets a slot because of how relaxing but interesting this one is. Enjoy the cute pooch n tongue in cheek humour.
Another ASMR cooking channel from China, even the intros before you get to the actual cooking are so relaxing. Nature sounds, the gentle crunch of trekking to collect produce, beautiful scenery. Homegirl is living the life.
Even the video descriptions are soothing: “Around the Beginning of Summer, plant a piece of ginger to grow. Leave it to the sunshine and dew, and let a hot summer brew. Dig it out and store in the cellar, right before frost and snow. Make the remains into ginger-date paste with brown sugar, Ginger-tangerine jam, and ginger-rice tea.” Bliss.
So, haegreendal definitely leans more on the lifestyle side of things, but there are definitely some videos you’d enjoy if you’re after that faded, peaceful Korean IG aesthetic. If you enjoy carbohydrates, please watch the above for some simple but cute ways to elevate your bread.
Cooking tree 쿠킹트리
This cake is so perfect. My haphazard baking skills could never. If you have a sweet tooth and enjoy visually precise desserts, the ASMR cooking channel Cooking tree is for you. The channel is mostly desserts and also mostly music-free, so you can appreciate the crunch-scrunch of sugar being beaten into eggs in its purest form.
It’s not an ASMR cooking channel round up with out some tiny food, so please enjoy the meditative pleasure of watching someone create absolutely tiny sushi.
And finally, one for the cat lovers (we see you) is Jun’s Kitchen. As well as really cute cameos from the cats, this channel also features a lil bit of day to day errand running. You know, in the outdoors where we used to be able to go. Pour one out for our former lives. ;n;
For more YouTube programming, why not (re)watch Harry Style’s NPR Tiny Desk concert, it’s looking like it’s gonna be a long iso period after all.