6 East Asian YouTube Chefs Who Will Have You Drooling on Your Laptop

Goodbye, Gordon Ramsay. Hello, Ami Nishimura!

Do you have what it takes to become the next Master Chef? These YouTube chefs certainly do. With each new upload, these amateur chefs make seemingly inaccessible dishes a little easier to bring to your own kitchen. Move aside Mr. Wallace, because these East Asian chefs are here to bring the web community an authentic piece of Asian cuisine.

Whether you are looking for a culinary adventure or just casually torturing yourself in an intense munchies session, these YouTube Channels are a must watch.

Here are the top six chefs on YouTube.

1. Jun’s Kitchen

I’ve seen my fair share of cooking videos, but not many can beat the mind-blowing aesthetic and elegance of Jun’s Kitchen. With over 2 million subscribers, Jun goes above and beyond to deliver high-quality videos and even higher-quality food.

Each video opens with a cheerful but mellow tune and a clip of Jun biking through the streets of Japan with his uncharacteristically well behaved cat(s) en route to a market. The fresh scenery of Japan combined with the visual of his orange tabbys’ soft fur makes for a relaxing and captivating video.

What I love about this YouTube chef is that all of his cooking videos are rooted in his cultural heritage. From temari sushi to the ever popular omurice, Jun’s Kitchen brings a little bit of Japan to meal preppers everywhere. Although he is a self-proclaimed amateur chef, his precision with knives and cooking finesse are both more than enough incentive to watch his videos in their entirety. The only things more sophisticated than his mastery of prepping food are his fluffy and adorably docile cats.

Each recipe and video is filled with charm, delicious food and a desire to share good eats with the YouTube community. Goodbye “Hell’s Kitchen,” I’m going to spend my $95 dollars on okonomiyaki at Jun’s Kitchen.

2. Amanda Tastes

Step away from the Panda Express line; the Amanda Tastes channel is here to cure any and every Chinese food craving. Most people in America think they know what Chinese food is, but a few educational Amanda Tastes videos and it’s over for you hoes.

While Chinese food seems to be her specialty, this adventurous chef branches out to make other dishes, including Matcha mille crepe cakes, sous vide-ing steaks and rose macaroons alongside more traditional Chinese eats like zongzi. Regardless of the dish she is demonstrating, Amanda Tastes’ channel imparts key information about the effects of each ingredient on the overall dish along with other handy bits of advice for her viewers.

Another great thing about this channel is that the filming and the camera quality helps capture Amanda’s efficient and deliberate cooking style. In order to make things more accessible for English speakers, she labels each of her ingredients in both English and Chinese with precise measurements. The colors in her tutorials are not overwhelmingly saturated and the cameras are so HD that the various textures seem almost 3D.

Even for those who don’t understand Mandarin can watch Amanda Tastes and be instantly soothed by her kindly teacher’s voice. For those of us uncultured Chinese Americans who only know how to make instant ramen, this channel will be the key to wowing the extended family in the next Chinese New Year’s dinner.

3. Ochikeron

Every anime fan wishes they could eat the cute bentos they see in shows like “The Devil is A Part Timer” or “Food Wars,” but the Ochikeron channel makes these cute lunches even more accessible. Hoping to spread more Japanese home cooking trends through her channel, Ami Nishimura’s uploads are full of mouth-watering delectables that showcase her penchant for kawaii (cute) dishes and her admiration for Japanese cuisine.

Although YouTube is becoming increasingly commercialized, Nishimura stated in an interview that her goal as an online figure is to create content that would make her viewers happy. And who wouldn’t be happy with watching her craft adorable bentos full of popular characters like Rilakkuma, Hello Kitty and even Olaf from “Frozen.”

With a warm introduction and a jaunty tune for every dish, Nishimura’s videos have a “Cooking Mama” vibe that is informative without being overwhelming. Unlike other channels, light music and voice over narrations are layered on top of the video itself so the food prep and cooking noises are blocked out, but it only adds to the charm of the videos.

Watching Nishimura’s videos is like watching a mom cook at home for her kids — which is precisely what she does! After all the cooking is done, her kids are always gathered around hoping to taste whatever tasty treat their mother has whipped up. For the homesick or the clueless home cooks, this YouTube cooking mama fills a hole in both the stomach and the heart.

4. Seonkyoung Longest

This cheery Korean woman is the cool aunt you never had. Full of enthusiasm and passion for food, Seonkyoung Longest’s cooking show Asian At Home aims to easy and fun homemade food.

Although she doesn’t have as many subscribers as other YouTube chefs on this list, Longest is sure to cook her way into your heart with her amazing food presentation and sparkly personality. Just like many of the cooking shows on TV, Longest talks throughout the process, adding in many of her cute quips and travel experiences along the way.

One of the most admirable characteristics about Longest is that she owns her slight Korean accent. She shows the YouTube community that small grammar mistakes and accented English is something to be embraced.

Asian at Home is truly a show that makes Asian food accessible for any viewer. Longest never shies away from taking necessary shortcuts (like using chicken bouillon in place of prepping another stock base) for an easier cooking time.

With every video, she imparts helpful techniques and a can-do attitude that will motivate the viewers to do something about their salivating mouths. From recreating Kyoto shoyu ramen from her travels, to her own recipes for Korean staples like jang kalguksu the Asian at Home channel makes cooking look as easy and fun as Longest claims.

5. Maangchi

If Seonkyoung Longest is the cool Korean aunt you never had, then Maangchi is the adorable Korean mother everyone wishes they knew. With 348 videos uploaded and over 2 million subscribers, Maangchi is YouTube’s unofficial Korean cuisine master chef. This delightful home cook’s channel is full of recipes for popular Korean dishes, like spicy rice cakes, kimbap and even Korean fried chicken.

Always the advocate for never wasting food, Maangchi has an abundance of recommendations to make new dishes with leftover ingredients. With impressive knife skills and an orderly way of cooking, these mouth-watering uploads will inspire any viewer to put down the take-out box and drive to the nearest Asian grocery market.

Cooking another culture’s cuisine is a daunting task, but with Maangchi’s kind encouragements, you can find me with my own Korean food stand at the Dongdaemun night market.

6. Feast of Fiction

Sam I Am likes green eggs and ham, and so do Jimmy Wong and Ashley Adams — the hosts of the “Feast of Fiction” channel. This dynamic duo brings to life the amazing foods seen in animations like Bob’s Burgers, Food Wars and even the Legend of Korra.

The most impressive thing about the Feast of Fiction channel is that the creators set the theme of the video based on the shows the dishes are drawn from. Through research and much help from Wong’s mom, this channel makes an Ichiraku ramen worthy for any Hokage from “Naruto.”

It’s absolutely amazing to see Wong and his mother animate the dishes that only seem doable through cartoon shows. This heartwarming channel is sure to get any anime or gaming fan out of their dark rooms to turn fantasy food into reality.

Christine Fang, University of California San Diego

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Christine Fang

University of California San Diego

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