Let’s throw it back to the first MCO where everyone was scrambling to wipe the dust off their electric whisks so they could attempt the infamous Dalgona coffee, which, in my opinion, tastes awful and gives me a tummy ache.
Now, Malaysians are hurriedly gathering rice crackers and chocolate to make Chocojars as well as lean cuts of meat to make harimau menangis.
While I respect the hustle and the creativity of Malaysians when it comes to our culinary skills amidst the lockdown, the current trends just feel too demanding hence putting a lot of pressure on people to keep up.
For someone who detests the act of cooking but enjoys watching other people do it (mostly because at the end, I get a meal out of it), I decided to compile a list of calming cooking channels to help ease you into the kitchen.
Not going to lie, after watching these, I went into the kitchen to cook. Granted, I made instant noodles but still, the effort was there.
Without further ado, here are my top calming cooking channels for your entertainment (and peace of mind):
1. Jun’s Kitchen
We have to start the list with the King of calm cooking which is Jun.
A Japan-based YouTuber, he cycles his neighbourhood and gathers fresh produce for his meals. Not only is it so satisfying to watch him cycle amongst lush greenery in 4K definition (feels like I’m there!), but the fact that he brings along his fluffy cats on every ride just makes my heart go doki doki…
Bonus, the food always looks so good and fresh!
2. Che Nom
It would be an injustice for me to write a cooking channel listicle without including my Queen, Che Nom.
I can’t tell you how pivotal she is to my family because my mom, my aunts and even I follow her recipes because she makes everything so simple, yet taste so delicious.
A staple for every Malaysian household, Che Nom is our collective momma in the kitchen since her voice is incredibly soothing and the food she makes are typical comfort food for locals. If you need a quick tutorial on how to cook without burning down your kitchen, this wonderful lady is your-go-to!
3. Alpha Tec
Ghibli music in the background of a calm, cooking video in the outdoors? Um, I didn’t know perfection exists?
The creators behind this elusive Japanese YouTube channel not only cook amazing looking food from our favourite Ghibli movies, but they also do everything from scratch. What I mean by that is they even gather firewood, makeshift their own pans and of course, gather their own produce.
There’s minimal dialogue in the videos because the creators want you to immerse yourself in the crackle of the bonfire, the chopping of fresh vegetables and the sizzle of the pan. Everything is so sonically pleasing and the meals always look too good to be true. The cooks emphasise this by going, “Umai!” at the end of every video, which means that the food tastes exceptional.
There’s a reason why Liziqi was awarded the Guinness World Record for most-subscribed Chinese language channel on YouTube.
Every single one of her videos are of immaculate quality, it feels like you’re in a period movie where nature still remains untouched by pollution. Her environment is so clean and idyllic, it adds even more calmness to the way she cooks her meals.
We follow her as she walks through meadows, fields and plush snow to gather her ingredients. Then, when the cooking starts, everything feels very rustic and traditional. It also doesn’t hurt that the cook is extremely pretty…
Ah, to have someone make you a bento box out of love… But if you’re single, watch this video so you can make one for yourself!
There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing someone masterfully wrap eggs into mini fold-overs and plate them in a bento box. The convenience of it coupled with the pleasing aesthetics and sounds make for a calming cooking video.
By watching this channel, you’ll never run out of ways to make yourself a delicious to-go meal!
6. Chocolate Cacao
Enough with the cooking, if you’re like me and you prefer to bake, this channel is perfect for you!
The creator makes some exceptional looking pastries and cakes but he takes you along with him through every step of the process so you can make them too. Yes, I know it looks hard but what else can we do while we’re stuck at home? Might as well learn how to bake virtuoso-level cakes.
My favourite part of his videos is that he does a coco powder sprinkle ala salt bae every time and it’s so satisfying!
7. Cooking Tree
This brings me back to the time where I used to bake goodies for my colleagues at JUICE and one of them suggested I try this recipe. I didn’t because I’m a lazy oaf but I appreciated watching the process anyway.
Filled to the brim with some of the most delicious looking cakes and drinks recipes, Cooking Tree really is a tree that never stops bearing fruit. Their content is always top-notch and sometimes it looks so easy, it fools you into thinking you can try the recipes out for yourself.
I haven’t attempted it but if you do, let us know how it goes!
岡奈 なな子の日常short movie (yeah I’m sorry IDK what that means)
We’ve come to the weirder side of the cooking channels but it doesn’t make it any less calming.
When I first stumbled upon her, my first thoughts were, “Wow, she is so odd” followed by “Actually, I think I’m in love with her.”
Her videos are chaotic (really, you should watch her chop vegetables) but her cadence and natural sense of humour feels comforting. She always looks cold so when she finally sits down to have a hot meal, it warms you up as well.
Plus, I’m always amazed at how such a tiny person can ingest so much food…
So, there you have it.
Those are my favourite calming cooking channels and I hope that you can find some free time in your day to just sit down, relax and binge-watch these wonderful humans in the kitchen.