Have you been cooking the same thing over and over during this stay at home period and feeling a little uninspired? Maybe an outlandish recipe, birthed from a popular frozen food you probably have in your freezer will spark some culinary inspiration.
Jula and JP over at HellthyJunkFood are at it again and this time, the two YouTube chefs set out to create a dish their fans have been requesting for years: A Giant Hot Pocket.
The two set off, going head-to-head to see who can create the better Pizza Hot Pocket.
While Julia took a more traditional approach with sauce, pepperoni, and cheese, JP went with a more unconventional method creating a pocket stuffed with frozen White Castle Sliders. Both looked fantastic, and they’ve even went as far as creating a custom Hot Pocket branded sleeve for their creations.
Check out the video to see exactly how it went down. Man, watching this makes me seriously crave a slightly-burnt Hot Pocket dunked in creamy ranch. Yes, that would do nicely.
Chinese and Taiwanese food is slowly starting to have a renaissance movement in the United States. This is clear from the prevalence of renowned dim sum chains like Din Tai Fung, the emergence of hot pot, and the proliferation of boba shops across the country.
Despite all of this, the most popular Chinese dishes in the USA are still Chinese-American, rather than Chinese. General Tso’s Chicken and orange chicken dominate the palates, all because Chinese food in the US was engineered around Western palates first, making the food sweeter and less authentic to what you can get in China and Taiwan.
In Los Angeles, restaurants are starting to open up that push back against that concept. Instead of engineering Chinese food to work for American tastes, they’re twisting up beloved American dishes to work with the traditional flavors of China and Taiwan. While you might expect to find this through the lens of fine dining, one of the pioneers of this movement is a small boba shop and cafe in the heart of LA’s San Gabriel Valley.
The spot is called Bopomofo Cafe, a modern take on boba and American-born Chinese food. Bopomofo, which is named after the first four letters of the Taiwanese Mandarin alphabet, is co-owned by Philip Wang, one of the main creative forces behind Asian-American YouTube and digital media powerhouse Wong Fu Productions. Wang, together with his co-owner Eric Wang and chef Andrew Park, have put together a revolutionary menu that fuses Chinese, Taiwanese, and American together, but not catering to the “American runs on sweet” mantra.
“We always thought that there’s new American food,” Wang told Foodbeast, “but there’s no new real Asian-American food, and that’s kind of how we saw our menu.”
As a result, you get dishes that explode with equal, stunning amounts of creativity and flavor. The gold standard at Bopomofo is the Ma Po Tofu Tater Tots, which swaps out the Sichuan classic in a modern rendition of chili cheese tots. Since mapo tofu is typically served over rice, the crunch and fattiness of the tots is an unexpected yet welcome contrast that elevates both dishes this one is inspired by.
Other such innovative items on Bopomofo’s menu include a Walnut Shrimp Burger, nachos made from Chinese scallion pancakes and topped with braised pork belly, a fried chicken sandwich modeled on Taiwanese flavors and cooking techniques, and a “MOFO Club” inspired by Wang’s travels to Taiwan.
Bopomofo keeps that creativity going in their drink selection as well. Whether it’s a beet-colored Taro Milk or a dreamsicle-like take on Orange Bang! (called Orange Wang), you get nostalgia yet novelty in every sip and bite of the cuisine served up here.
With that creativity, Wang and his team are pushing the envelope of what it can mean to combine American, Chinese, and Taiwanese flavors. By staying true to core Chinese and Taiwanese flavors, but still using ingredients familiar to Americans, the food here becomes a potential pathway to explore authentic Chinese and Taiwanese tastes through an American lens.
To learn more about Bopomofo, watch the above episode of Foodbeast’s News Bites that features the cafe.
First We Feast’snew series ‘Gochi Gang’ premiered this Tuesday. Hosted by YouTuber, anime producer, and food lover Reina Scully, the show highlights the cultural impact of Japanese cuisine in the U.S. beyond sushi and ramen. The name Gochi Gang was inspired by the Japanese phrase for gratitude, “gochisousama,” which is typically expressed after a meal. The gang represents the spirit of togetherness that sharing food with others brings.
Japanese cuisine was gradually introduced to the United States decades ago. Initially, immigrants unaccustomed to American food would only eat imports. Since the end of the 19th century, Japanese immigrants were concentrated in neighborhoods called Nihonmachi, or it’s aptly named English counterpart, Japantown. While a macro view of these neighborhoods may correlate them negatively to a “ghetto,” Nihonmachis actually provided a space for Japanese culture to persist on foreign soil. It’s within these areas importation of homeland goods began slowly spreading to Americans in neighborhoods beyond.
Naturally, Japanese cuisine is vast. Sushi and ramen popularity within the US can be traced back to the post-World War II invention of instant noodles and endorsement of sushi by the McGovern Report. The McGovern Report (Dietary Goals for the United States, 1977) was published by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs. Due to this, Japanese cuisine spread, yet has been mostly spearheaded by sushi and ramen.
Gochi Gang aims to burst the floodgates to Japanese cuisine wide open. For Japanese people, preparing and eating food goes beyond mere sustenance. Reina Scully shared her thoughts on why it’s important to raise awareness about the culture and cuisine:
“Both Japanese culture and cuisine are multifaceted and interconnected with each other. Japanese food is generally typecast as ramen and sushi, but that’s just the very tip of the iceberg. There’s so much that’s worth exploring and the world deserves more insight into Japanese culture and food because it reveals how important of a role it plays in our history and tradition.“
Scully hopes that viewers not only learn about the wide range of tasty options, but also see how respectful Japan is regarding food. “We believe that food itself is spiritual and we treat it and those who prepare it with the utmost respect and gratitude,” Scully expressed. I personally believe that when food is connected to something deeper, it elevates the food itself. Equipped with experience and a little help from notable foodies, Scully is prepared to take you on a journey through the history of Japanese cuisine. Catch the first episode of Gochi Gang HERE and after you fill up on brain food, remember to say gochisousama!
About two weeks ago, Ben Rosen, an avid Reddit user, posted a collaboration with Eric, a middle-aged guy with a greying beard and leg-sized forearms. Eric’s idea combined with Ben’s Internet-savvy birthed the odd, yet aesthetically pleasing YouTube channel “man eating food.”
The not-yet-but-about-to-be viral popularity began on Reddit, of course, when Ben posted, “I have videos of a guy eating every food… I’ll respond to any food requests in the comments with the appropriate video.” The attached YouTube video has an unforgettable screen cap of Eric furrowing his brows and staring straight into the camera as he eats a spoonful of mayonnaise.
These videos are 10 to 15 seconds, long enough for Eric to take a bite, poker faced, of whatever Redditors request, whether it be onion, dog food, or even trash bag.
The number of responses on Reddit exceeded Ben’s expectations and made it hard to keep up. So much so that YouTube struggled to process the large number of uploads.
As of this writing, there are about 126 videos, all with the same white background, brown desk, Eric’s blue gridded polo, and crisp sounds. The clarity of Eric’s bite contains an aspect of mukbang (that thing where people, usually cute girls, eat food loudly and without manners); his eating sounds crisp in that ASMR-like way. In “man eating food,’ Eric and Ben elevated mukbang, making it artistic instead of voyeuristic.
The videos are formulaic and, therefore, addicting. As the food or object in front of Eric varies, the more inclined one feels to click it and watch — building hope that this will be the video where he will finally give some clue as to how it tastes.
But what elicits the grand question about Internet behavior are the view-counts. It is an unknowable mystery why “spinach” has 772 views and “tea” has 32,000.
Whether people are kinky or just find one food better than the other, what makes “man eating food” so good is its consistency of vision: a simple set, crisp sounds and his calm demeanor. In the end, everyone deserves to see someone bite into an onion like an apple, or chomp on a roll of paper towels. And Eric is the handlebar mustache martyr we all need to do so.
I remember once crying for happiness when a friend brought over a Taco Bell party pack…I was on my last drunk legs –specifically, all four legs at my ex-girlfriend’s apartment crawling towards a ringing doorbell.
My friend had debarked on a drunk food run an hour prior, presumably to retrieve the heavenly elixir that is a Taco Bell party pack. He arrived just in time, ready to plug our gaping mouths from vomiting-out a hard night’s worth of drinking. I was in tears when he returned. I was happy, I was relieved he was alive, I was drunk, and when all the emotions of the evening climaxed into a drunk friend lugging in a cardboard suitcase full of tacos, I couldn’t hold back my tears.
Does everyone feel this level of emotion when they see a box of tacos?!
To answer this question, enter YouTuber David Dobrik. He vlogs three times a week, each video timed to a perfectly tongue-in-cheek 4 minutes and 20 seconds run time, just ample enough to catch antics with his Jackass-worthy set of friends. In today’s vlog, he visits his favorite Armenian household where he plans to play well-to-do pranks on a charmingly foul mouth little kid named Vardon. Vardon is the younger brother of Dobrik’s friend and comedian Nick Antonyan (the same dude we reported was feeding donuts to cops a few months back).
Instead of the normal witty banter between the 21-year-old vlogger and the foul-mouthed, chubby-cheeked Armenian, we’re made aware that young Vardon has been saving up change to purchase a vlogging camera to one day be as successful as his family’s house intruder, David Dobrik. In what seems like a normal jab at Vardon’s consistently well-fed figure, Dobrik plops a Taco Bell 12-pack on the coffee table.
As if his genuinely relatable reaction to a Taco 12-pack wasn’t warming your soul enough, just wait until you see what’s actually inside. Try not to cry:
Damn you David Dobrik. Damn you.
Thank you for making YouTube great again. Anyways, here’s a parting .gif you can share with your friends who fuck with Taco Bell the way lil’ Vardon does:
We were always hoping Kinda Funny would delve into the food scene. The online treasure trove of video game, comic book, and entertainment content has always been a guilty pleasure of ours to delve into after a long work day. We never thought they’d have time to step into an entirely new medium. Looks like our prayers have been answered.
Not too long ago, Greg Miller found a passion for cooking that had him sharing his home cooked meals on his personal Instagram account under the hashtag #CookingWithGreggy.
Now, the co-founder of the immensely popular online entertainment company has his very own cooking show: Cooking With Greggy.
In the first episode, Greg creates the “perfect breakfast” of omelettes and potatoes. Between his nonchalant cooking style, his banter with cameraman Nick, and his TEAM FAT apron, we can see this new series being a humorous breath of fresh air in the YouTube cooking space.
Check out the first episode in the video above. Patreon subscribers can also get each new episode a week early.
Filmmakers Brick Bros. Production love making LEGO films, but after seeing their latest project, it seems like they might love LEGO breakfast even more.
“LEGO In Real Life,” is a fascinating stop motion video posted to YouTube by Brick Bros. Productions, who turned thousands of LEGO blocks into food. But, this run-of-the-mill breakfast almost looks better than the real thing.
There’s something special about watching a slice of translucent LEGO butter fade and sizzle in stop motion. It’s visually stunning, but the familiar sounds of breakfast provide a soothing ASMR aspect to this video.
However, it’s not as easy as it looks. It took three days of filming and 1,500 photos, to create this video, according to Brick Bros.’s YouTube page.
The filmmakers also uploaded a behind the scenes video to show how this LEGO breakfast stop-motion masterpiece came to life.
Now, with more than 4 million views on YouTube this Brickfilm is clearly sitting on top of the food pyramid.
YouTuber Dave Hax is a walking encyclopedia of food hacks. With more than 3.3 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, it’s safe to say Dave knows what he’s talking about. He’s hacked everything, showing us the most efficient way to slice cherry tomatoes, and the fastest ways to peel potatoes.
For this week’s hack, Dave showed us how to hollow out a watermelon — simply by using a pineapple slicer. By cutting off one end, and placing the blade onto the fruit and twisting, Dave was able to extract a good portion of the watermelon, without damaging any of the fruit. Since watermelon is a very fragile fruit once removed from the rind, this is an excellent way to consider slicing watermelon.
Once the watermelon is hollowed out, the possibilities of what to put in it are essentially limitless. Add a mixture of juices for a tropical fruit punch, which a few shots of alcohol can turn into a refreshing summer cocktail.
Whatever you decided to do, just be sure to thank Dave.