Everyone loves food, especially TikTok users, and viral recipes seem to be taking over the app in cycles completely. This month it’s the bowl of salmon rice.
Particularly in the early stages of quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TikTok was filled with viral food recipes that everyone wanted to try. It was first whipped coffee, where users whipped instant coffee, sugar, and water until it formed a whipped cream-like substance. Then it was cereal pancakes, which consisted of tiny little pancakes put in a cereal bowl with milk.
Although slightly different, all of these recipes have one thing in common: They have gained millions of views on the app.
“I think the things that go the most viral on the app are the most accessible,” says food creator TikTok. Jen Curley, who goes by Snackqween on TikTok, “It’s never a recipe that has to be made from scratch or something, it’s always something easy and straightforward, kind of like a trick to make the end result good.”
Easy but delicious recipes tend to quickly gain views and tastes, like one of the app’s most famous recipes – baked feta pasta. And although its tag has over 100 million views on TikTok, pasta is a pretty basic recipe, just cook cherry tomatoes and a block of feta cheese, then toss it into cooked pasta. The recipe originated in Finland, and rumor has it that it was so popular that it exhausted feta cheese in grocery stores.
The most recent trend taking hold of TikTok is a bowl of salmon rice created by Emilie Mariko. The Bowl sounds simple in theory, but for some reason it has completely taken over the app, the #salmonricebowl has 17.4 million views. The video Mariko posted last month has gone viral, gaining tens of millions of views and 5 million likes … so far.
Curley said that aside from the bowl’s simplicity, the fact that it is suitable for dietary restrictions has likely contributed to its fame.
“It’s gluten free, it’s not heavy meat, it’s dairy free … I would say the bowl of salmon really ticks a [lot of boxes]”said Curley.
Like feta pasta, this bowl of salmon contains very few ingredients and has still managed to mystify the internet.
Mariko prepares the bowl with leftover cooked salmon, which she crushes with a fork on a plate. She then places a bowl of rice in the microwave with an ice cube (it turns out that the ice will steam the rice and keep it moist). Mariko then places the salmon on top of the rice, mixing it and drizzling it with sriracha and Japanese mayonnaise and finishes with seaweed and avocado.
The reason these recipes are getting so much view and attention could also be related to the culture within TikTok. Once something goes viral and is in the “For You” section, then it’s much more likely that users will see even more videos that relate to the original content.
Curley, who mainly makes videos trying out recipes that her followers have requested, says that as a food designer, she tries to create as many of these viral recipes as possible.
“I don’t try all of them, and I definitely try to do most of them. Mainly because it ties directly to my content,” said Curley.
Recipes like the Salmon Rice Bowl and Baked Feta Pasta, along with cooking tips, are posted on TikTok every day. As a trend gains popularity, it is very likely that a new one will present itself quickly, distracting from the previous one.
[We tried the recipe ourselves, you can watch our TikTok here.]