7 Cooking YouTube Channels to Help Manage Anxiety

These YouTube channels can help make college anxiety (or college application anxiety) a bit more manageable. These channels are a great way to take a break from the news and recharge.

What’s inside: cooking, harvesting, fermenting, building furniture, and refreshing foods that you may not have seen before.

Li ZiQi 李子柒 (Sichuan, China)

Li ZiQi posts videos on foraging, planting and harvesting, preparing food, building furniture, and making clothing, shoes, and home items.

In one of my favorite videos, you can watch Li ZiQi forage for chestnuts, roast them in a homemade clay oven, coat seasonal fruits like apple and hawthorn with hard sugar (冰糖葫芦, or bingtanghulu) and make marshmallow candies filled with chestnut, cranberries, dried strawberries, and little crackers.

Dianxi XiaoGe 滇西小哥 (Yunnan, China)

Dianxi XiaoGe posts from Yunnan, one of the southern provinces in China. You’ll notice a more extroverted video style compared to Li ZiQi. If Li ZiQi videos feel like a meditation, Dianxi Xiaoge’s videos feel like having a best friend show you their hometown and culinary culture.

Watch Dianxi Xiaoge prepare multicolored rice dumplings for the Lantern Festival, harvest and prepare sour Chinese bayberries with dipping chilies, make soybean skin from scratch, cook hairy tofu, or make varied sweet and savory dishes with an unusual local Yunnan papaya.

Kimi 키미 (South Korea)

Kimi’s channel posts videos on planting and harvesting, fermentation, and other traditional Korean cooking. Expect closeup shots of onions being pulled for lunch, beautiful fresh peaches pulled straight from the tree, and bubbling soup. Keep an eye out for the several kittens and cats who live on Kimi’s farm property! They like to play among the plants and you can often see a little paw or tiny furry tail sticking up between the family vegetable plots.

You can see Kimi’s family prepare kimchi for winter using homegrown cabbages.

If you’d like to see what happens on a farm in the fall, watch Kimi’s family harvest persimmons, apples, and grapes. In the same video, Kimi’s family harvests perilla seeds and uses local equipment to extract oil from the seeds. Kimi also picks the remaining zucchini flowers and uses them to make fritters.

XiaoXi’s Culinary Idyll – Culinary, Handicraft, Gardening 我们的小喜 (Taiwan)

XiaoXi posts calming videos of cooking, basketmaking, toolmaking, blacksmithing, and gardening. I’m continually amazed by XiaoXi’s abilities.

In the video on making cookies, you can watch XiaoXi build a spider strainer from scratch (a “spider” is a culinary strainer used for fishing fried items out of oil, pasta or vegetables from boiling water, etc.).

XiaoXi weaves steel wire by hand to create the strainer basket, carves the handle from a wood branch using chisels and a rasp, tempers the steel basket directly in fire (then quenches it in water), and attaches the basket and handle together. They carve a rolling pin before making small cookies (or biscuits, if you’re British) from scratch and frying them. Finally, they watch a Japanese drama while drinking tea and enjoying the cookies. Make sure to watch to the end to check out their collection of woodworking tools!

You can also watch XiaoXi weave baskets from bamboo, carve a mold to make homemade mooncakes, make soup dumplings, or weave a net to catch river shrimp. Xiaoxi’s handmade Chinese style oiled umbrella is particularly extraordinary.

Wife’s Cuisine 아내의 식탁 (South Korea)

Wife’s Cuisine posts videos of traditional Korean food, recent Korean dishes, and decidedly non-traditional versions of American and European cuisine.

You might enjoy watching Wife’s Cuisine’s bubbling budae jjigae. Budae jjigae (부대찌개) is also known as Korean Army Base Stew because it was invented due to food scarcity during the Korean War. It includes traditional ingredients such as kimchi, kelp and anchovy broth, and rice cakes, and also incorporates foods that were available at American military bases in the 1950s such as canned beans, Spam, sausages, and sometimes cheese. It’s the kind of dish that sounds like it shouldn’t work, but has become wildly popular in South Korea. I first tasted this dish on a rainy December night, and it was delicious.

For something unusual, check out Wife’s Cuisine’s video of croffles (croissants crossed with waffles).

This video shows several different flavors of croffle including one version with cream cheese, jam, blueberries, and basil, a chocolate croffle dipped in Nutella, and a third version with ice cream and grated brown cheese (which I assume is the Norwegian cheese by the same name).

If you’ve never put a raw croissant in a waffle maker, you might want to do it after this video.

LongMeiMei 龙梅梅 (China)

LongMeiMei posts videos on planting, harvesting, and preparing traditional Chinese foods such as hairy tofu.

You might enjoy watching LongMeiMei make unpleasant sounding but likely delicious cow dung candy, a treat which is made by processing sweet potatoes and wheat sprouts. Boiling down the natural sugars creates a huge brown candy that is then shattered into bite size pieces. For extra cuteness, watch LongMeiMei offer a small piece of fresh candy to their child.

You can also watch LongMeiMei make honey citron tea out of Pommelo skins.

Almazan Kitchen (Serbia)

Almazan Kitchen is an ASMR channel with beautiful videos of cooking in nature using minimal kitchen equipment.

In one of my favorite videos, you can watch Almazan make carbonara from scratch in a quiet forest. Enjoy sizzling chopped smoked pork cooked over the open fire, the sound of grating dry cheese, and pasta made from scratch using free-range eggs. My favorite sound is the fresh pasta dough being sliced into pasta with one of Almazan’s own line of knives.

Accessibility of Almazan Kitchen YouTube Channel: This channel does not contain music. Because this is an ASMR channel, it contains carefully recorded and beautiful audio that people with low vision may enjoy.