Yet, TikTok dishes represent a global economic force. After @grilledcheesesocial (blogger MacKenzie Smith) posted a short video of baked feta pasta in early 2021, cheese sales skyrocketed. The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association estimated feta sales increased by an additional 4 million pounds in February and March last year. The Dalgona coffee craze started during the pandemic because the four-ingredient smoothie, native to Macau but famous in Korea, brought instant coffee to the fore, a handy pantry item.
People keep repeating these recipes because many of them are good, they solve problems, and they’re also fun to make and share. Perhaps it is useful to return to the culinary trends of recent years.
If so, here is your book. “If you love to cook, a phone has become just as important as a sharp knife,” says the intro to “As Cooked on TikTok” (Clarkson Potter, $20). Within the pages are a few famous dishes – for example, British designer Rene’s fun Butter Chicken Pasta Mix, aka @renes.cravings. (The book doesn’t list last names.) There are also tweaks to TikTok Hall of Fame dishes: Baked Feta Ramen and Baked Feta Pasta Soup among them.
Pancake cereal falls into TikTok’s classic category and seems ideal for a family breakfast on the weekends when we all have a little more time for morning indulgences. The dish was created by @sydneymelhoff, who was inspired to turn pancake-making drips into little rounds that could be tossed into a bowl, just like cereal. Then My Nguyen (@myhealthydish), who has 4.1 million TikTok fans, went a step further: she made an engaging instructional video, highlighting the importance of a squeeze bottle to do the adorable rounds, as well as a hot plate.
Having neither, I made them in a skillet with a resealable plastic bag with one corner cut off. The result undoubtedly takes much longer, both for cooking and for cleaning. But pancake cereal is a really fun way to have your breakfast.
Soft rounds with a buttery golden crust are perfect mini pancakes. Maybe it’s my imagination, but they seem to hold the maple syrup better than the larger version. It’s certainly easier to cook them; when the top has enough bubbles, just scoop them up with a metal spatula or two and continue cooking. You can put extra butter on cereal (you should) and milk (I wouldn’t). It brightens up your morning – or evening, in my case – no matter how you serve it.
It’s also an ideal family breakfast, a home-cooked dish guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser, and easy enough for even the little ones to cook without too much hassle. “It’s so much fun for kids to do, and you incorporate something from TikTok, which is basically their culture now,” Nyugen said via email. Plus, she continues, “it’s really, really good.”
In the foreword to “As Cooked on TikTok,” Gordon Ramsay (@gordonramsayofficial; 32.7 million TikTok fans) writes that the book “features innovative cooking and fun dishes to make at home.” He continues, “Nothing in this book beats my reaction on TikTok…unless you turn it into a mess. Her daughter and co-author, Tilly’s response (@tillyramsay; 10.2M fans): “Can’t wait to share with real TikTok bosses.”
The following recipe, by My Nguyen, is adapted from “As Cooked on TikTok”.
For 4 or 5 people
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of yeast
2 teaspoons of sugar
¼ teaspoon of table salt
2 large eggs
1⅔ cups milk (dairy or plant-based), or more as needed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, or more as needed
Maple syrup, butter (optional) and milk (optional), to serve
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, then the milk until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. If the batter is too thick and cannot be poured, add more milk, one splash at a time.
Transfer the paste to a squeeze bottle or resealable plastic bag with one corner cut off. Heat a griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. When the griddle is hot, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and spread it evenly. Squeeze small, coin-sized dots of batter onto the griddle, leaving some space for the pancakes to spread, but putting in as much as you can to reduce cooking time. This should be about a third of the dough.
Cook until the tops of the pancakes are dry and bubbles form, about 2 minutes, then use two spatulas to stir and mix. Continue cooking until pancakes are golden brown and crispy around edges, about 2 minutes longer. Lower the heat a little if necessary.
Transfer cooked pancake cereal to a plate and repeat with remaining butter and batter. When all the pancakes are cooked, divide the cereal into bowls and drizzle with maple syrup, add a knob of butter and/or a dash of milk and serve immediately.