Some of my earliest memories include standing on a dining room chair in the kitchen and helping my dad cook — stirring and tasting, and chopping once I got old enough. My favorite meals were always the Indonesian recipes passed on by his grandma.

Now, I still love to cook but often struggle to find the time and inspiration as a busy college student. I am also vegan and gluten free, which adds another layer to the types of foods I cook. I tend to get caught in a rut and cook the same meals over and over again — bean and rice bowls, tofu scrambles and lentils being some of my go-tos.

Lately, my TikTok has been flooded with creative meal ideas, and I have started to follow a number of vegan pages. I decided to try these four TikTok viral recipes to see if they are worth the hype:

Vegan eggs

Over the years, I have learned how to make a delicious tofu scramble. But I decided to try something new and make a vegan frittata recipe I saw while scrolling through TikTok. The recipe is made by the user @that.veganbabe and has over 14 thousand likes.

The recipe involved blending together silken tofu, rice flour, coconut milk, water and salt. This created a sort of batter that I poured over sauteed veggies and then let cook covered on low heat.

The end result — I was thoroughly underwhelmed. The “frittata” turned out to be sticky and at the same time did not hold together well in comparison to what the TikTok showed. The taste was bland, and I ended up picking around the tofu mix for the veggies. I think I will stick with my tofu scrambles for now.


Image courtesy of Nika Bartoo-Smith.

Rainbow rolls

Summer rolls are one of my favorite meals, mostly for the peanut sauce. I have made them before, but they never hold together too well. I found a recipe for peanut sauce and a trick for rolling the rice paper by TikTok user @rawmanda.

I started by prepping all my veggies and baking some tofu with a nutritional yeast crust. I added avocado and Thai basil like the video suggested, and it brought the rolls to the next level.

The peanut sauce tasted like the sauce from my favorite Thai restaurant down the street: perfectly creamy and tangy. The trick was lime and a little bit of maple syrup. I do not normally add a sweet element to the sauce and it really elevated it, bringing out the flavors and cutting the saltiness.

In the past, when making summer rolls, I always made sure the rice paper was completely softened before rolling. The trick @rawmanda showed was to only slightly wet the paper, and it softens as you roll. This made all the difference and left my rolls with no holes. They even held up for a leftover lunch!

Turning mushrooms into scallops

Mushrooms are my favorite — from how they look to how they taste, I love it all. My newest discovery has been trumpet mushrooms, which are best when thinly sliced and baked until golden brown. I call it mushroom bacon.

Recently, I saw a recipe on Tik Tok for trumpet mushroom scallops from user @veggiekins. Skeptical and excited, I bought the ingredients for vegan scallops which requires something slightly odd — miso garlic pasta.

The recipe called for scoring one side of the mushroom rounds, which seemed unnecessary at first. But, I followed the recipe, substituting red miso pasta for white miso paste and adding extra veggies.

The scallops turned out incredible! Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, with a subtle umami flavor that tasted the slightest bit fishy. This was by far the best TikTok meal I have yet to try.

Liquid banana bread

I ended my TikTok cooking adventures with a blizzard cookie dough recipe from user @butternutbakery. The cookies were made with almond flour, nut butter and sweetener. They turned out delicious, even on their own. The ice cream was made with frozen bananas, more nut butter and sweetener.

Together, they tasted a bit like a liquid version of banana bread. I think the best way to describe the taste would just be “healthy,” and was certainly not what I was craving when I thought of a blizzard.

I learned that it is possible to learn to cook a meal in less than a minute all thanks to TikTok. Overall, these recipes surprised me. After testing these recipes, I can certainly say there is more TikTok cooking in my future — I just need to learn how to not get too distracted and start scrolling while using a recipe to cook.

Nika is a writer at the Arts & Culture desk. Send her an email if you know of any local artists or events that should be featured!