Meet Noah Conk, a 31-year-old designer based in San Francisco.
He is also the curator of the Spotify playlist “Kimchi Fried Rice” that actually doubles as a recipe for the dish.
The 51-song playlist has become a viral sensation in recent days after Conk shared it in the “Subtle Asian Traits” Facebook group.
Conk told Almost that he decided to make the playlist, which features songs like “Butter” from BTS, due to boredom and ADHD.
“I saw some people make a banana bread playlist and sandwich playlist, but they were too simple,” he said. “The user experience designer in me needed to add ingredients and instructions list.”
He settled on kimchi fried rice as the topic because of its simplicity and it’s widespread appeal.
“Bimbimbap takes really long to make. It seems simple, but each vegetable has its own cooking process,” he said. “Kimchi fried rice is simple and minimal when it comes to ingredients. Plus those who like kimchi also like kimchi fried rice for the most part.”
Then he got to work, becoming “hyper fixated” on putting the playlist together at 11pm.
Conk used his own recipe, with parts from Korean-American Chef Chris Cho, and simplified it.
He did some quality control and listened to some of the songs to see if they were good to put on the playlist.
He said he wasn’t aiming for a real vibe as it would have made things more complex, but didn’t want the songs to feel completely out of place.
When he shared his creation in the Facebook group “Subtle Korean Traits”, it got a big reaction, which led him to share it in a bigger group, “Subtle Asian Traits,” leading to an explosion in popularity.
The playlist has since gained more than 3,574 likes on Spotify.
“I didn’t expect it to go viral,” Conk said, adding that some of the artists featured on the playlist have reached out to tell him their streams have gone up as a result.
Conk said he has enjoyed seeing the reactions from people, who have been asking for more playlist recipes, featuring dishes specific to other cultures or more complex recipes like veggie bibimbap.
He added that he has been thinking about making more playlist recipes and is currently looking at a few other dishes that are “popular and simple to make.”
Here is the full playlist for you to listen to while trying it out for yourself:
Have you tried out Conk’s recipe? What did you think?