Indian, Filipino and Korean food are among the most popular on social media

South Korea’s sweet and spicy bibimbap, Philippine eggplant omelette and Indian rice dish pulao are among the most shared dishes on social media over the past year.

Food website Chef’s Pencil analyzed hashtags from Instagram and TikTok from February 2022 to March 2023 and published a ranking of the kitchens with the most mentions.

Instagram famous kitchens

Italian cuisine tops the list on Instagram, garnering more than 2.9 million hashtags over the past year, according to data collected by the site. This is not surprising given the ubiquity of pizza and pasta around the world.

The Instagram posts, captioned #Italianfood, feature a variety of pasta dishes, from spaghetti with colatura di alici (Italian fish sauce made with anchovies) to baked paccheri with bechamel.

Other items typically posted with the hashtag include pizza, risotto, and gelato. In fact, #pizza was mentioned 9 million times last year, making it one of the most mentioned foods on the platform.

Indian food ranks second, amassing more than 2.24 million hashtags over the past year. Chef’s Pencil noted the cuisine’s rapid rise, with many Instagram users appreciating its rich and sometimes complex flavors.

Given India’s diversity, dishes posted with #Indianfood vary wildly, but among the most popular is pulao – a stew made with basmati rice cooked with a variety of herbs, spices and broth.

A standout contribution is a recipe for an aloo matar pulao, or rice dish with potatoes and green peas. Colorful thalis are also included, as well as different types of samosas and chaats.

After India, Japanese food ranks third with more than 2.21 million mentions last year. The popular #sushi is the star of the kitchen with 3.2 million mentions in the same period.

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Dishes from Japan are perhaps some of the most Instagram-friendly compared to others, from kaleidoscopic sushi and sashimi to meticulously arranged bentos. Finally, the Japanese are known for their attention to detail and masterful techniques in cooking and preparing food.

Mexican food grabs fourth place, followed by Korean, Chinese and Thai. Not only are these cuisines popular in their home countries, but they have also found international appeal.

With more than 219,000 mentions of #Filipinofood last year, Southeast Asian cuisine ranks 11th, even surpassing the popularity of French cuisine.

But it’s not the staple adobo that’s most shared. Instead, it’s a collection of street fare like grilled chicken intestines and quail eggs coated in an orange batter in what some call “Filipino tempura.”

One of the top posts is an upscale version of a tangy con hielo, or ripe bananas simmered in brown sugar syrup with shaved ice and condensed milk. Some are even topped with a helping of leche flan or caramel custard to make it even more enjoyable.

The report specifically mentions Lebanese cuisine with 194,000 hashtags in the last 12 months, or 18 percent more than a year ago, making it the second fastest growing cuisine on Instagram. Some of the dishes featured in the posts are hummus, mixed grill, and rice-stuffed veggies.

Star kitchens on TikTok

It’s a whole new ball game on TikTok that focuses on short videos instead of static images. The food-themed content posted on the platform ranges from recipes to food challenges and mukbang, the oddly entertaining clips of strangers eating exorbitant portions.

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First up is Korean cuisine, which racked up more than 15 billion views last year. Korean pop culture has exploded in recent years and has inevitably impacted its culinary wonders. Korean noodles are particularly in the spotlight.

Some viral recipes include jajangmyeon, or Korean black bean noodles, gyeran bap, or Korean egg rice, and the classic beef bulgogi.

Chinese cuisine follows with 13.4 billion views, and mukbang’s continued popularity may help. There are also many videos featuring unusual ingredients like frogs. Of course, different types of dumplings and noodles are also shown.

Tacos and quesadillas are also commonly shared using the hashtag #FoodTok, which propels Mexican food into third place with 7.6 billion views. There’s a growing interest in creating healthier versions of these Mexican favorites, with content creators suggesting low-calorie alternatives to some ingredients like tortilla bread.

Indian cuisine is a close fourth with 7.4 billion views, followed by Italian with 7.1 billion.

Prominent on the list is Filipino cuisine, which has historically lagged behind its Southeast Asian counterparts when it comes to mainstream popularity. The archipelago’s food culture ranks eighth in Chef’s Pencil analysis and has been viewed 2 billion times in the past year.

Similar to Instagram, Filipino food on TikTok offers a variety of dishes. Aside from savory dishes, local desserts are also showcased, which use traditional ingredients such as glutinous rice, ube or purple yam and coconut.

Filipino fast food also takes up part of the view, such as Filipino-style spaghetti, which contains sugar, condensed milk, and banana ketchup.

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Updated April 06, 2023 7:08 am