It’s no secret that K-pop idols easily leave fans worldwide enchanted with their attractive looks and captivating performances. But they have more talents up their sleeves than singing, dancing and rapping. A number of them are also great hosts, producers, authors and even CEOs. However, today we are looking at the stars who have extraordinary skills in the culinary arts. These K-pop idols are such good cooks that they excel both on stage and in the kitchen.
In some K-pop groups there is often one member who is entrusted with cooking and feeding their members delicious meals. Their repertoire ranges from kimchi fried rice to bulgogi and other Korean delicacies. Fans have witnessed their mastery in the kitchen on many variety shows and even on YouTube channels. Read on to find out which K-pop idols are also famed for being talented cooks.
K-pop idols who are known to be excellent cooks
What’s a better way to start the list than with the biggest boyband BTS’ resident chef Kim Seokjin. Other than his good looks and soulful voice, BTS’ Jin is famous for his incredible cooking skills. His love for food is no news to BTS’ ardent fans, also known as BTS ARMY. Jin learned to cook at a young age and used to have a mukbang show on Vlive named Eat Jin, which saw him devouring massive meals while talking about the food and sharing stories.
We have also seen his cooking highlights on the band’s vacation show BTS In the Soop. Before enlisting for mandatory military service, Jin paired up with South Korean chef Baek Jong Won on a YouTube show on makgeolli, a traditional Korean rice wine. He even did a cooking class vlog with another renowned south Korean chef Lee Yeon Bok to learn how to make menbosha (Korean shrimp toast). Jin’s most iconic Korean cuisine dishes include kimchi fried rice and Janchi guksu (warm noodle soup). Moreover, he co-owns Japanese restaurant Ossu Seiromushi in Seoul with his brother Kim Seok Joong (who also acts as the CEO).
As the go-to chef of the boyband EXO, Doh Kyungsoo or D.O. has often mentioned in interviews that if he weren’t an idol, he would be a professional chef. His band members are always praising his cooking, and his culinary skills have impressed his many fans.
In the group’s variety show Travel the World on a Ladder, documentary EXO Showtime and his livestream appearances, we have seen D.O making bulgogi (Korean BBQ beef), kimchi jjigae (kimchi stew), doenjang jjigae (soybean paste stew), and some other Korean delectables. D.O. is so passionate about preparing tasty food that he reportedly even took a cooking license exam in secret at a culinary school. While serving his mandatory military service, he finally got to live out his chef dreams as he was assigned cooking duties.
Seventeen’s rapper Mingyu has been playfully dubbed by fans as “Housewife Mingyu” due to his predilection for keeping his home clean and tidy. And if you have watched the band’s castaway-themed reality show One Fine Day and SBS’s own cooking show Baek Jong’s Three Great Emperors, you’ll know that he also excels at cooking.
On Seventeen’s Battle of Burgers, Mingyu said he underwent training for a cooking competition around 2014 when he was younger. His members and fans often refer to him as ‘chef Ming‘ for his cooking talent and there are plenty of videos that prove it. From lasagna to tteokbokki (spicy rice cake) he has many Korean dishes in his repertoire.
The lead vocalist of the most streamed girl group on Spotify, Blackpink’s Jennie is a fierce performer on stage but off stage, she is also a gifted baker. Blinks (the official name of Blackpink fans) are familiar with her love of baking and cooking for herself and the members. She has even baked macarons for Blinks herself.
On the group’s official YouTube channel, you can see her cooking pancakes in the show Blackpink House for her bandmates. The entire group also cooked dishes like kimchi fried rice and tanghulu (sugar-coated Chinese hawthorn) together in the show. Additionally, she cooks on her Youtube channel occasionally with other guests. On one vlog you can see her making mandu (dumplings) with her bandmate Jisoo. Currently, it’s only a hobby but she has thought about learning baking and taking professional cooking classes. From making kimchi fried rice and mandu to baking a cake, nothing is too complicated for Jennie Kim.
Red Velvet’s Wendy
Reveluvs, the official fanbase of Re Velvet, are well aware of how much Wendy loves to bake and cook. She is the best cook among the five members of Red Velvet and often teaches fans how to bake. In a Valentine’s Day special on Dispatch, she shared her tiramisu recipe and demonstrated how to prepare her rendition of the classic Italian dessert.
As documented in social media posts by her friends, Wendy often cooks small and thoughtful treats for her members, managers, and other k-pop idols in SM entertainment. Though desserts are more her forté, she is just as comfortable cooking a regular meal like Japche, seaweed soup and braised pork ribs. Her Instagram feed contains clear evidence of her culinary expertise, with pictures of cookies, patties, and baked goods.
Looks like BTS has more than one good cook in the house. Although Jin is the most famous member for being the resident master chef, the rapper Min Yoongi or Suga took up many cooking challenges in several Run BTS episodes with extreme ease, preparing dishes such as kim pi tang (kimchi with pizza and tangsuyuk), tonkatsu (Japanese pork cutlet), aglio olio and steak for his bandmates.
One of the fastest K-pop rappers, Suga (who also goes by the moniker AgustD) seems very much at home while preparing barbecued meats, noodles, doenjangguk (soybean paste soup), dakgalibi (spicy grilled chicken), and gamasot bokkeumbap (fried rice) on the vacation show In the Soop many times for his friends. He often uses his vast knowledge and expertise to make whatever his teammates want to eat, ranging from finger foods to meat cutlets.
Girls’ Generation YoonA
Other than her impressive vocals, Girls Generation’s YoonA is known for her cooking and baking skills. Her kitchen expertise came under the spotlight when she joined K-pop idol Lee Hyo-ri and her husband Lee Sang-soon, IU, and Park Bo-gum in a variety show Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast. A variety show where they opened a B&B in Jeju Island for a few days and cooked and managed the non-celebrity houseguests themselves.
She has shared many of her recipes with fans but her signature Mille-feuille nabe (also known as thousand leaves hot pot, a Japanese dish where napa cabbage, perilla leaves and beef slices get a Korean twist, and are served in a dashi broth) remains a favourite. During quarantine, she often shared pictures of various delicacies such as lemon bread, corn cheese bread, and sweet rice cake that she baked at home. If you want to know more about her love for food, check out her Instagram feed here.
NCT 127’s Taeyong
Lee Tae-Yong, beloved leader of South Korean boyband NCT’s sub-unit NCT 127, is the resident chef of his group. He is regarded as one of the best and most-skilled cooks among the 23 members of his band.
Taeyong has displayed his cooking skills in many variety shows such as Food Diary, The NCT show, and even on his YouTube channel. Kalguksu (Korean noodle dish), galbitang (beef short ribs soup), sogogimuguk (beef and radish soup), and sujebi (hand-torn noodle soup) are some of the dishes we’ve seen him cook and all his meals look super delicious and restaurant-worthy.
BTOB’s Yook Sungjae
You can’t omit BTOB’s Yook Sungjae while mentioning the best cooks among K-pop idols.
The singer and actor placed third in the cooking reality show Idol Chef King, a cooking reality show for celebrities and won over celebrity chef Hong Suk Chun with his mastery in the kitchen. Even his We Got Married co-star Joy (from Red Velvet) was impressed as he cooked spicy fried rice cakes for her.
Wooyoung’s cooking talent often steals the limelight in his band’s group activity videos on ATEEZ shows, aired on their official Youtube Channel. His dedicated ‘tasters’ (his bandmates) love his food, and even Yeosang often joins him on his cooking show and praises his ‘delicious’ cooking (as you can see in the video). Reportedly, he is working on getting his Korean Chef certificate and learning from popular Korean professional chefs like Chef Oh Sedeuk and also Chef Tony Yoo.
Additionally, he has his own cooking show on YouTube where he prepares beef seaweed soup, Japchae (sweet potato stir-fried glass noodles), stir-fried shredded potatoes, and many other delicious dishes.
As if language proficiency (he speaks Korean, Thai, English, Chinese and French), superb acting (in many dramas and movies including Real men, Oh My Venus, Street Dance of China and Begin Again) and musical talent weren’t enough, multi-talented K-pop idol Henry Lau is the king of the kitchen too. He was associated with the Korean band Super Junior-M as a violist, songwriter, and composer since 2007 but in 2013 he debuted as a soloist with his EP Trap.
His foods look almost Michelin-star worthy but sadly viewers can only admire them from afar. Henry was also featured in Master Chef Korea – Celebrity (2013) where he cooked Memil-myeon (a Korean noodle dish) and bibimbap. Chinese-style omelette and beef tartare are some of his popular dishes.
Miss A’s Fei
We can’t end the list without mentioning Fei. Chinese singer Wang Feifei better known as Fei of the girl group Miss A was a former contestant and runner-up in Master Chef Korea – Celebrity (2013).
Even JYP (Park Jin-young) of JYP entertainment is a fan of her cooking. According to Fei, Kimchi Jjigae is the best Korean dish in her repertoire. In an interview, she expressed her desire to open her own restaurant one day.
Hero Image: Jin/Instagram and J/Instagram and featured image: Run BTS/Youtube
This story first appeared Prestige Hong Kong.