society

Woman in Chengdu attracts over 4 million followers for cooking miniature food

Ning Jing, a post-80s woman in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan province, has become famous online because of her videos cooking miniature food and handmade reproductions of scenes from her childhood memories, Red Star News reported on Dec. 18.

Ning cooks miniature food (screenshot from Bilibili)

Her most popular video is one showing the cooking process of braised crayfish posted on the well-known Chinese short video platform Douyin with the caption, “Summer is all about eating crayfish. So today we’ll have braised crayfish. Here we go! Enjoy the dish with beer, and you’ll know life can’t be any nicer.”

All of the cooking procedures for the dish are the same as that required in the common way of cooking braised crayfish, only everything in the video is a miniature version, including the crayfish.

The video released on March 28, 2020, so far has nearly 2.68 million likes and over 118,000 comments, making Ning, both the chef and the creator of the video, quickly rise to fame on the Internet.

Ning’s account on Douyin has over 4.5 million followers now, with her videos accumulating 31.8 million likes. Her username on the platform is Xiao Xiao Shi Jie, which can be translated as “miniature world of food.” Although all of the cooking utensils and ingredients are unbelievably small, the dishes in the videos are real food that can be eaten.

The dishes featured in Ning’s videos are mostly Sichuan cuisine. She also makes videos of specialties from other places in China, as well as desserts her followers ask her to cook. In addition to braised crayfish, popular Chinese food like hot pot, barbecue, roast chicken, fish with Sichuan pickles, and Mapo tofu are also covered by her videos.

Other than miniature food, she also makes miniature reproductions of scenes from her childhood memories. She has reproduced many past-times based on her memories, including her living room, a small shop, and alley.

“I extended my miniature world to the small township I lived in because of my grandma. One night I just missed her so much, so I got up and decided to make a miniature replica based on my memories. I drew the red patterns on the washbasin myself. They are all childhood memories of the post-80s generation,” recalled Ning, who was born in Luzhou, Sichuan province, and lived with her grandma when she was young.

“It takes me one to several hours to make a small article. Sometimes when I get the inspiration I stay up late to make them. It can be laborious, but I enjoy my job,” she said.

According to Ning, she has always had a keen interest in food, which made her quit the job she had in finance for years and open her own restaurant. In May 2019, she closed the restaurant she had run for two years and began making videos of miniature food.

For the next stage, Ning is ready to further extend her miniature world. She wants to create miniature reproductions of facilities like schools and shopping malls, and make a video series of the food seen in the famous documentary “A Bite of China.”

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