Those viral butter boards are spreading everywhere, but one woman is serving up her own version of the food trend: rice boards.
Soo-Jin Kim’s video, which has garnered a combined 5 million views on Instagram and TikTok, shows her remixing a butter board recipe from food TikToker Sam Schnur with her own Asian version of the shareable spread.
Butter boards took off on social media last month and are a riff on the charcuterie board, featuring heaping mounds of butter spread on a serving dish, sprinkled with different toppings and served with bread or crackers.
Kim, 44, who grew up in Korea and now lives in Florida, said she wasn’t too interested in a board full of butter, but it gave her the idea to make a platter of her favorite foods.
Kim, who works as an event planner and gained a following posting food videos, first shared her board earlier this month. It includes a bed of sticky rice and slices of fried Spam. She adds sliced Korean pickled radishes called danmuji, toasted sesame seeds, Sriracha and mayo, which is scooped up with sheets of nori.
Her video starts, “POV: you don’t get the butterboard so you make your own board.” Kim slaps the sushi rice onto her platter. The butter board recipe says to “make a charcuterie board but for butter,” so Kim does the same and adds fried Spam. The text then says, “Butterboard: Add stuff,” and as Kim makes her own version, the text on the screen says, “Rice board: Add Asian stuff.”
She said she’s had a lot of other videos go viral but never gained as much traction from those.
“I knew it wasn’t going to do poorly because the butter board was trending. But I didn’t know I was going to get that many comments and engagement as a result. That was what shocked me more,” she said.
Butter boards started appearing on TikTok after Justine Doiron, who runs a food account on the app, posted the video Sept. 15. The board was inspired by a recipe in Portland, Oregon-based chef Josh McFadden’s James Beard Award-winning book “Six Seasons.”
TikTok users showed their love for Kim's idea in the comments of her video.
“Spam fried rice is a staple in my household so I am absolutely here for this,” one user commented.
“Its a yes for me,” another user wrote.
After her initial rice board went viral, Kim made and posted another — this time inspired by a dish her late mother made her as a child. It included pan-seared cocktail sausages, fried eggs, spring onions, toasted sesame seeds and soy sauce.
“My mom used to make me rice with soy sauce and a fried egg to shut me up from crying and it worked every time,” she joked. “I did add the mini sausages to it. If I was a good girl, she used to give me sausages. So it really was that.”
Kim said she cooks because she loves to eat, not because she loves to cook.
“My videos tend to contain simple recipes, and the rice board is an example of a family dish almost anyone can make. I had several moms commenting on both TikTok and Instagram that they’d love to make the rice boards for their kids,” she said. “Those comments warmed my heart, especially since the second rice board was what my mom used to make for me.”
Kim said she loves the support her videos have had but doesn’t know if she’ll be making any more rice board videos.
“Every time something goes viral, people are like, ‘You should make that your niche,’ and so you copy, rinse and repeat — copy, paste, copy, paste and go viral. I don’t think I want to be cornered into it,” she said.
While those might be Kim’s last rice board videos, she said she’s excited to continue making different food content and other viral trends.