A video of a woman's Korean parents trying a chili for the first time is warming hearts across the internet just like a big steaming bowl of the stuff.
On Feb. 17, TikTok user @crazykoreancooking, whose real name is Grace Park, shared a video in which she serves her parents the Tex-Mex staple — and it's the first time either of them had ever tried it.
At the start of the video, Park removes the lid on a gamasot, a heavy pot used in Korean cooking, to reveal piping hot chili inside.
“What is this?” Park’s mom asks in Korean (which is helpfully translated into English via on-screen captions). Both parents marvel at the dish with oohs and ahs, which is understandable, considering the amount of fixings she provided to her parents, including a shredded cheese blend mom moves to her plate with chopsticks.
“Texas people invented it?” Park’s dad asks as he takes a bite with avocado. (And, yes, settlers in Texas did invent chili, although its true origins likely date as far back as the Aztecs.) “Mmm,” he adds.
“It’s like bibimbap,” Park’s mom says, recalling the traditional Korean dish that really does share many similarities with chili, like beans, meat, mushrooms and garlic, as well as the fact that you can customize the spiciness and finishings for each depending on preference. It truly is a small world.
Throughout the video, Park’s parents go to town on the meal, adding signature touches to their bites. At one point, dried seaweed is broken out, taking the place that tortilla chips typically do. In another, Sriracha and kimchi are added to bites of chili, cheese and potato, showing culinary fusion happening in real time.
“Seems very nutritious,” Park’s mom hypothesizes.
Park’s dad in particular really gets to know the classic American comfort food, judging by the joyful noises he makes while truly annihilating his plate throughout the video. During one moment, he puts what looks like a quarter of a stick of butter on a baked potato, which his daughter dutifully points out is too much.
In another, he complains that he didn’t get any meat in a subsequent helping.
“The whole thing has ground meat,” Park tells him, to which he replies, “Oh.”
“Why did you hide such delicious food from me all this time?” he asks as he inhales potato, chili and more. "Bussin’."
“Life in America is pretty good,” he concludes at the end of the video.
Park’s heartwarmingly hearty meal has gone viral on several social media platforms, garnering 9 million views on TikTok, more than 100,000 likes on Instagram and almost 11 million views on Twitter. Tens of thousands of people chimed in the comments sections about the video as well, celebrating such an adorable family moment.
“I love your dad! He be putting it away,” commented one TikTok user.
“Ur dad was feeling it thats how u kno that chili was awesome,” wrote another TikToker.
“You can tell he knows how to enjoy life just by the amount of butter he uses,” tweeted someone else.
Other users pointed out the types of fixings they used with the chili to great success.
"avacado? seaweed? man they took it up like 3 or 4 levels,” tweeted another person. “I gotta up my chili accessory game now.”
“Love seeing your family add Korean touches to this meal! It inspires me to approach old favorites with fresh techniques and flavors!!!” someone else commented on Instagram.
Park says the outpouring of love her parents are receiving is exciting to the whole family.
“I have a few other videos that have gone somewhat viral, but not as big as this one,” Park tells TODAY.com, adding that some of her favorites include one where they sample a full Thanksgiving spread and another where her parents try papaya for the first time.
She says her parents only just moved to the U.S. in 2020 and have been enjoying many cuisines for the first time ever since.
“I had a friend over, my Dominican friend, and he’s a really good cook, so he made a meal,” Park says. “I hope to (have them try) more other global cuisines as well.”
At the same time, Park plans to continue her cooking and recipe website's goal of introducing Korean food and techniques to a wider audience — and if her parents are part of it, that’s even better.
“People find it interesting when my parents try American food, but I think they actually also find it interesting when we do like a very traditional Korean meal at home,” she says. “It almost feels like they’re part of the meal.”