This Woman in China Might Have the Least Sad Desk Lunch in the World

June 30, 2017

Must an office desk lunch be sad? No; of course not. We’ve spent years debunking this nasty fiction, roaming across the country showing companies far and near just how happy a desk lunch can be if made with love.

Someone's encroaching on our turf, though. She goes by “Little Ye in the Office,” and, as of January of this year, she’s a sensation on YouTube, her videos circulating across Chinese social network Weibo. She's amassed a truckload of followers ever since: 298,000 and counting.

Her videos hew to a similar narrative pattern: They usually begin with shots of office drones droning away at computers, silent and heads-down, before Little Ye gets to work. She scrounges around the office for any supplies she can find and turn into makeshift cooking tools, from clothes irons to Pepsi cans; computer casings become pancake friers. She preps noodles atop bunsen burners, prepping literal feasts, and her coworkers go on with their days as if nothing’s happening.

Impressive, no? Really thought we had this Not Sad Desk Lunch thing down. Ugh. We’ve got to start upping our game.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: This article originally ran in March 2017. We're republishing it today because it's Friday and we want you to have a good day.

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Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.


Sugartoast March 17, 2017
Mr Bean + McGyver + Iron Chef
creamtea March 17, 2017
I need to knit up some noodles!
Sugartoast March 16, 2017
absolutely hooked, thanks!
magpiebaker March 16, 2017
Holy moly. That hand-pulled/knitted noodle dish is ridiculously awesome
Whiteantlers March 16, 2017
She is charming!