My opinion on Mukbang, As an Asian

I am someone who genuinely loves all food-relevant topics.

So far, I managed to build all my all BCM digital artifacts about food at some level. I mean, I even went to discover the future of food, and the food representation in games (applause to myself).

My passion for food and cooking is partly because, I, as an Asian, a Chinese, grew up surround by food culture. Just like Australian ask ‘how are you’ when you meet each other, the British say ‘what miserable weather,’ Chinese often ask ‘have you eat’ as a simple greeting language.

For me, watching Mukbang is like day-to-day relaxing entertainment.

I started to consider Mukbang as a unique social and cultural concept since BCM112. I wrote a short blog about Mukbang is a message for that. You are welcome to check that out here.


So what is Mukbang?

According to a South Korean host from an introduction video about Mukbang on YouTube, Mukbang is a Korean word for ‘eating Livestream.’ ‘Muk’ means eating, ‘Bang’ represent Bangsong, which means broadcasting.

The world and the live eating show phenomenon firstly appeared in Korea in 2011, then within a short period, this type of video becomes a trend in Japan and China. 

I remember my first Mukbang watching experience vividly because the food in the video looks so appetizing. That is back to 2014, and I was browsing on Bilibili (a Chinese video-sharing website) before bed, I found a fan translated BANZZ’s Mukbang. He was eating the fried chicken covered by the special Korean spicy sauce, accompany with ice Cola. The set reminds me of a trendy Korean romantic TV drama, My Love From The Star. It makes my mouth watering just have that picture flashback in my mind! I was so appealed to the crispy sound and feel extremely hungry at 11 pm, then had a fried chicken flavor dream.

My Recent Mukbang experience and things I noted:

  • I prefer the well-edited eating videos rather than the longer on-camera eating videos in the traditional Mukbang style.

I think those shorter vlogs are more comfortable to watch because it gathered the highlighted part of the eating. Besides, those videos usually start with the cooking process, which I’m very interested. I highly recommend those eating videos presented by Russian Sato (ロシアン佐藤) to anyone who loves large portion food cooked in a Japanese aesthetic way.

  • Among the Asian Mukbang host, I like Japanese Mukbang YouTuber most.

Two of my favorite big eater are Yuka Kinoshita (木下ゆうか) and Russian Sato (ロシアン佐藤), who both have participated in Japanese competitive eating competitions. There is a hidden connection between eating show presenter and big eater, and most of the ‘big’ eating YouTubers are big eaters. When I enjoyed eating videos, I do find big eaters who have participated in eating competitions are more comfortable with the camera. And the way they consume food has been improved in their pervious TV life. That is to say; they get what the audience expect to watch. They understand how to describe the food rather than ‘yum’ and they know how to express the level of enjoyment they received while eating.

  • As a Chinese, I noticed the different eating behavior among Asian and Western.

How people eat the meal is also a primary part of Mukbang. Speaking as an Asian, I have been trained to follow the Chinese table manner, which is distinguished from Westerners. For example, I was taught to eat with mouth closed and have been taught to use chopstick properly (since my parents stop feeding me with a spoon). I think those experience influence my preferences about the way people eat in Mukbang. That is to say; I tend to watch those eaters who take food in a certain manner as I do.

  • I prefer eating YouTubers try various type of dishes

I received information about food from other countries and regions when I watch Eaters try different cuisines, which is a treat to food lovers, like me. This Ethnography experience allows me to accept the knowledge of different food as I directly observed YouTubers’ reaction while they cook and eat.

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