What is Mukbang?
You may have seen mukbang videos of people eating large quantities of food while making pleasant ASMR sounds into a microphone. You may have even found yourself compelled to watch these videos, despite the fact that you’re not even hungry. But what exactly are mukbang videos, and why are they so addicting to watch?
Table of Contents
- What is Mukbang?
- Why Do People Watch Mukbang Videos?
- Popular Mukbang Foods
- How to Make Mukbang Videos
- Risks of Making Mukbang Videos
What is Mukbang?
Mukbang is a combination of the Korean words for “eating”(muk) and “broadcast (bang).” So mukbang videos are, quite simply, videos of people eating food. But there’s more to it than that. Mukbang videos are usually live-streamed or made into long videos, giving viewers the feeling that they are sharing a meal with the person onscreen. And because mukbang stars often respond to comments from viewers in real-time or tell interesting stories, the experience can be quite interactive.
Why Do People Watch Mukbang Videos?
But why do people watch mukbang videos? There are a few reasons. For some, it’s simply because they enjoy watching other people eat delicious-looking food. Mukbangers usually eat exotic and indulgent foods people may not have the opportunity to try themselves or have to abstain from for dietary reasons.
Others find the ASMR sounds soothing and relaxing. The sounds of lips smacking and chewing may repulse many, but there are more people than you’d imagine that love when mukbangers use extra sensitive microphones so viewers can hear every crunch, slurp, and swallow.
Another large group of viewers see mukbang as a way to connect with others, especially if they live alone or are feeling isolated. People have stated they often eat alone due to being single or a busy schedule. Watching a mukbang video while you eat could give a sense of company as if you’re eating with a usually very entertaining and often attractive friend.
Popular Mukbang Foods
One thing you’ll noticed after following the mukbang scene for a while is there tends to be trends where one person will try some new, attention grabbing food and it seems like everyone and their mother (people’s mothers are on TikTok these days) have to create their version eating the same foods.
Seafood boils are a super popular trend that people from all different countries love to eat. Maybe there’s something about watching people get messy cracking open the hard shells that appeal to viewers.
Eating raw honey comb is especially popular with the mukbang and ASMR cross-over communities. Asian mukbang videos seem to enjoy indulging in exotic, raw seafoods that may not be suitable for those with squeamish stomachs. Unbelievably large platters of sushi and excruciatingly spicy noodles are also rites of passages that all mukbangers endure.
The best foods to eat seem to be rare, uncommon foods or foods that look and sound delicious. Eating extremely large portions of foods as quick as possible under the premise of timed challenges are often seen, all though can be a dangerous and a very unhealthy way to consume food.
How to Make Mukbang Videos
If you’re thinking about getting into the mukbang business, there are a few things you’ll need to do first. First, you’ll need to choose what kind of setup you want. Some mukbangers film themselves with multiple cameras so that viewers can see all the action from different angles, while others use just one camera or just their smart phone positioned directly in front of them. A Logitech c920 is the popular, affordable webcam used by YouTubers and streamers.
You’ll also need to decide what kind of microphone you want to use. Many mukbangers use lavalier microphones, which can be clipped onto clothing and positioned close to the mouth for clear audio quality. Other popular choices include headset microphones and boom microphones, which can be positioned above or next to the head for optimal sound quality. An iPhone has a decent microphone but may not catch all the sounds as crystal clear as the ASMR fans may prefer. Blue Yeti is known to be the most commonly used microphone by streamers and content creators.
Finally, you’ll need to choose your platform carefully. YouTube is obviously the most popular option, but other popular platforms include Twitch, TikTok, and Facebook Live. Once you’ve got your equipment set up and your platform chosen, it’s time to start filming or hit the broadcast button.
If you are filming a mukbang video you can opt to eat in silence focusing more on showcasing the food. Or if you want to make more entertaining, personal videos you should prepare a few stories or topics you may want to discuss with your viewers while you eat. Believe it or not, there is a hugely viewed sub-niche of people eating while discussing murder mystery cases.
If you are having a livestream mukbang show, be sure to have a strong internet connection as well as a good camera and lighting. All though it may be difficult while you are busy chowing down on a meal, make sure to be as interactive with your viewers as possible, answering any questions and having a nice, positive attitude. These people are here to watch you eat after all, no one wants a dinner guest that’s rude or negative.
While some enjoy a messy eater and seeing sauces dripping everywhere, the general etiquette for mukbang videos is to eat as cleanly as possibly, chewing with the mouth closed and keeping the dining area tidy. A bit of lip smacking and finger licking is okay but doing it excessively may gross out your viewers.
Risks of Making Mukbang Videos
Before you run off to become the next Zach Choi or Bloveslife, it’s important to consider the risks that go along with making mukbang videos, and there are many.
The most obvious and first to notice is the risk of gaining weight. When making a mukbang video, usually larger than normal portions of food are eaten. There are many skeptics and have been past controversies of mukbangers editing themselves spitting out food or practicing disordered eating.
How else are mukbangers able to stay so skinny? Are they filming themselves gorging on delicious foods and cutting out the parts where they actually spit the food out? Pay close attention to see how many jump cut edits your favorite mukbanger’s videos have and if they actually swallow each bite every time.
While being young and having a fast metabolism can be the explanation for many mukbangers, regularly eating excessive amounts of calories in one sitting will eventually catch up to you and the pounds will soon pack on, unless you live at the gym and only leave to film mukbang videos.
There’s also the risk of raising your cholesterol, blood pressure, and sodium intake. Let’s face it, nobody wants to watch someone eat a salad and quinoa. Eating the preferred mukbang foods like deep fried treats, savory, fatty meats, and sugar-filled desserts can lead to obesity and other chronic conditions. Overeating puts you at higher risk for digestive issues, heart disease, stroke, and even cancer.
So there you have it—everything you need to know about what is mukbang and how to make a mukbang video. It is indeed a strange internet phenomenon but it’s only growing in popularity. People are becoming more and more reliant on their devices. Maybe a virtual eating buddy can help fill a void or make solo dining a much more enjoyable experience. You may make a little money, make some new friends, and at the very least eat some delicious meals!