ILLUMINATION
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ILLUMINATION

How the hell can noodles look so tasty?

The world of Mukbang shows you how!

Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash

She carefully manoeuvred her chopsticks to take a big roll of noodles, noodles that looked fiery and delicious, opened her mouth and took in the whole bloody roll of noodles at one shot. How do their mouths even open that wide?!

I was watching a pro Mukbanger Boki take a huge ass bite of 2x fiery hot noodles. She is one of the famous Mukbangers who amazes people with her big bites and the crazy amount of food she eats. Her channel Eat with Boki has a whopping 4.6 million subscribers. So what does she do that has got her such a huge subscriber base? What on earth is Mukbang?

A mukbang, also spelled meokbang and also known as eating show, is an online audiovisual broadcast in which a host consumes large quantities of food while interacting with the audience. — Wikipedia

And when they say large quantity, they are not kidding. The food, a single Mukbanger consumes can easily feed at least 3–4 people. The food is usually consumed silently with the Mukbanger whispering comments as the mic is placed insanely close to the mouth to amplify the sounds of slurping, chewing and overall food consumption. It’s the ASMR(Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) heaven of the food world.

The old schoolers prefer to highlight the sounds of eating and showcase their quantity eating capabilities while newbies are focussed less on the sounds of eating and more on the ginormous amount of food they can consume. You can hear noises or sounds ranging from the occasional ‘mming’ of delight to the outright, borderline sexual sounding moans of appreciation.

Originally popular in South Korea, most of the Mukbangers eat South Asian food especially South Korean popular food. Right from fiery noodles to Jajangmyeon to steaming hot tteokbokki, the way Mukbangers eat their food makes you want to rush to your nearest Korean restaurant and order a takeout for 05.

But now that the West has caught on to this trend of Mukbang, you will find Western Mukbangers eating a variety of food including and not limited to burgers, pizzas, pastas, fries, chicken nuggets, fried chicken even testing their spice thresholds with 2X fiery hot noodles.

The common theme that you see run amongst the West and East Mukbangers is cheese! The insane amount of cheese they consume, pouring it like syrup over pancakes, coating each piece of chicken in cheese for ages is sure to give us viewers a straight up heart attack.

What I like about Mukbang is not the amount of food they have but the variety of food I see. Obviously, I am starved by the time I finish a Mukbang but the utter satisfaction you get out of someone else enjoying a big meal is insane. I don’t think you would be convinced until you give it a go.

A typical Mukbang session starts off with the host showing you the variety of food he/she is planning to devour. Then they open up a can of their favourite soda and pour it into glass filled with ice. Mind you, the sounds captured are crazy 3D, almost like you can taste the soda.

Then they take their first bite, which is usually a ridiculously large bite. From the spoons they use, usually wooden(I have no clue why!), to the crazy big bowls for their ramyeon, they are armed to the hilt. As you watch them consume, quite literally vacuum the food, and they come down to their last few bites, you feel a mix of absolute satisfaction, insane hunger and sadness that the meal is over.

With even categories in Mukbang, you will find Mukbangers who eat only red food, who eat only Korean food, or burgers, or pizzas or only desserts. It’s the dessert Mukbangers that blow my mind. I mean, how can you consume so much sugar and not turn into an energiser bunny!

I have seen Mukbangers who have stayed the same even after consuming such an insane amount of food while a rare Mukbanger has proportionally ballooned in size to the amount of food they consumed. I don’t know which of these Mukbangers to believe but my bet is on the one who did put on weight.

I mean, isn’t that normal if you consume so much food? Or are other Mukbangers the rare 1% of us who don’t put on weight no matter what they eat?!

I would love to know the secret behind their trim figures, enormous bites and their insatiable appetite. Intrigued by the world of Mukbang? Give it a shot and let me know what you think.

Not interested to watch other people eat? No worries, tell me what is the most you have eaten. Me — I have nearly finished a medium pizza on my own and I regretted it and delighted in it simultaneously. Ah, the woes of gluttony! :)

A few terms you may not be familiar with -
Jajangmyeon : Jajangmyeon (자장면), also called jjajangmyeon (짜장면), is a noodle dish in a black bean sauce.

Tteokbokki : Tteokbokki (also spelled ddukbokki, ddeokbokki, dukbokki or topokki), 떡볶이, is a beloved Korean rice cake dish with many variations and a rich history. Literally translated as “stir-fried rice cake”, tteokbokki is made with garaetteok, a cylinder-shaped white rice cake.

Ramyeon : Ramyeon is the Korean version of instant Japanese ramen.

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Nisha Nandakumar

Nisha Nandakumar

I feel alive when I write. What makes your heart pound?

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