Mukbang Culture in Korea

What is it?
Traditionally, the Korean mukbang is a live-streamed broadcast where individuals binge eat. The hosts presenters of these eating shows are known as ‘BJ’s’, this stands for broadcast jockey and is a unique Korean term for vlogger (Matthews, 2019).

It is pronounced in Korea as “mook-bang” or “Moak-bahng”.

Sacasas, C 2019

Where is it?
Afreeca TV is the home of where most mukbangs are live-streamed and go for as long as an hour. This platform presentation wise is very basic in comparison to video platforms such as Twitch or YouTube but does not lack wide amounts and range of content. Comments can be left in real-time allowing viewers to engage with the host. Most of these relate to the food asking them to eat more or combine something else with the dish.

There are variations of what hosts include in their videos such as cooking the food on camera, ASMR and description of the meals. It is more common to see large and quick consumption on the food, but some videos do contain smaller meals. In most videos the Koreans chew or slurp very loudly. To us this is seen as very rude and often makes us feel very uncomfortable but in Korea this is a sign of enjoyment and respect (uni-ko, 2015).

Unlike the Western world, South Korean cooking shows focus more time on showing the host eating the food rather than the creation and cooking of the food.

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