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Hi, I’m Mini. Although “Mini” is my name, I have a huge appetite. I once finished a whole 17.5-kilogram roasted lamb in one meal. Another time I ate 50 lion’s head meatballs. I have also been on a TV show, where I challenged seven other celebrities and ate 8.5kg of food. Don’t let my name and my body size fool you.

I had a big appetite while growing up. I’m used to this. I sometimes even feel that normal people eat so little every day: Are you guys really full? Or maybe you guys are trying to keep in shape?

Challenge: 150 chicken wings. Views: 1.01 million

I became a mukbang video blogger right after graduation from college in Beijing. I was browsing the internet with my phone and I saw an ad for an online eating contest. I had never competed to see what my limit was, so I signed up.

For the competition, you could choose from fried rice, lamb skewers, boiled eggs, instant noodles... It was stuff you can buy anywhere but you had to eat as much as you could at one time. I ended up finishing 12 cups of instant noodles plus two bottles of canned congee.

The competition had two rounds but after the organizer saw what I could eat, they put me straight into the final round. Then in the final round, I ate 160 shrimp dumplings and won first place. The organizer is now my current agency.

In my first mukbang video, I ate a whole roasted lamb – it’s a different one from the time I ate the 17.5kg lamb. There are a lot of varieties to Chinese roasted lamb: Ningxia style, Hebei style, Xinjiang style and Manchu-style from the north. For that video, I ate a small lamb laid flat on the grill. It only looked gigantic. I wasn’t really full afterwards.

Challenge: Whole roasted lamb (17.5kg). Views: 902,000

Now I make one or two videos every day. Making the vidoes doesn’t really feel like “work”. To me it’s just having a meal. Some of my regular videos are made during mealtime or during the afternoon when I felt like eating something. I also make videos for business clients. Custom-made ones too.

I choose the food that I will eat every time. To show the happiness of eating good food in the videos, I have to eat something that I actually love. Me and my colleagues all feel strongly about this. I don’t usually eat things that I think are disgusting. Unless it’s something novel, like when I travel to other places and they have local snacks. Like when I went to Xiamen and ate tu sun dong (土笋冻) in Xiamen – it looks like jello but it’s made from a type worm. You can see the shape of the worm inside. I was terrified but my followers kept saying that I should at least try it because it’s delicious, and I did. It wasn’t bad.

Challenge: 1,000 hairy crabs (some whole, some picked). Views: 624,000

I’ve also made videos with Western food like pizza and burger. I once ate a 32-inch pizza with toppings and a different time I ate 20 burgers – but I lost the video. I can record one for you if you’d like!

My weight is different before and after a meal. I weigh around 45kg normally but after a meal it’s above 50kg. I don’t stuff myself though. I try to eat an amount that makes me enjoy eating. Your capacity is not infinite, and if I am already very stuffed, I can’t act as if I were feeling great. So I’m about 80% full each time. For example, if I can eat 30 burgers, I would only eat 20 — just enough to make me feel satisfied. The videos also come off better.

Challenge: 100 baozi. Views: 432,000

I don’t train or practice, and there’s no “recovery”. I just record myself having a regular meal. If it weren’t for the videos, I would probably eat more. Maybe I would have more variety. I like heavy flavors, like ma la tang (麻辣烫) and stinky tofu. I also eat like this in restaurants and when I go out with my friends or parents.

I once made a video attempting 100,000 calories in one day. It was my birthday, so there were cakes and other types of high-calorie food. I don’t count calories otherwise.

Challenge: 150 fried skewers. Views: 1.05 million

I really don’t have any secrets about keeping in shape. If I do, then my boss at the company wouldn’t be overweight. Everyone around me has gained at least 10kg. This Chinese New Year holiday I was staying with my parents and they all gained 3-4kg of weight. I think I was born with this body composition.

I can’t drink, and I don’t like the taste of alcohol. It makes me feel uncomfortable. I don’t really like vegetables either; you won’t find them in most videos. I’d rather have meat.

Challenge: A giant meat baozi. Views: 832,000

I usually pay for my everyday meals and the food that I like to eat myself. I also make videos for clients, usually for restaurants, or for a product advertisement, and they would pay.

Am I making money? Let’s not talk about it. I really don’t know how to answer this question.

I think my fans like my videos because they like to watch me enjoying a meal – it makes them happy too. Some people are on a diet and watching my videos makes them feel better. People also watch my videos to satisfy their own cravings. I have some followers who told me that they have anorexia but my videos make them want to eat. It’s a meaningful thing to do. They really like to watch me eat meat – braised, roasted, barbequed — as long as it’s meat. Maybe it’s because I’m a girl and watching me taking big bites of meat is attractive.

Challenge: 60 pork shanks. Views: 698,000

My parents have small appetites. My mom gets stuffed eating two baozi. My father as well. A few bites and he’s full. I was like this when I was little. They knew how I was. When I was still living with my parents, after recording a video they would cook some congee or something. They know that I am doing what I love for work. They’re happy I can do what I love.

I admire people who can cook delicious food. I watch cooking shows quite often, and there were people who can explain why certain food is great, or those who can make food look good on camera – I admire them. I can cook, but I can only cook what I like to eat, like stir fry or simple stews, which don’t look good on camera.

I don’t have any strict requirement for food. I am easy when it comes to food. But I don’t usually eat fish, because of the bones - it’s too much work. I also don’t like ginger.

Challenge: A ton of Korean food. Views: 819,000

I chew my food! I enjoy what I eat. It’s not a performance.

In my spare time, I do all the “girly things”. I especially enjoy doing handcrafts, like making my own nail art. I also love cleaning my apartment.

I do get full but I can keep eating for a long time. My metabolism is fast and once I digest, I can eat more. I’m the type of eater who has “better stamina” but I can’t compete for speed. I did a live stream just recently during quarantine called Mukbang Marathon, and I stayed home and cook and ate for hours.

Editor's Note: SmartShanghai does not necessarily agree with or support this type of overconsumption. But, hey, we are not the internet police and millions of people watch these videos, so ours is not the only view.

Want to see Mini in action? Click here for nearly 400 videos on Bilibili.


[Shanghai Famous]:

Shanghai Famous is a SmartShanghai column focusing on people out there in the city makin' the scene. They're out there around town, shaping Shanghai into what it is, creating the art, culture, and life around us. We asked them what's good in Shanghai. We asked them what's bad in Shanghai. We asked them to tell us more, more, more about their wonderful selves.

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