Malaysian PM wades into MasterChef ‘crispy’ chicken row
The politician has asked where people are eating a crispy ‘rendang’.
Malaysia’s prime minister has waded into a debate about a Malaysian chicken dish that was criticised over its lack of “crispy” skin by MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace.
A large number of people from Southeast Asia have slammed Wallace’s critique of the popular dish as incorrect, as a rendang should not include crispy chicken skin at all.
Following suit, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak tweeted: “Does anyone eat chicken rendang ‘crispy’?”
Malaysian-born MasterChef contestant Zaleha Kadir Olpin produced a dish that included popular Malay rice dish nasi lemak and a chicken rendang curry – a Malaysian-Indonesian stew of meat, spices and coconut milk – as part of a task to create food that was special to her.
Wallace told Bristol-based Ms Olpin that, while he liked the flavour of the rendang, “the chicken skin isn’t crispy, it can’t be eaten, but all the sauce is on the skin I can’t eat”.
She was later eliminated from the competition by Wallace and his fellow judge John Torode.
Among those who took to Twitter to complain about Wallace’s comment, one suggested the judges had either eaten a “wrong rendang in the UK” or are “just plain ignorant on how to cook certain dishes”.
I have never in my life eaten a chicken rendang which is crispy and sauce not stuck to the skin. Either judges at masterchef UK had wrong rendang in UK or theybare just plain ignorant on how to cook certain dishes. Have they mistaken rendang with KFC dipped in chilli sauce?— funnlim (@funnlim) April 3, 2018
As a Malaysian for the pass 22 years, for the first time i heard chicken rendang's chicken must have a crispy skin. Who the f in the world eat their rendang with crispy skin. @GreggAWallace @JohnTorode1— Wayne Lee (@WayneLee92963) April 2, 2018
Chicken Rendang is a classic Malaysian dish, it’s very special. How could u asked someone to prepare it differnetly jz cuz u like a crispy chicken & sauce placed seperately? Respect the dish! It’s culture @JohnTorode1 @GreggAWallace @MasterChefUK— Shannon Chow ❄️ (@ShannonChowz) April 2, 2018
The British High Commissioner Vicki Treadwell tweeted Wallace and Torode: “#Rendang is an iconic #Malaysian national dish not to be confused with Indonesian options. It can be #chicken #lamb or #beef.
“It is never #crispy & should also not be confused with the #friedchicken sometimes served with #nasilemak.”
. @MasterChefUK @JohnTorode1 & @GregAWallace #Rendang is an iconic #Malaysian national dish not to be confused with Indonesian options— VickiTreadell (@VickiTreadell) April 3, 2018
It can be #chicken #lamb or #beef
It is never #crispy & should also not be confused with the#friedchicken sometimes served with #nasilemak https://t.co/3sCBsgiwgQ
Jahabar Sadiq, a Malaysian journalist and food writer, told BBC News the judges “clearly weren’t familiar with food from other parts of the world because if they were, they would have had the knowledge to know what real nasi lemak is”.
A MasterChef spokeswoman told the Press Association: “MasterChef has always celebrated international cuisine and on this occasion our judges’ comments were relevant to the dish that had been cooked on the show.
“Gregg wasn’t suggesting that the dish should traditionally have crispy skin – he was saying that he couldn’t experience the flavours of the dish as it was presented.”