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‘I would rendang his head’: UK MasterChef judges stir up a storm

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Posted on : April 5, 2018

Indonesians and Malaysians condemn contestants elimination on the basis that her chicken rendang wasnt crispy

Indonesians and Malaysians have criticised MasterChef UKs decision to eliminate a contestant because her chicken rendang was not crispy.

People from the two south-east Asian nations including the Malaysian prime minister put aside a longstanding culinary dispute about the origins of the slow-cooked coconut curry to express outrage at what they deemed to be the cluelessness of the judges on the TV cookery show.

Gregg Wallace and John Torode sparked a storm this week by criticising Malaysian-born contestant Zaleha Kadir Olpins dish because the chicken skin isnt crispy, it cant be eaten.

Rendang, which originates from West Sumatra in Indonesia, is usually chicken or beef slow cooked in spices and coconut milk for hours and is not crispy.

Olpin served her chicken rendang to accompany nasi lemak, a popular aromatic rice dish from Malaysia.

Hundreds took to social media to point out the judges mistake.

A Malaysian Facebook page Justice for Chicken Rendang featured a petition demanding an apology from Wallace and Torode.

As a Malaysian, if I could, I would personally go to the show and rendang their head. Uncultured swine, doesnt know variety of cuisine and claims to be Masterchef? wrote Facebook user Jin Wee in the pages of the Star, a Malaysian newspaper.

A Jakarta-based critic added: We should be proud of defending rendangs dignity over ridiculous statement made by an ignorant caucasian chef that rendang should be crispy.

The Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak, waded into the debate, saying: Who eats crispy chicken rendang?

Mohd Najib Tun Razak (@NajibRazak)

Mana ada orang makan rendang ayam ‘crispy’? #MalaysianFood pic.twitter.com/nWBbaVN8HY

April 3, 2018

The British high commissioner to Malaysia, Vicki Treadell who was born in the country also tweeted at the judges.

Rendang is an iconic Malaysian national dish It is never crispy & should also not be confused with the fried chicken sometimes served with nasi lemak, she wrote.

VickiTreadell (@VickiTreadell)

. @MasterChefUK @JohnTorode1 & @GregAWallace #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 https://t.co/3sCBsgiwgQ

April 3, 2018

In response, Torode told his online followers: Maybe Rendang is Indonesian!! Love this !! Brilliant how excited you are all getting Namaste.

But his response did little to douse the social media flames, with many users pointing out that namaste is a greeting used in India.

John Torode (@JohnTorode1)

Maybe Rendang is Indonesian !! Love this !! Brilliant how excited you are all getting .. Namaste

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2018/apr/03/i-would-rendang-his-head-uk-masterchef-judges-stir-up-a-storm

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