When you put a traditional beloved Asian dish and an ang moh chef together, you know a controversy is highly likely to emerge.
Just look at Masterchef UK’s #rendangate saga
The judges had said that the chicken rendang prepared by a Malaysian contestant wasn’t legitimate because it wasn’t “crispy” enough.
Or BuzzFeed’s epic “21 Of The Absolute Worst Sandwiches That Have Ever Happened”
You’ll likely not be able to find an image of this on BuzzFeed’s website anymore. The backlash was so huge BuzzFeed decided to amend their listing.
Unfortunately, what goes on the internet stays on the internet.
And Now, Another Asian Delight Became A Victim:
The Hainanese Chicken Rice.
On 3 Oct, The Guardian ran an article on a simple recipe for Hainanese chicken rice.
The recipe was featured on a podcast and cooked by celebrity chef, Lisa Faulkner, who won Masterchef Celebrity 2010.
Now, you’ll be thinking: Singapore’s national dish getting spread overseas? What a beautiful thing.
(Since you’re here, subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more informative videos lah)
Because This is Her Version Of Hainanese Chicken Rice
Here are the ingredients that she used:
- 125g pack trimmed salad onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal keeping the green ends separate
- ½ Cooks’ Ingredients red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- Finely grated zest and juice of one unwaxed lime
- 2 tbsp essential pure clear honey
- 1 pack of 2 chicken breast fillets fed on an omega 3 enriched diet
- 150g Hom Mali jasmine rice, rinsed
- 40g Cooks’ Ingredients Hainanese paste
That was what alarmed netizens the most about the Hainanese chicken rice recipe: the use of lime and honey in the dish.
Green salad onions, chilli, lime zest, juice and honey are combined together and poured over the chicken before serving.
S’poreans Shocked At The Butchering Of Their Beloved National Dish
Facebook user Jules K. Yim uploaded an image of the recipe on Facebook with the following caption:
This is not Hainanese chicken rice. Ex-actress with no palate to speak of please stay well away from the food of my people and stick to your gloopy mush.
And netizens started bringing out the pitchforks and torches.
We don’t mind being laughed at for our unique English but messing with food? That’s crossing the line.
Some Hainanese just find it hard to swallow.
Nice try but wrong name.
Of course, #rendangate must make at least once appearance here, no?
And of course, the “we need to get this retracted” guy.
But Here’s The Thing
There might be a few extra ingredients that you’ll never imagine exist in a chicken rice dish, but to be fair, one of the ingredients listed is the Hainanese paste.
Which might contain the ingredients that a netizen was wondering about:
Another netizen brings up a very good point:
We’ve probably been butchering western recipes for ages too.
And take into account that whenever another country’s dish is brought into a new market, the taste is adjusted to fit the palates of the people in the new country.
I mean, Koreans would probably be horrified at what we call Korean fried chicken here in Singapore, no? #JustSaying
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**All images from Jules K. Yin Facebook unless otherwise stated.
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