A Canadian chef has joined the ranks of several foreign food “experts” who have earned the ire of Asians for meddling in and messing up ethnic specialties by imposing their authoritative take on the cuisines.
Vice Network’s resident brash-talking chef Matty Matheson became popular for his numerous “how to” recipes on YouTube, giving his unique take on several already-popular recipes. His most recent tutorial, however, struck some nerves with Singaporeans and Malaysians after he did a bit on Hainanese chicken rice, a popular local dish in the Southeast Asian region.
A few days after Matheson’s recipe was posted online, several Asian chicken rice fans started flooding it with criticisms for using ingredients not usually found in the dish and for deviating from the actual dish itself. As one comment pointed out, “the only thing that’s remotely hainanese about this dish is the title.”
Netizens particularly questioned his use of anise hyssop and Szechuan buttons.
Many also criticized his garnishing the dish with edible flowers, which is never used in local chicken rice shops in Southeast Asia.
Hainanese chicken rice, which is a dish adapted from early Chinese immigrants from the Hainan province, is now considered one of the national dishes of Singapore. This Southeast Asian favorite is also widely popular in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and of course China.