KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 — “Crispy chicken rendang” is now a thing and you can have it at a restaurant in the city’s upmarket Damansara Heights neighbourhood.
Former MasterChef Malaysia judge Johari Edrus showed how he prepares the dish at Symphony, his own restaurant located at the Damansara City Mall.
“By right, chicken rendang is not crispy but I can make ‘the magic’,” the chef, who also goes by the moniker Papa Jo, said in a short Facebook video as he coated pieces of cooked chicken rendang in flour.
He then transferred the flour-covered chicken pieces to another bowl of batter.
“Coat it well because you like to have it crispy, right?” he said, before dusting the chicken pieces in more flour and frying the meat in oil heated to 117°C.
“Just fry for a couple of minutes and shake off the excess oil.
“There you are,” he said, before drizzling rendang sauce over the deep-fried meat.
“Come and try the Crispy Jo chicken rendang today! Available in limited quantities and only on weekdays,” he wrote in the accompanying post.
Johari is believed to be referencing the “crispy rendang” controversy, sparked by the dubious ejection of Kuantan-born Zaleha Kadir Olpin from MasterChef UK last week.
MasterChef UK judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace caused an international uproar after roasting Zaleha for serving up her nasi lemak with chicken rendang that did not have “crispy” skin.
“I like the rendang flavour; there’s a coconut sweetness. However, the chicken skin isn’t crispy. It can’t be eaten and all the sauce is on the skin so I can’t eat it,” Wallace said.
Among critics of his comments were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his rival former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who said Wallace had confused rendang with KFC-style chicken.
Wallace later said he meant the chicken was not cooked well.
“I said the skin wasn’t crispy. I didn’t mean it wasn’t fried like fried chicken. What I meant was that it wasn’t cooked. It simply wasn’t cooked.”