LA-based Indonesian rapper Rich Brian has become a de facto ambassador for Indonesian food in the US. Though Brian has done well to promote Indonesian cuisine through American publications, his latest video for Food Insider didn’t exactly please folks back home.
On Monday, Food Insider posted a video showing Brian cooking Indonesia’s national comfort food, nasi goreng (which literally translates to “fried rice”), at Bali Kitchen restaurant in NYC’s East Village.
Resembling fried rice, nasi goreng is made with a thick, sweet Indonesian soy sauce called kecap pic.twitter.com/fnGVvfmyOX
— Food Insider (@FoodInsider) December 30, 2019
The video takes viewers to learn nasi goreng’s history and the many varieties of the dish that are available in Indonesia, while Brian talks through its cooking process with host Medha Imam.
“It’s basically one of those dishes where you just wake up in the morning and you just, like, smell it. And you just know that it’s gonna be a good day,” the 20-year-old rapper told Imam.
But it was the caption in the above post that attracted controversy in Indonesia. As we translated above, nasi goreng is fried rice, but Food Insider described it as a dish “resembling fried rice.”
And boy, did some Indonesians take that as a slight against their beloved dish (though some did take it with good humor).
Y'all need Rich Brian to cross check your tweet again. https://t.co/YuuGUBwsaQ
— Abang Syaft is on Twitch TV🍥 (@AbangSyaft) January 2, 2020
It doesn’t resemble fried rice. IT IS FRIED RICE. NASI GORENG LITERALLY MEANS FRIED RICE omfg
— Kate Walton (@waltonkate) December 31, 2019
I love nasi goreng! Best eaten with telur goreng which is another popular dish resembling fried egg.
— Merci Arsène (@fuadsyazwan) December 30, 2019
Of course, we should note that Brian was not responsible for the caption. If you want to see more of his cooking videos, check out the one where he warms up bread in the microwave or the one where he cooks the perfect steak. He’s also the host of a food show called Feast Mansion.
In music-related news, Brian and fellow Indonesian artist NIKI have just been confirmed to play at Coachella, making them the first Indonesians to perform at the music festival.