Many Indonesians are obsessed with the Siamese fighting fish, which are also popularly known as the betta, so it came as no surprise that a post showing dozens of the pet fish deep fried in batter shocked and horrified the nation.
The post, which was uploaded on Instagram a week ago, is making the rounds online today. The photo slide shows a heap of the popular pet fish being prepared with herbs and an all-purpose flour batter from an Indonesian condiment brand, before they were deep fried in a wok and served on a plate.
You can see the process below. Word of warning: this post can be extremely disturbing to betta lovers, especially since you can still see the fish’s eyes in the final product.
The outcome resembles rempeyek, which is a traditional Javanese cracker that normally consists of peanuts or crunchy proteins like anchovies and ebi (dried shrimp) bound together by deep fried batter. We imagine this betta snack wouldn’t be far removed from that in terms of taste.
Indonesian netizens were absolutely horrified by this post.
“Betta lovers cry when we look at this, especially me,” the poster, who seems to be a fish aficionado, wrote in the caption of the post. The photos appear to have been reposted from somewhere else.
“I buy one and I give it the utmost care so it looks nice. If I had this many I would buy a [large] tank. But they turned them into rempeyek here,” one commenter said.
It’s not yet known where and when the photos were taken, but the post has brought back unpleasant memories from a similar viral post from a few months ago, in which another popular pet fish in Indonesia, the arwana, was tossed in the frier.
Many Indonesians are crazy about ornamental fish like the betta, and some have even won widespread praise for meticulously designing unique tanks for their pet fish.