Fried rice, a culinary marvel tracing its roots to China, has evolved into a global sensation. Believed to have originated around 4000 BC, it was initially created to salvage leftover rice. The technique of stir-frying rice with vegetables, meats, and seasonings not only transformed surplus into a flavourful dish but also birthed a culinary tradition. As centuries passed, this delectable creation spread throughout Asia and, eventually, the world, with each region adapting the recipe to its taste, such as adding egg to make egg fried rice.
But no one ever thought that a light and tasty dish will become a highly sensitive subject on China’s social media platform, prompting a popular chef to apologise for posting a video on how to cook egg fried rice.
“As a chef, I will never make egg fried rice again,” Wang Gang, a celebrity chef, said in a video first posted on Weibo, according to a CNN report. He has more than 10 million online fans, the outlet further said.
Watch the video:
— 新闻调查 (@xinwendiaocha) November 28, 2023
The clip was first uploaded on November 27 and later appeared on other social media platforms like X (formerly Twitter).
Mr Wang has sparked an outrage, with some users accusing him to mock the death of Mao Zedong’s eldest son, Mao Anying.
According to The Guardian, Mao Anying, an office in the Chinese army, was killed by US bombers on November 25, 1950 during the Korean War. A controversial account claims that disobeyed orders to take shelter during an air raid. The rumour claims that the hungry young man fired up a stove to make egg rice and the smoke from the fire exposed his position to enemy forces.
Chinese authorities have repeatedly refuted it as a rumour.
The Guardian said that in 2018, China’s government criminalised the act of insulting “heroes and martyrs” said to have sacrificed themselves for China or the Communist Party cause.
“As an ordinary person who gets a lot of money by posting some cooking videos, he should at least not be disrespectful to this country and the people who sacrificed for this country,” the outlet quoted one social media user as commenting on the chef’s video.
In May 2022, a journalist was jailed for making fun for “insulting martyrs” who froze to death during the Korean War.
This was Mr Wang’s third gaffe. He released similar videos around the time of the anniversary of Mao Anying’s death in 2018 and 2020, both times prompting an outcry on social media.