PETALING JAYA, August 10 — A couple of weeks ago, Asians all over the globe were left confused at BBC Food host Hersha Patel’s “different” way of cooking rice.
In a video uploaded in April last year, Patel started by cooking unwashed rice in a pot of water, drains the water out with a colander before the rice is fully cooked and then rinses the rice under tap water.
Although the video was published last year, it went viral last month after UK-based Malaysian comedian Nigel Ng, who goes by his alter ego “Uncle Roger,” watched it and poked fun at Patel’s cooking methods in a video on his YouTube channel, mrnigelng.
Now, just over a month after uploading the comical reaction video, Ng has finally tried Patel’s egg fried rice dish for himself, after visiting the award-winning presenter at her home in London.
Uploaded onto his YouTube page last night, Ng said that Patel had invited him over to her home to prove to him, and everyone else who has criticised her cooking, that she does indeed know how to cook rice.
Upon entering her home, Ng was shocked to find Patel’s “dreaded” colander collection in her kitchen.
“This woman has so many colanders. I think this woman in love with colander. She sleeps with colander at night,” said Ng in his Uncle Roger accent.
Patel then explains to Ng that she wants him to try her egg fried rice recipe, the way she cooks it.
Patel said that she uses one cup of Basmati rice to make the dish and showed Ng that she also washes the rice first, before refilling her pot with water to cook the rice.
But “Uncle Roger” still wasn’t too satisfied with the way Patel measures how much water to use, as she goes by a “two parts water to one part rice” ratio.
“Haiya. She measure water with the cup again. Just use your finger. All Asian people use finger. This is magic measuring. You are not a scientist, why using measuring cup?” said Ng.
Patel then proceeds to boil the rice on the stove, before putting it on a low heat to “simmer” with the lid on “halfway” to let some steam escape — despite Ng’s skepticism.
“Usually when simmer Uncle Roger like to keep the lid on the pot. Because then the steam can steam the rice. Different culture make rice differently. Just some culture is wrong,” Ng joked.
“I still think Aunty Hersha needs to buy a rice cooker. Make life simple. Buy rice cooker. It’s super easy to make, spend more time with family.”
Once there is almost no more water left in the pot, Patel then turns off the heat and covers the pot with a lid to rest for five minutes before serving.
Then, it was time to taste the plain white rice — which got the thumbs up from Ng.
“It’s okay. At first I was skeptical. I thought this woman was going to mess it all up. But now I think it’s at least a four out of 10,” said Ng.
Once she was done proving that she knew how to make proper rice, Patel then went on to make her egg fried rice dish.
To make the dish, Patel uses cold rice, one egg mixed with sesame oil, finely chopped spring onions and a dash of soy sauce, and tosses the rice over high heat.
Ng was initially amazed that Patel uses the “tossing” technique but was left unimpressed after she “screwed up” and tossed the rice right out of the pot.
“I knew she was faking. She never tossed rice before until Uncle Roger come. Wasting rice. My mom would have beat me to death already,” said Ng.
Despite her mishap, Ng was pleasantly surprised by how good Patel’s egg fried rice dish tastes.
“Taste test. It’s good, it’s good. If I buy this from a Chinese takeaway, I will not be their customer ever again. But for home cooking, very nice. Not bad, six out of 10,” said Ng.
Ng’s video has since been viewed over 1.6 million times on YouTube with nearly 13,000 comments in under a day.
Social media users praised both Ng and Patel for meeting up and creating the playful video together, with many calling Patel the “nicest lady of the year” for being able to take a joke.
After Ng’s first post criticising Patel’s rice-cooking was uploaded on July 8 this year, the cooking show host received a lot of backlash online with many attacking her for “cooking rice wrongly.”
📣 @hershapatel and I are filming our collab on Friday! Will she impress Uncle Roger with her egg fried rice?⠀ ⠀ It's been a wild ride, thank you everyone here for all your support! Unfortunately, Hersha has been on the receiving end of some hate comments. Please remember that I made the Uncle Roger video as a bit of light entertainment, please do not be mean to Auntie Hersha!⠀ ⠀ If you like my work and are excited to see the video, please follow @hershapatel and DM her some words of encouragement!⠀ ⠀ The video will be out next week so subscribe to my youtube channel if you haven't, link in bio! 📲
A couple of weeks after Ng’s post went viral, he met up with Patel for dinner and uploaded a video asking social media users to stop bullying her online.
“Hersha’s really good. She is a great presenter, really funny, but don’t post anything mean on Instagram alright. Otherwise, Uncle Roger will come for you.”