An alarming video, reportedly showing a woman deep-frying her husband’s rarefied pet fish, is circulating on TikTok. Found here, the clip has been viewed 7.1 million times since it was posted about a week ago. It has also racked up 194,000 likes and thousands of comments.
TikToker @miakurniawan01 posted the video of her controversial culinary endeavor, along with the simple caption, translated from Indonesian: “fried arowana.”
This particular species of fish, an Asian arowana, is known to be the most expensive aquarium fish on the planet. Journalist Emily Voigt wrote a 2016 book on the elusive species, explaining to National Geographic at the time that the fish is associated with “good luck and prosperity.”
Originating from Southeast Asia, the creatures are so valuable that the “farms…where they are produced are like high-security prisons with concrete walls protected by guard dogs, watchtowers, and barbed wire,” said Voigt.
According to the New York Times, arowanas are even sometimes subjected to cosmetic surgery procedures, like eye lifts or chin jobs. These procedures can cost around $60 to $90, while the fish themselves cost anywhere from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars. One fish is even said to have been sold to a Chinese Communist Party official for a staggering $300,000.
In @miakurniawan01’s TikTok, she explained that she decided to cook her husband’s fish to teach him a lesson after he failed to properly clean the aquarium. Per Coconuts Jakarta’s translation of the video’s onscreen captions, she said: “This is because my husband kept promising to clean the aquarium after I told him to, therefore I did it myself. However, the fish got sick in the end. I thought it would be delicious if I fried it.”
Footage showed the TikToker preparing the former pet for cooking by scaling and seasoning it. She then puts the arowana into a wok of hot oil, where it immediately begins to bubble. The final shot shows the golden-brown, cooked fish on a plate.
“Already cooked and ready to eat,” read the onscreen text, per AsiaOne.
In a follow-up video, the woman explained that her husband had forgiven her for the incident, added the news outlet. Many viewers, however, weren’t as understanding. One commenter called the woman’s actions “messed up,” for example, while another said she was being “petty.”
According to the couple’s update, the husband is looking to purchase a new pet arowana in the near future—and hopefully, this time, he’ll remember to clean the aquarium.