HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnam police summoned a noodle seller after his family created a video that mimicked the viral web meme of Instagram “Salt Bae,” whose elaborate salt-staining foot ritual became a cultural phenomenon in the past year.
“A young man’s uncle created a video using salt bath cooking methods as a joke,” a statement issued Monday said.
It was not clear whether the man in the video has been questioned by police. He could not be reached for comment.
“The youths of the family agreed not to publicize the video over the Internet or create illegal video clips,” the statement said.
Baba Mayhanalal is the market manager of a noodle shop in Haiphong, a port city south of Hanoi. This year he took part in the popular folk dance of a butcher who prepares a chicken leg, using a table and napkins.
He was photographed wearing a chef’s cap and standing in front of a stainless steel pan, with a fork to brush down the excess moisture in the bird’s blood. The video showed more than a dozen other people eating the bird’s blood in a nearby room.
The video was widely shared on social media by people in the restaurant business in Vietnam, where a large portion of people who eat food at home like to do the same.
Mayhanalal said Monday that police have been in touch with him and his family to get to the bottom of the video.
A photo that shows him wearing a chef’s hat and standing in front of a stainless steel pan was posted on Facebook by his sister, Hai Minh Tuan, who claims to be his niece. She did not respond to messages seeking comment.
Salt Bae, 43-year-old restaurant owner Nabil El Haddad, became an online sensation in early 2017.
He posted a video in which he mass produces 120 liters of salt, sprinkles it on a table and draws his toothpick through it to stain the tablecloth and the floor. A subsequent video, where he holds what appears to be a curved glass with real sea salt in the bottom, was just as popular.
In April, an Instagram user with the handle @lobstomyble shared a photo of his business partner, the manager of N-Delta’s second best Noodle restaurant. In the picture, Mayhanalal is wearing a chef’s hat, pointing a fork towards a table and a couple of people enjoying chicken broth.