Wrong ways to eat rice


David and me in Korea (October 2002).

During the 1950s, my twin uncles were students at a college in Oregon. To stretch their budget, they had been eating a lot of rice, flavored with ketchup to make it taste better.

The morning after they returned to Hawaii, their mother (my grandmother) made them rice, eggs, and coffee. The twins began pouring ketchup on their rice and eggs.

Grandma was shocked. She said, “If you put ketchup in your coffee, too, I’ll quit cooking for you.”

As you know, we Koreans prefer to eat our rice plain with no sauce or seasoning of any kind. We eat rice with kim chee (pickled cabbage) and different types of meat.

So, there I was with my Irish boyfriend from New York in 1977, having dinner at a Japanese restaurant in Honolulu. Two married couples, friends of mine, sat with us.  One couple was a local Japanese woman married to a Jewish man from New York, and the other couple was a local Filipino woman married to an English man from Virginia.

Prior to this meeting, I had bragged to them about my boyfriend being a highly intelligent medical doctor, who had graduated from Stanford University, and what a great catch he was.

Well, dinner was served.  My boyfriend looked at his plate and said to the waitress, “May I have a small cup of melted butter?”

The waitress did as she was told and brought him the melted butter. My boyfriend poured it over his rice.

Ugh! What a crazy thing to do.  Why would anyone want to ruin perfectly good rice?

The next day, my Japanese friend phoned me and said, “Gigi, I am so unimpressed with your boyfriend! He doesn’t even know how to eat rice.”

Fast forward to the present and I am now married to David, a white man who was born in California but raised in Hawaii.  He knows better than to pour melted butter or ketchup on his rice.  He eats it plain as he is supposed to.

9 Responses to “Wrong ways to eat rice”

  1. Linda Starr Says:

    what a hoot

  2. DJan Says:

    I’ve always liked butter on anything. 🙂

  3. Olga Hebert Says:

    That made me laugh!

  4. SchmidleysScribblins Says:

    Ha Ha. I cook brown Jasmine or Basmati rice and we always put something on it. Actually, David puts butter or gravy on it depending on what I fix. I don’t eat much rice. I’m a potato girl!

    The English colonists grew rice in SC and rice became a staple in the South centuries ago. Because rice was polished to make it white, it was not very nutritious. As a result, southerners suffered with Beri Beri because the did not get enough B. Vitamins in their diet.

    One of the songs in 1777 (the musical) was about ” Rice, Indigo and Sugar,” the three staples of the SC economy until cotton became king.

  5. Christine Says:

    each to his own Gigi!

  6. Linda Reeder Says:

    If only how you eat rice was all the test you needed to know who was good husband material!

  7. dkzody Says:

    Who woulda thunk that there’s right/wrong way to eat rice. No wonder there is no peace in the world!

  8. Karen Says:

    I always put butter on my rice.

  9. anonymousonthemainland! Says:

    My husband of nearly 42 years eats rice plain and simple..We had curry with red peanut sauce yesterday and some Tom Ghai noodles with soup, he asked the waiter to bring the rice separately the fellow did..He ate the curry without one grain of rice and he has been the most perfect husband and human being anyone around would ever dream to know and be married to..I ate my Soup with noodles quietly and even got another bowl for him he loves that soup too, we had to take our leftovers home it is a lot of food..we go for lunch they serve the same portions for lunch as dinner and charge lunch prices, the owner who knows us came over and brought pineapple cookies for our dessert and holiday meals..we had a delightful time..One eats rice plain as I see it..Aloha in beautiful Hawaii, may your days be bright, loving and kind!

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