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Old 09-03-2015, 06:43 PM
 
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I watch Japanese anime and notice they make rice balls and act as if it's so good. Also, Chinese movies show them eating bowls of rice. My question is do they add anything to the rice or is it just plain white rice? I live in south Louisiana and we eat rice dishes all the time so I was curious about this.
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:51 PM
 
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Rice balls often have something in them or wrapped around them. For instance, a common snack is white rice wrapped in a piece of nori (dried seaweed). Or there might be a little piece of fish or something in the middle of a rice ball. Sometimes some seasonings are added to the rice too, like gomashio (sesame seeds and salt), but often, it's just plain white rice. Personally, I find it delicious. I'm not a big fan of long-grain rice cooked so that the grains are dry and separate, but Japanese short-grain rice made in a rice cooker is really good even just plain.
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saibot View Post
Rice balls often have something in them or wrapped around them. For instance, a common snack is white rice wrapped in a piece of nori (dried seaweed). Or there might be a little piece of fish or something in the middle of a rice ball. Sometimes some seasonings are added to the rice too, like gomashio (sesame seeds and salt), but often, it's just plain white rice. Personally, I find it delicious. I'm not a big fan of long-grain rice cooked so that the grains are dry and separate, but Japanese short-grain rice made in a rice cooker is really good even just plain.
Here in south Louisiana most people use medium grain rice. We use rice in our gumbo (like a soup), jambalaya (rice with pork, chicken, and or shrimp), plain with fried eggs, or served with a gravy made from steak along with beans. Forgot our famous red beans and rice. It's cooked with our favorite pork sausage and spicy seasoning.
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
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Yeah, rice balls are often wrapped in something, such as seaweed, banana leaves (which you would unwrap and discard), etc. They are also often wrapped around something themselves, such as minced pork, fermented soybean, steamed or sauteed veggies, sweet bean or plum paste, etc.

In addition to what saibot mentioned, there's some stuff called Rice Mate that has dried radish and egg, black sesame, etc that you can add to rice when you boil it, but it seems more popular in Korea than japan and china. When you make sushi or rice balls, sometimes you'll add a little rice vinegar after it's boiled to give it a little tang. Most of the time if people have white rice in a bowl, it's unflavored, and you would either eat it as is or with a separate dish.

A lot of people in East Asia think it's odd to add ingredients to rice when you boil it; in China, a lot of people won't even try it and look at it with some degree of fear. This is my experience after cooking for Chinese people in restaurants in China. Japanese and Koreans tend to be a bit less stodgy when it comes to new cuisine.

At any 7-11 or Family Mart, you see little packages of pickled veggies, kimchi, fish, etc, and also boiled, pickled eggs that people will add on top of fresh rice for flavor. A lot of people will just bring this with them at lunch and put it over rice, since many schools and jobs will give free rice at lunch time.

I don't enjoy plain rice much, as it has no flavor. I at least need to dump some chilis on it. There are a few types of aromatic rice I've had before that I can eat plain, though...
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Old 09-04-2015, 12:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victimofGM View Post
I watch Japanese anime and notice they make rice balls and act as if it's so good. Also, Chinese movies show them eating bowls of rice. My question is do they add anything to the rice or is it just plain white rice? I live in south Louisiana and we eat rice dishes all the time so I was curious about this.
Rice balls are more of a Japanese thing, and as mentioned, they are often mixed some something. They are more for quick lunch boxes if I am not mistaken.

Yes, the Chinese usually just have bowls of plain white rice (if it is not fried rice with eggs etc). it is like brand or potato for the Americans, for the carbohydrates.

Japanese and Koreans eat plain rice too, along with the dishes.
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Old 09-04-2015, 12:10 PM
 
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plain rice is usually eaten with something salty on the side, like some fermented bean curd, salty fish, salty duck egg, fermented shrimp paste with long beans, maybe few pieces of dried sausage cooked over the rice, etc

a balance of plain and a little salty, a bowl of soup is also common with each meal
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Old 09-04-2015, 12:15 PM
 
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When you see people eating bowls of rice with chopsticks, they are usually eating rice cooked in an electric rice cooker with some dishes.

A common meal for a person who eat alone at an eatery is white rice with one or two dishes on the same plate, or the rice maybe in a bowl and the dishes on seperate plates. Eating at a place where you pick your food when you see them have a procedure, first you get a plate and and they put some rice on your plate, skip the rice section if you don't want to eat rice, you don't have to pay for the rice if there is no rice on your plate. Then you buy your dishes by pointing at them, different dishes have different prices. Finally you pay before eating your plate. Some of these places allow customers to refill white rice for free.

Many takeaways and deliveries are riceboxes with white rice and dishes, with disposable chopsticks.

I had fried rice, noodles with sauce, meat and vegetables, plain rice congee with pickles, noodles in soup, dumplings with pork and leak fillings, plain rice in bowls with chili soyabean beancurd, steamed fish in soy sauce and stir fried green vegetables, rice congee cooked with a duck egg and pork, rice noodles in soup with fish and beef balls, stir fried rice noodles, steamed glutaneous rice wrapped by a wheat bun, steamed glutaenous rice, steamed eggs and meats wrapped by a lotus leave etc in the past few days.

Last edited by lokeung); 09-04-2015 at 12:30 PM..
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Old 09-04-2015, 03:28 PM
 
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Other posters have correctly indicated that Chinese people usually cook white rice with nothing added in.

That being said, some people cook rice with sweet potatoes, Chinese dates, vegetable leaves and so on. Sticky rice (a variety of white rice) is usually flavored with brown sugar or salt, with many other things.

In addition, when you eat Chinese food (especially in China), you are NOT supposed to finish all the dishes. You should leave the sauce and oil in the plates. Some Europeans do not know that and complain Chinese food is too salty and greasy.
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Old 09-04-2015, 04:01 PM
 
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a common quick meal a farmer might have is a hot bowl of rice with a couple of raw eggs over the top with a little oyster sauce

it's like a rare egg over rice
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Old 09-04-2015, 05:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by green papaya View Post
a common quick meal a farmer might have is a hot bowl of rice with a couple of raw eggs over the top with a little oyster sauce

it's like a rare egg over rice
Generally speaking, Chinese people do not eat raw eggs. They have to be well cooked.
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