Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Defiling the pure white beauty

I have a deep dark secret that I have managed to keep concealed from the Japanese people in my vicinity for all these years in Japan but that I thought I should get off my chest here in this blog.

You see, I do the unthinkable when no Japanese person is around to see me... If I eat something with rice at home, first of all I put away the chopsticks and use a knife and fork or even a spoon, but this could be forgiven by the Japanese, just mildly scorned upon. What I do is the unthinkable... I pour some soy sauce over the rice...

Now you might understand how heavy this burden has weighed upon my chest, if there is one thing you just don't do here in Japan, it's pouring soy sauce over the rice, defiling the pure white beauty that is the rice. Pissing all over the centuries of labor and love that Japanese farmers have put into delivering pure white rice to the Japanese households who know to enjoy the taste of white rice. If any of my Japanese friends knew of this secret I am sure that they would cut off all contact with me, I would become an outcast, a freak in the eyes of the Japanese, but yet I cannot stop myself in the darkness of my own apartment, alone, with the curtains drawn. Pouring the soy sauce over the white rice, coloring it brown and enjoying it...

Out in public, I pretend like everyone else, using the chopsticks, keeping the rice white and pure, pretending that I'm normal. But it's all an act... The fact that I have 50% Japanese genes in me would make my soy sauce and rice habits even more unforgivable since I am supposed to know better.

Oh yeah, I don't wash it either before cooking, but I can pretend that it's out of sympathy with the Japanese troops in Iraq.

12 comments:

lina said...

You are welcome to come to my Country where it is a norm to pour soy sauce all over our rice. :)

ThePenguin said...

There's a girl (100% Japanese) in my office who admits to doing this.

In my student days I had an innovative recipe involving spaghetti and soya sauce.

Prometheus said...

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Japanese rice is so delicious that you should eat it plain. Putting soy sauce or even salt on it is beyond unthinkable.

Mr. Salaryman said...

Lina - Yeah! I really should get myself to Malaysia soon to get some warmth and being myself, soy on the rice and all!

Penguin - Maybe you should introduce me to that girl, we could start a support group from people like Prometheus who is judgemental about eating rice ;)

Prometheus said...

haha was kidding yo :P

jellybeanzkelley said...

I totally do that too!
I think a lot of western people do. In Canada, chinese takeaway isn't complete if it doesn't come with super salty packets of soy sauce. We all pour it over the rice!

Martin said...

Oh dear! I think i´d better not eat any rice on my visit to Tokyo. Is there anything else i should know before the visit?

Mr. Salaryman said...

In any case, I actually mostly stick with pasta and potatoe in my own lair and you can rest assured that I don't put any soy sauce on either of those and I would be very judgemental about anyone doing that!

frax said...

When I was a kid - in school, in like grade 1-6, we used to put butter on the rice. Just let it melt on the hot rice - quite tasty, if I remember correctly, but I haven't had it since then, and I didn't dare to try to introduce it at our home...

Cheers from mr salaryman's brother.

jlpt-2kyu said...

I used to put soy sauce on Japanese rice until I got told off by my (Japanese) wife's Dad that is is a big no-no to do that in Japan.

Ironically, he always pours half a jar of soy sauce over anything I cook for the family without a moments hesitation - Shepards Pie, Spaggetti Bolognase...

nurinkhairi said...

hi, just stumbled upon your blog.
soy sauce not permitted to be put on the rice in japan? wow, as lina has said, malaysians love it so much.

Nanya said...

I can only think of two Japanese dishes that come with soy sauce and those are sushi and sashimi. Aside from those two, soy sauce is very rarely used as a condiment in Japan. However, it is used for cooking heavily, especially mixed with other liquids like mirin, sake, sesame oil, etc.

Salaryman is right in saying that it's thought of as defiling the rice and its flavor. The only times Japanese seem to accept sauce on the rice (saucy innuendo??) is in the case of dishes served on rice, like donburi (tendon, locomoco, oyakodon,etc.) chirashizushi... ochazuke counts I guess.

This is making me hungry so I'm going to quit while I'm ahead.

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