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sushi rolls "light on the rice"

I love sushi and have a great place nearby but they tend to use a lot of rice in the rolls. Is it rude to ask them to go "light on the rice?" Don't want to make a faux pas and I can deal with the rice given it's convenience if need be. Thanks.

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  1. I think this could probably be considered rude.

    My logic is that it points out something that they are generally doing wrong, versus pointing out a personal preference. For example, the difference between "Chicken, but please don't burn it" and "I'd like my steak medium rare".

    (edited to fix parallelism)

    4 Replies
    1. re: LabLady

      Concur. Where I go, while I primarily order sashimi, I also occasionally order riceless rolls, and let them know it's because I can't have the vinegar in the rice... That way, it's not a comment on their preparation, but rather on the pathetic state of my digestive system. My rolls just come with fish (and sometimes cucumber or veggies as well) wrapped in seaweed or cucumber. LabLady's example hits the nail on the head.

      1. re: Emme

        Yea, that was my fear....didn't want them to think that I was being critical but just a personal preference. Thanks.

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          I disagree. You should be able to ask for your sushi however damned well you like it.

          1. re: joonjoon

            .......well, you "can" also pour soy sauce all over your Chinese dishes too....it is just that you will piss off the chefs.

    2. i agree in both that you probably should not ask it but i totally always want to ask them to go light on the rice as well! i'd eat more rolls if they was less filler/rice - hence they would make more money off me anyway...win-win?

      2 Replies
      1. re: pie22

        I'm pretty sure that sushi rice is not intended as a "filler" but actually a significant part of having sushi rather than sashimi.

        1. re: lifeasbinge

          yes but i meant in the places where there is almost a "double" amount of rice on the outside. usually in the more economically priced places and/or lunch specials.

      2. When you say "great place" do you mean "clearly a professionally trained sushi chef" is in charge of a high-caliber/famous operation, or that it's seriously fresh, great service, etc?

        I can understand your concern if it's the former, but as to the latter, I'd be pretty vocal in politely requesting "light on the rice, please." If anyone looks at you funny, shrug and say "digestive issues." Or nothing at all. While there are times when deferring to a chef is the way to go, there are others where you're, after all, a consumer.

        ETA: I was just thinking the other day that I hate the "stuff the whole thing into my face" or "eat like a reasonably cultured human being" conundrum.

        3 Replies
        1. re: shanagain

          I was wondering the same thing. If I were going to my usual sushi place by the office (standard lunch place, no trained sushi chef, menu with lots of Americanized stuff), I wouldn't hesitate to ask for light on the rice. Luckily, they don't overdo it on the rice, so it's not an issue, but there are others in the neighbourhood, that do make huge, fat rolls.

          If it were a serious sushi place, trained chef and all, I would probably defer to his way.

          1. re: shanagain

            I imagine it is a trained sushi chef, however we are not talking fancy here. It's a run of the mill local sushi joint with consistently good and fresh sushi.If it helps give you an idea of the place - it is BYOB and very casual.

            1. re: shanagain

              good clarification. to note, my comments were regarding an upscale clearly professional sushi chef establishment where the food is tied ever so to the culture.

            2. I can't imagine making any special requests from a sushi guy regarding how to make something. If you want to eat less rice, I suggest you order more sashimi and perhaps other dishes such as sunomono.

              1. The more authentic and more respectable the sushi chef, the less likely you can ask to change the sushi preparations. Sushi chefs take their works very seriously and very personally. A request like "go light on the rice" can be considered very rude.

                The irony is that if your place is not very authentic (often run by Chinese or Koreasn..), then it is probably fine because the chef may not take his job too seriously.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  One of my favorite sushi bars, now long gone, was owned and operated by a Korean. I learned a lot from that guy. Please don't stereotype the Korean sushi chefs.

                2. Vinegar-flavored rice is the basic ingredient in sushi. Everything else is optional. If there's more rice in your sushi than you want, don't eat it all.