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Rice...no thank you.

OK, don't know if it's just me but here goes. Husband has a co-worker who we've befriended along with his wife. Very nice people but...in the past when we've dined together at say Thai, or Chinese that is served family-style he always passes on the rice. Doesn't hesitate filling his plate with however many mains we've ordered. BTW the tab has been split equally up until now. Your comments appreciated.

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  1. If you leave feeling satiated, who cares? Not everybody likes rice. Is he really getting so much more that you feel cheated? Maybe he is. In that case, avoid meals that are served family style. There's no real point in bringing it up.

    1. Might he be diabetic?

      3 Replies
      1. re: pinehurst

        This was my thought. I always pass on the rice.

        1. re: lynnlato

          On the surface that makes sense, but since many favorite American Chinese food menu items are so loaded with sugar anyway, skipping the rice for insulemic reasons seems moot.

          The behavior does seem a bit gauche though, especially if the check is being split equally.

          1. re: The Professor

            Thanks Professor. Gauche is a more precise term than rude.

      2. Although my hubby will eat rice occasionally at home, and preferably Basmati, he will not eat rice out. He just doesn't like it. It is his taste preference not to eat it. Maybe your friend feels the same way. Or maybe he eats low carb.

        1. You should handle this the authentic Chinese way: put on a smiling face at the dinner table, then complain to your family about how cheap he is.

          4 Replies
          1. re: RealMenJulienne

            <You should handle this the authentic Chinese way: put on a smiling face at the dinner table, then complain to your family about how cheap he is.>

            No, the real high-level Chinese way is: Put on a smiling face at the dinner table, then complain to his wife about how cheap he is.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Even more passive-aggressive... this is some PHD-level Chinese behavior you're espousing

              1. re: RealMenJulienne

                Well, I'm pretty sure Chemical has a doctorate (though in science) and is of East Asian origin; I believe Chinese though she is more than welcome to correct me, or say it is none of my business.

            2. re: RealMenJulienne

              No, but you're getting close. Put on a smiling face at the table, but complain to your wife IN CHINESE about how cheap he is.

            3. As others have commented, maybe he doesn't like to load up on carbs. I have lived in Southeast Asia, am married to an Indian man and love love love all the food, but I too don't like that much rice. Some, but not much. This sounds very petty to me.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sandiasingh

                Oh my goodness, yes! My husband is Sri Lankan and the amount of rice he and every other Sri Lankan eats is astounding! It's at least an inch thick covering the entire plate. When we eat out with other rice eaters, I'll eat some rice just to prevent odd looks, which I get anyway because I eat such a relatively small amount compared to them, but it would be even worse if I ate no rice at all.

                Rice gives me digestive problems. (Along with a lot of other things...) If I can get away with eating no rice, I will.

              2. I'm not sure what you are criticizing here -- the fact that he doesn't eat rice, or the idea that he somehow eats more of the shared dishes because he doesn't eat rice.

                I don't eat white rice EVER at our weekly Sichuan jour fixe because I don't *like* white rice (I don't pay, either -- b/c the group decided the Great Organizer gets a freebie, and I'm certainly not complaining). In fact, I could probably live the rest of my life quite happily and never have white rice again.

                What exactly is your issue with the co-worker?

                7 Replies
                1. re: linguafood

                  I am confused as well, is it why he doesn't eat rice or that he hogs the other food? I am with you, linguafood, I can't remember the last time I've had rice, let alone whit e rice and could die without it. When we order Chinese food, I actually tell them to not bother to put in the 8 pints of white rice because they will certainly be placed immediately into the trash as no one wants to eat them.

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    Cold leftover Chinese take out white rice makes the best fried rice the next day. It's so dry and non-sticky that it's easy to toss and coat the kernels with oil. Give it a try!

                    1. re: RealMenJulienne

                      Fried rice is a whole 'nother animal.

                      1. re: RealMenJulienne

                        I'm not really a fan of either, but yes SO loves to use it as fried rice or honestly to pour butter or Maggi on it and eat it straight up.

                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          I think that a shit load of butter and Maggi is the secret to that 'Japanese steakhouse' flavor.

                          $.50 worth of Maggi and butter + $.25 worth of rice = $10 plate of Teppanyaki House Special Fried Rice

                          1. re: RealMenJulienne

                            He clearly missed out on a fortune, if only he discovered the idea sooner. I love Maggi so that might be rice worth eating and always have at least 2 varieties.

                      2. re: fldhkybnva

                        or soak it in (self-made) broth, reheat and give it to the dog. bongo-butt will love it.

                    2. I ordered a large platter of sushi....my mother in law, with her folk, lifts only the fish and leaves the rice behind all over the platter...so annoying but what can i do?

                      19 Replies
                      1. re: Monica

                        Order her some sashimi instead?

                        1. re: davis_sq_pro

                          sashimi for the whole family? I am not made with money.

                          1. re: Monica

                            No, just for her. If everyone else likes sushi and she won't eat the rice, then give her just fish...

                            Is sashimi really more expensive than sushi where you are? I think the opposite is true here. Usually sashimi is $1 more per order but instead of two smallish slices you get three or four larger slices. Order some sushi rice on the side and you can set up a DIY chirashizushi that's much more cost effective than nigirizushi.

                            1. re: davis_sq_pro

                              Well, that was my first time and the last time i ordered sushi for a family event. I don't like giving one person a special dish. i mainly didnt like about her table manner.

                              1. re: Monica

                                Some positives: She used a fork (didn't touch all the fish), she was clean (left the rice on the plate and not the floor), and she is an adventurous eater (ate raw fish).

                                1. re: viperlush

                                  not really because she' double dipped' different sushi..she poked on them.
                                  My sis said she lost her appetite after seeing her. lol it's actually quite hilarious.

                            2. re: Monica

                              For sashimi or nigiri the price for two pieces is the same here. You just specify.

                              1. re: melpy

                                Some AYCE sushi restaurants only offer nigiri and maki, especially with the more expensive types of seafood. The same AYCE restaurants tend to cut the seafood thinner than non-AYCE sushi restaurants, and load on the rice, hoping the bargain-seeking customers will fill up on rice. I don't visit AYCE sushi restaurants much, but at the two AYCE restos I've visited in Calgary, the restaurants charge the customers an additional fee, if they left rice on the platter or on their plate, to try to prevent customers from over-ordering (ordering a huge amount of sushi, then not finishing it), and from picking off the good stuff and leaving the rice behind. The AYCE restaurants in Toronto have time limits (around 90 minutes, iirc), especially the ones located near the university.

                                1. re: prima

                                  Yes I have seen that. We don't really have many of those but the one near us charges $2 per piece leftover. Moral: don't be a glutton when ordering.

                                  1. re: melpy

                                    Or, put your leftover rice in your handbag, when the server isn't looking.

                                    :-)

                                    1. re: prima

                                      reminds me of an episode from Mr Bean...where he orders beef tartare and trys to get rid of it by putting it into every possible ways.

                                      1. re: prima

                                        Did you see my Mom at a restaurant ?!? ;-)

                                    2. re: prima

                                      "You go now!" -old comedy bit by a heavy-set comedian being kicked out of an AYCE Chinese restaurant

                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                        http://cdn.themetapicture.com/media/f...

                              2. re: Monica

                                "...so annoying but what can i do?"

                                Home prepared fugu.

                                1. re: NE_Wombat

                                  lol, it's ironic that the word starts with 'fug' and ends with 'u'....

                                  1. re: Monica

                                    It's coincidental, not ironic. A common mistake to confuse the two.

                                    1. re: globocity

                                      Just like that supremely annoying song...

                                      1. re: ricepad

                                        Yeah, although the title is Ironic, in more ways than one.

                              3. I think the guy probably doesn't care for rice. If you really feel so put out by him eating more than you, then stop going out to eat with him.

                                1. Then why order rice? It's kind of unfair to make the guy pay for something that he doesn't want to eat. Kind of like ordering wine with a couple of non drinkers, or surf n turf when everyone else is getting salads.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: viperlush

                                    Point is that rice is cheap and everything else is more expensive.

                                    What a crass conversation to have -- don't eat with them at family-style dinners if you don't feel comfortable but ugh gross topic.

                                  2. Order the noodle instead next time. Problem solved.

                                    1. I think the devil is in the details. If he is 3/4 of all the non rice dishes, that does seem problematic if you are leaving hungry. In that case, order an additional non rice dish.

                                      If he only eats marginally more of the non-rice dish, that does seem petty.

                                      Either way, I wouldn't say anything if you enjoy his company.

                                      1. I've never cared for plain rice.To me it's just a cheap filler food. It comes free with Chinese take-out and I mix it in with the dog's dinner so it doesn't go to waste.

                                        29 Replies
                                        1. re: miss_belle

                                          cheap filler is what I think of the rice too, and I don't want all the carbs. I am not a "low carber" but it's like filling up on a side of bread. I want the food, not the filler.

                                          1. re: miss_belle

                                            You may not like it, but rice is no more a "cheap filler" than the bread is a cheap filler in a sandwich. If you are in a good Chinese restaurant or eating in a Chinese home, the dishes are spiced, salted and oiled to a level that balances the plain rice just right.

                                            1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                              I find the Sichuan food I eat on a weekly basis to be balanced just fine without rice.

                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                Flavor, perhaps; but is the texture balanced?

                                                Many Sichuan dishes -- most famously, mapo doufu -- are designed to be eaten with rice. (In addition, naturally, to many, many dishes from every other rice culture.) Not just as something to catch the sauce, but also to add some additional heft and chew to what would otherwise be an overly soft dish.

                                                It seems to me that eating these dishes without rice is to lose much of the soul of the dish. Much like using a fork to eat the lobster meat out of the middle of a lobster roll.

                                                And we've now gone very far astray from the original topic :-)

                                                1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                  Mapo tofu is one of my favorite dishes we order, and I can't say that I miss the rice whenever I eat it.

                                                  Textural differences are assured given that we generally order anywhere between 8-16 dishes (depending on group size), so there will be crisp things like cucumber salad, crunchy things like diced chicken with hot pepper, green & sloppy things like stir-fried bok choy, salty & chewy things like double-cooked pork or cumin beef, etc. etc.

                                                  Trust me, I don't feel like I'm missing out. At all.

                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                    I can't imagine eating sichuan food without rice...all that strong spicy flavorful sauce...
                                                    I can eat Cantonese food without rice.

                                                    1. re: Monica

                                                      I can't eat Indian food without rice, but for Sichuan food, I don't really need it. Different strokes, I guess.

                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                        Hah, I guess we are yin and yang with regard to Asian food and rice.

                                                        I won't touch most Indian restaurant rice (aside from the occasional biryani). Instead I eat curries with loads of naan, chapati, rotis, or whatever other bread is available. For me: short grain rice > bread > long grain rice. So the bread wins. And Indian curries tend to be too thick to go well with short grain rice, in my opinion.

                                                        1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                          Sounds like it :-)

                                                          I used to eat the white rice at our Sichuan place but since I don't *do* a lot of carbs anymore, I've put my focus on all the other lovely stuff that's served. The main events, so to speak.

                                                          Due to the lowish carb thing, bread is not a better option for me, but Indian without rice would be tough for me.

                                                          Thankfully, the Indian in town is not all that fantastic, so I don't have it often. Plus it usually doesn't agree with me -- I blame the ghee.

                                                        2. re: linguafood

                                                          Funny, I'm a low carb gal and I feel the same as you. I feel like most Indian dishes need just the littlest bit of rice, but I don't miss it with Sichuan.

                                                    2. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                      Yeah, I hear you about harmony. To me eating Chinese food without rice is like eating the toppings off a pizza, or drinking the gravy off mashed potatoes.

                                                      But, whatever. There's no law that says we have to eat things the same way.

                                                      1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                        My sister and mother don't eat the rice when we get Chinese food, so I get all of it. More and more I actually find that once I run out of the rice that comes with the various items I'm not actually overly interested in finishing the left-overs. I guess it just isn't as palatable for me to eat stuff with so much flavor/sauce without the rice. So I guess it works out for us, though sometimes I've actually thought about ordering more rice just to make sure I had enough.

                                                        1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                          I often scrape off the topping on a slice of pizza and just eat the topping. Seriously, I'm in my mid-40s, the carbs take a long time to disappear. If I pig out on pizza, I might have one real piece and 3 "toppings" from other pieces.

                                                          I do eat the leftover rice as fried rice the next day, as someone mentioned above, but for me, I've gotten so used to eating the food without the rice that I just prefer it that way. I will eat a "rice dish" that has rice in it, but to eat non-rice dishes and add rice to them makes it too heavy for me to enjoy.

                                                          I eat Indian without rice as well, I just eat the bread. I don't need rice AND bread, it's just too much for me.

                                                          1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                            "like eating the toppings off a pizza"
                                                            I have to limit my intake of wheat flour. I can't eat more than the the bottom dough and crust from one large slice or 2 small slices of pizza without getting sick.
                                                            I often will order pizza as a meal, eat the initial slice, then use a fork to scrape the sauce and toppings off the rest of the pizza and eat that as my meal.

                                                            Simlarly, I can't eat more than about 2 forksful of steamed white rice without starting to sneeze like crazy. So, unless I take a spoonful to put in my soup, I skip the steamed rice with chinese food. I don't like brown rice, so don't accept it as a substitute when offered. I do use leftover steamed rice to make fried rice at home. In fact last night I made a batch of white rice in the rice cooker and it went straight into the refrigerator. Tonight, a typical Sunday supper, was a fried rice made with all the leftover vegetables and meat/poultry scraps in the fridge from the weekend cooking.

                                                            1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                              I have a hard time picturing people scraping the toppings off pizza delicately enough to be doing it in a restaurant. Kind of like how my BIL used to peel the nori off his sushi rolls. It looked unappetizing and strikes me as bad manners.
                                                              Actually, his wife used to peel the toppings off pizza and leave the naked crust right in the middle of the pizza box, all half-wadded up. That may be where I get my revulsion. Neither one of them will get any awards for table manners. He's never once eaten anything with his mouth closed.

                                                        2. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                          As others have already mentioned, most Chinese dishes are flavored and spiced in a way designed to be eaten with rice.

                                                          It's an unusual practice to not eat the rice and only eat the dishes in Chinese-speaking countries. Though with more prevalence of diabetes and a more sedentary lifestyle esp in the big cities, you hear more and more about it - but it's clearly still in the very minority of opinions. Even diabetics will almost always still eat "some" rice - meaning quarter/half a bowl instead of a full or multiple bowls.

                                                          1. re: HungWeiLo

                                                            But the OP is not in a Chinese-speaking country, so isn't that kind of n/a? I mean, this is America, where we have a big obesity and diabetes epidemic. If people don't want to eat rice, why should they have to?

                                                            1. re: rockandroller1

                                                              That wasn't necessarily the point.

                                                              It just seems like rice is seen as a side thing by a number of people here, whereas the original intent was that it is an integral part of the cuisine.

                                                              No one ever suggests leaving out the pasta and just pouring the sauce down the gullet like a soup. It's almost always - I'll have a smaller portion of the dish. Why should the Chinese food/rice pairing be treated differently than pasta and sauce?

                                                              1. re: HungWeiLo

                                                                Well, I eat meatballs alone in sauce, no pasta,so maybe it is the same. But a marinara dish doesn't really compare. Many Asian dishes seem to have a lot of veggies and protein such that they constitute a complete dish to me. Adding rice tastes unnecessary to my personal palate and adds calories I don't want. I would much rather fill up on veggies and protein than rice. If it's seen as rude, I would be happy to order and pay for my own dish and do that with it.

                                                                1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                  When my kids get pizza from the local pizza joint I always get a side of meatballs. With a salad they make a perfect meal for me.

                                                                2. re: HungWeiLo

                                                                  I like pasta a lot more than rice. I also don't think your comparison works -- many Chinese dishes can easily stand on their own, since they're *not* just made of a sauce meant to be eaten over rice. Whether it's stir-fried meats or vegetables or a tofu dish, you don't *need* rice with it.

                                                                  A pasta dish is a pasta dish. Without the pasta, it's just sauce (even if you account for bolognese or a mushroom ragout).

                                                                  1. re: HungWeiLo

                                                                    I suggest it all the time, for myself not others. I make nearly all traditional pasta dishes without noodles. I wouldn't ever request this in a restaurant which is why I rarely order pasta when out but it's an accessory to me often just as rice is though I do see rice as more extra than pasta but I guess I must just be a sedentary American.

                                                                    1. re: HungWeiLo

                                                                      But I DO cut down the pasta in Italian food - and add some plain vegetables for extra texture instead. Too much pasta or rice is very bad for my blood sugar and makes me feel icky.

                                                                      1. re: Kajikit

                                                                        I often use tofu ground round:

                                                                        http://nutritionknowhow.org/blog/wp-c...

                                                                        ..... or extra firm (pressed) marinated tofu:

                                                                        http://eddyskitchen.files.wordpress.c...

                                                                        ..... in sauces (ie: pasta), stews or casseroles to substitute the carbs that would have been in there, like pasta, potatoes, rice, etc.

                                                                  2. re: HungWeiLo

                                                                    I explained downthread that I start sneezing like crazy after more than a couple of forksful of steamed rice.................

                                                                    Youngest B daughter was adopted in China years ago. We were there more than a month and have made return visits. I have learned that in order not to offend my hosts, to take a rice bowl, fill 1/4 full with steamed rice, them cover with the main dish items and somehow eat and nevr get down to the rice level. When the rice bowl is cleared, the host/server sees only a low level of uneaten rice covered with the remains of sauce residue form the main dishes,

                                                                  3. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                    gee,
                                                                    when my chinese roommate took me to a chinese seafood house in which i was the only english speaker in the room, the entire meal (7 courses) came with NO rice.

                                                                    this was a <<good chinese restaurant>> that showed you your fish alive for your approval before killing and cooking it for you.

                                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                                      Wow great roomie you had, he/she ordered 7 courses ! :-)

                                                                      Not unusual when eating out at (nicer) Chinese restos where the host opt to not order rice. From what I gather from my parents and folks of their cohorts, you go out to eat and savour foods and dishes you wouldn't/couldn't otherwise make at home. Therefore eating plain rice is a moot point, This is especially typical at wedding/birthday/special events banquets where the menu could easily see 10-14 courses. Sometimes rice (typically a fried rice of some kind), and/or noodles may be served at the very end as a way to wrap up the meal. But by customs, you're not really supposed to eat much, if any, of those rice and noodles because that would imply you're still hungry and you haven't found the previous courses to be pleasing and to your liking (bit of an insult to the host). UNLESS it's a birthday banquet, then the noodles are somewhat mandatory to be eaten by everyone, as it is a dish that symbolizes long life.

                                                                      1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                        Wow. I never thought about it but I don't remember any rice at the Chinese wedding we went to.

                                                                        1. re: melpy

                                                                          Often the hosts may easily want to skip ordering rice altogether.

                                                                          (to my chagrin ;-) )

                                                                3. 7 of us went out for family style Chinese last night, 2 people ate rice. I don't think its too unusual for people to prefer other dishes. I don't get the judgement.

                                                                  1. I rarely want to fill up on rice although my lovely wife loves her brown rice. It's not a problem when it's just us two.
                                                                    I understand your dilemma. If I am not getting my share of the entrees I would just order one or two more entrees since you are all sharing and splitting the bill.
                                                                    If the company of these people is important why make an issue of it.
                                                                    A friends father was a "Shrimp hog" he'd take way to many shrimp from the shrimp entrees so we just started ordering double shrimp dishes. Problem solved.

                                                                    1. This is a petty complaint. If he's good company, don't worry about it.

                                                                      1. I completely see where you are going. Rice is part of the meal. When one person eats only the entree portion, the fairness of who pays for what gets caddywompass.

                                                                        I order catering for our office frequently. Because we do not have a lot of options, we frequently do fajitas or a great little greek place that delivers. We have a few people that "like their meat". What this means is they load up on a plateful of steak fajita meat, top with a mound of cheese and off they go, or they will take three Greek chicken breasts and none of the rice, salad, etc. It screws up the portion sizing and head count for the rest of the group.

                                                                        If I know these people are not in a particular group lunch, I will order these types of lunches. However, if these people are in the attendee list, I stick to portion controlled lunches (boxed lunches, if a baked potato bar, take a potato, a pre-portioned cup of meat, etc.)

                                                                        I get many people are still on the low carb kick. However, it is the meat portion of a meal that is expensive and it is rude to load up on the most expensive portion of the meal. Really, who wants to have a tortilla, sour cream, veggie fajita because someone was inconsider and wanted their meat?

                                                                        Go to a restaurant where you are unable to eat family style. It's the easiest way to end the frustration because unfortunately, either these people don't get it, or frankly don't care.

                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                        1. re: motomom

                                                                          Or they're diabetic and they really, really can't eat carbs without doing damage to their bodies. I don't know if that is the case with the OP's dining companion, but it is with my H--for him, low carb isn't a kick,it's a necessary way of life.

                                                                          Seems like everyone is making a mountain out of a molehill, as a couple of previous posters have indicated. Just don't order family-style. To each his/her own. Problem solved.

                                                                          1. re: pinehurst

                                                                            I mentioned no family style!

                                                                            1. re: motomom

                                                                              You did indeed! I missed that. My fault.

                                                                              My point was, I don't automatically ascribe non-carb eating as piggyness--though it may be that. It could be for a non-greedy, non-"rude" reason.

                                                                            2. re: pinehurst

                                                                              Yes, my "kick" is not being enormously overweight, which happens really quickly the more carbs I eat. I am not a "no carber" or some Atkins freak (not that there's anything wrong with that), but consistently meal to meal opt for less carbs than I would have, say, 20 years ago, as there is a lot more of me than there used to be, and this is one of the best ways I've found to keep it under control. It's not to be greedy or piggish or up people's costs. It's just what I prefer and is for my overall health.

                                                                            3. re: motomom

                                                                              "Really, who wants to have a tortilla, sour cream, veggie fajita"

                                                                              ~~~~~

                                                                              the vegetarian who is secretly bent out of shape for having to pay for meat he/she won't eat?

                                                                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                She doesn't pay for a thing...it is a company-paid meal. There is always a huge tray of veggies and condiments left over.

                                                                              2. re: motomom

                                                                                "I get many people are still on the low carb kick. However, it is the meat portion of a meal that is expensive and it is rude to load up on the most expensive portion of the meal. "

                                                                                I think you just summed it up for me.

                                                                              3. I also think this is a cultural issue. Some native Asians won't go a day without rice whether it's with a meal or not. We Americans think of it as a non-essential addition to the good stuff, but that is not true worldwide. I would take a look at your priorities. It sounds like you feel you're being taken advantage of and if that's how you feel, don't go out with him anymore.

                                                                                1. I think your options at this point are:
                                                                                  - order more entree dishes at family style restaurants and continue to split the bill
                                                                                  - choose to eat at a restaurant where everyone orders their own entrees and either split the bill or ask the server to make two checks when ordering

                                                                                  I think that in the "big picture" this is something you will have to overlook and let go of to be able to enjoy their company. It really doesn't sound like a friendship "deal breaker" to me.

                                                                                  1. Since this bugs you, avoid eating family style. Or, learn to overlook. What I sense is that you are "keeping score" with costs of food. But perhaps it bugs you that he hogs the mains?

                                                                                    If it is the former, then I'd assume the guy was clueless and either let it go or stop with the family style dinners. If it is the latter, then the solution is the same.

                                                                                    I do get the irritation if Mr. Protein grabs the lion's share of the good stuff, and leaves bits and pieces + rice for you. But it sounds like if you like Mr. Protein, then you will have to manage where you eat.

                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                      Why not just ask Mr. No-Rice *why* he doesn't eat the rice ? Sounds like you've all been eating together at least a couple of times, hence are past the acquaintance stage, so that shouldn't be an issue to clarify things in the open, right ?

                                                                                      You have nothing to lose (except possibly the quality of friendship down the road if you keep festering over this petty issue due to a lack of communication).

                                                                                      1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                        Because it is none of the OP's beeswax. It implies that the co-diner is eating stuff *wrong*. To each his own goo.

                                                                                        1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                          She already is feeling her friend/co-diner is eating "wrong" (no rice, just mains). Hence her post. So why not clear the air with the friend in question out in the open ?

                                                                                          1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                            Because the other option, which is to stop worrying about what someone else eats, is the one that leaves the OP looking more sane.

                                                                                          2. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                            Because if he says 'I don't like rice, I prefer noodles' the problem is solved by simply ordering a dish of noodles to go with the meal. (Noodles are YUMMY, plain rice is blah.)

                                                                                          3. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                            I agree with this, actually.

                                                                                            1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                              Isn't the obvious answer of "because he doesn't want to" enough?

                                                                                              1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                why should it be any of the OP's business "why" the person doesn't eat rice?
                                                                                                who is the OP, the person's Doctor? a paid nutritional consultant (many of which would recommend reducing white carbs)?
                                                                                                has the other person ASKED for the OP's input about what he/she eats?

                                                                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                  agree with westsidegal.

                                                                                                  people are not expected to have to explain their food choices, or give you information on their medical, religious, dietary background. Instead of getting upset, how about the OP orders a single serving bowl of rice for herself and everyone can share the other dishes.

                                                                                                  Oh, and of couse the OP can pay extra for that bowl of rice, usually its less than $2. Sometimes they even comp it.

                                                                                            2. Thank you all for your inputs. I was brought up eating rice practically everyday growing up, but now husband, and I watch our carb intake much like everyone else. The question was posed to Mr. Protein (I had to laugh) and his answer was that he liked the other dishes better. Truthfully he does take more then his share which I think is inconsiderate. I do appreciate the comments to not eat family-style, but ordering more food doesn't make up for being discourteous.

                                                                                              30 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: letsindulge

                                                                                                What's his share? Equal amounts for all? Based on body size? Based on age? Based on gender? Unless he is wasting the food, or only taking the choicest morsels, or taking too much before others get any shouldn't his share be what it takes for him be sated? And if you are leaving hungry then maybe more food should be ordered so everyone leaves satisfied.

                                                                                                1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                  Exactly! My brother and I shared a pizza this weekend. I had 3 pieces and he had 5. We split the bill and were both satisfied. He eats more than me. He just does. Not because he's greedy or inconsiderate. I had enough to eat and so did he. To me, that's what matters.

                                                                                                2. re: letsindulge

                                                                                                  I don't agree that your co-diner has to go hungry in order to be courteous. Nature of family-style means that each will choose a personally appropriate quantity, not an equal quantity.

                                                                                                  1. re: letsindulge

                                                                                                    I suppose you could draw a line down the middle of each entree with a chopstick and tell him which half is theirs.

                                                                                                    Seriously, no good will come from keeping score.

                                                                                                    1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                      Of course one should not count how many shrimp any one person takes, but good manners (in most cultures, I think) dictate that for shared foods no person should take more than his/her reasonable share for the first go-round. With what food is remaining, the rules are less defined.

                                                                                                    2. re: letsindulge

                                                                                                      I agree that it is inconsiderate, especially if he is grabbing it all early on. We used to use a word for this behavior: greed. Greed is almost never mentioned in any context these days. But it is quite possible that Mr. Protein is greedy. Perhaps this is not the way he is all the time. Perhaps he has redeeming qualities.

                                                                                                      1. re: letsindulge

                                                                                                        Just as a counterpoint, sometimes eating with Chinese people can be uncomfortable when you are in a group that is so overly concerned with NOT taking more than their share, and everyone is being too polite. People take too little food, food gets cold, food is left uneaten until it's cold and then someone will hesitantly eat it if no one takes it, food is left so as to show the host didn't under order, people leave hungry and vaguely dissatisfied. This typically happens at more expensive restaurants.

                                                                                                        1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                          And in being careful not to take the best portions. It's sometimes pays to be the last one served because you know people in front of you have taken the worst ones. At least, in polite company. My non-asian BIL always picks through the take the best and it's noticed. It was especially noticed when he cut the entire center of the cake and left the edges which didn't look as good.

                                                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                                                            Hm, I think that's pretty common in US culture as well. At least, it's how most of the people I know were raised. And in every culture there will be people who seem to lack appropriate social graces...

                                                                                                            1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                              I must have been raised by wolves, then.

                                                                                                              So....who gets the "good" pieces? No one, because that is "polite"?

                                                                                                              1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                                                Guests, older people, and so on. Cutting out the entire center of a cake? That's just plain rude in ANY setting.

                                                                                                                1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                                  Well, yes, I agree to that about the cake.

                                                                                                                  But what if the "best" is subjective, like the wings or drumsticks? I like the burned part of meatloaf so I like the end pieces best. Do I assume everyone else does too and abstain? Do I let my partner have it because he's a year older than I am?

                                                                                                                  1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                                                    That's why you not only have to remember what the choicest parts are but also what people's favorites are, I would need to remember you like the burned part of the meat loaf and I would offer that to you first to show I remember and respect you. People will also pretend not to like something that they really like. I was at dinner the other night and there were 6 king crab legs and 7 guests, three people immediately said they don't eat crab which isn't true. When all was said and done, the people who said they don't eat crab had waited till the others took portions then shared what was left.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                      Fascinating! Good to know in terms of travel and cultural acclimation, but I can't say I am glad this is the norm for my social circle.

                                                                                                                    2. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                                                      To give you a personal example, my sister and I shared a giant muffin (years ago). I ate the muffin bottom because I thought the top was best. She ate the top because she liked the softness of the bottom. We realized later and when we were joking about it, our friends shook their heads that we'd ever consider doing that. So, it can be subjective. But now, we know how to share a muffin!

                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                        wow, that's awsome and so cute that both of you guys are so considerate. i bet ya you guys never fought growing up.

                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                          Reminds me of "The gift of the Magi" by O. Henry

                                                                                                                          My lovely wife and I have the perfect marriage. She likes muffin bottoms and I like the tops.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                            You know, she likes the muffin tops..she is just being nice.
                                                                                                                            i mean, i can't imagine anyone liking the muffin bottom.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                              I used to split them top to bottom and we would share. I noticed that she only picked at the tops. Now she gets the whole bottom.
                                                                                                                              A healthy relationship is all about honesty.
                                                                                                                              Then again, I would never, ever use the phrase "Muffin top" in any other context. Me not dumb!!

                                                                                                                              1. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                                get her a whole freakin muffin, will ya? My idea of happy marriage= my husband gets the whole muffin so he can eat both the top and bottom and I get the whole muffin so i can eat my share of top and bottom too.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                                  She will leave the muffin top uneaten!!!!!!!!! Sort of like eating the lobster claws and leaving the tail!!!!!!

                                                                                                                    3. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                                                      There is a whole panoply of rules but usually the eldest person at the table gets the best pieces. It's exhausting sometimes trying to be polite. The seating positions, seats of honor based on the position of the table and restaurant, who's favorite foods are what, refraining from taking the choicest pieces, fighting over the check, etc etc

                                                                                                                      1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                        It does sound exhausting!

                                                                                                                    4. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                                      I haven't seen it in a western setting, usually people just take what they like to eat. There's also less sharing of food. It actually makes for a more relaxed environment.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                        If you've seen or read the Joy Luck Club, there is a perfect scene that described it. There were just enough crabs for one per adult. One self absorbed mom picked through and grabbed the biggest for her 5 year old and the next biggest for herself. That shouldn't be done. One took the smallest she could find. As her mother put it, she had a first class heart even if that other woman traveled first class. Or something along those lines. I haven't read it in a long time.

                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                          As to who gets the best pieces, you can't pick out the best for yourself but if you're serving the person next to you, generally the older generation, you pick out the best. For your own child, no. I have seen parents pick the meat out of fried rice for their kids. That's a no.

                                                                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                            Oh God, really, Chowser?

                                                                                                                          2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                            If I can recall, it was referred to as *best quality crab*

                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                              I love that book.

                                                                                                                    5. re: letsindulge

                                                                                                                      Thank you for clarifying- he seems to be somewhat greedy in your eyes. I agree with you. I used to hate going to family-style Chinese meals, because they were never at good restaurants and I'm amazed at the crap that people will order and dive into the one dish I like- the one I ordered. If he routinely eats more than his share of the "good stuff" AND ignores the rice, I can certainly see why you consider him to be inconsiderate.

                                                                                                                    6. I understand what you mean. Rice is filler to a degree so if your friend makes his meal exclusively of the protein and sauce then he could be taking more of his share of the "good stuff".
                                                                                                                      It's like being at a buffet and having the guy in front of you picking out the meatballs from the pasta and gravy.

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                                        This reminds me of a time in the hospital cafeteria when I watched someone fill up 3 bowls with crab soup by meticulously picking out pieces of crab for probably 10 minutes. I eventually approached to inquire and he wasn't ashamed at all and even offered to help me out if I wanted a bowl.

                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                          Same thing at the hospital where I work. The salad bar started having the occasional Mexican seafood cocktail as a choice. I was deliberately not being greedy with the shrimp and other mariscos, but one of my lunchmates routinely came in and bitched about all the shrimp being picked out to the long-suffering staff and demanded more. I'm not sure who got the wonderful dish discontinued- the shrimp thieves or my lunchmate bitching about insufficient shrimpage EVERY SINGLE TIME THEY HAD IT.

                                                                                                                      2. I don't observe and question the eating habits of others....and certainly do not judge them for eating more than I...

                                                                                                                        1. I must say, the gripe you express in this post is certainly ironic in light of your Chowhound handle.

                                                                                                                          1. I agree with the majority of the other posters. I don't eat much in carbohydrate like rice or bread with meals. I don't expect anyone else to monitor my choices at the table, family style or not.

                                                                                                                            If mains are in short supply, order more. Unless he is eating an abnormal amount of the food at one sitting, skipping a starch should not be that big of a deal. Lots of people these days are skipping starches.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                              I don't eat many carbs and this is why I often avoid family style or insist on ordering my own dish, to avoid being judged.

                                                                                                                            2. Going out to eat is often a crapshoot. Either you like their company enough to overlook their foibles -- Have you thought about what yours might be? -- or it's not worth it. Either way, the answer is fairly easy.

                                                                                                                              1. Back in the day when I was young once a month or so we would get a couple of pizzas for dinner. We had a big family.
                                                                                                                                I would get grief because I did not eat the crust which would have filled me up quicker.
                                                                                                                                I still don't eat the crust and I don't get grief since I am a big "kid" now.
                                                                                                                                Our dog is happy when I get pizza.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                                  I do the exact same thing. When we have pizza, the dog is sitting under my chair.

                                                                                                                                2. Well if this bothers you so much, next time you go to a chinese place with your friends, order jelly fish, sea cucumber and chicken feet. I think your friend may find the white rice to be his favorite dish. ;)

                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                                    Better not invite me, then !

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                                      I love sucking on chicken feet!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                                        Just never say that out of context.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                                          You'd have to ask CH Admin to create a new forum for that topic ;-)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                                            I meant I love jelly fish, sea cucumber and chicken feet. No kiddin'. (I'm Chinese, lol)

                                                                                                                                        2. My input is if it bothers you that your husband's co-worker won't eat the rice, don't order family style. Let everyone each order what they want for separate dishes and that would solve the taking more than one's share problem.

                                                                                                                                          1. Don't see a problem with him not wanting/liking rice and can't really see how that changes the amount of food you get to consume. Are you leaving hungry? Taking the leftovers for lunch the following day? There's always so much food flowing whenever I eat Chinese or Thai, so can't imagine him being able to scarf down your share of the food as well as his and his wife's. I agree with others, that if it bothers you that much, don't eat family style or ask to split the tab.

                                                                                                                                            This issue sounds like a non-issue to me.

                                                                                                                                            1. So you are saying that he is skipping the rice, right?

                                                                                                                                              Are you feeling being cheated or taken advantage of because he <Doesn't hesitate filling his plate with however many mains we've ordered.>

                                                                                                                                              I suppose it can be annoying since you feel he has been eating the expensive items and you are stuffed with rice.

                                                                                                                                              Realistically, you cannot really tell me to eat rice. That is his choice. So you have two options. (1) Either you do what he does. That is competing with him in eating the main dishes. (2) Or you do what makes you more comfortable. Don't mind what he eats. Eat what makes you feel the best. If eating the main dishes makes you feel the best, then do it. If consuming rice along with main dishes make you happy, then do that.

                                                                                                                                              1. In some asian cultures the common word for food and the common word for rice is the same thing. It would be almost unthinkable not to eat some rice. But we (most of us anyhow) don't live in asia. When I was younger it wasn't unheard of to hear "rice-eater" used as a derogatory comment to describe those of asian ancestry. Seems to me either extreme is kind of silly.

                                                                                                                                                There are good reasons to enjoy rice, and there are good reasons to avoid it. If you want to make many people of asian ancestry miserable, tell them they are pre-diabetic and have to lay off the rice. It's like telling someone from Idaho or Ireland "no more potatoes."

                                                                                                                                                I feel sorry for those who aren't able to or haven't learned to appreciate a bowl of well prepared white rice. The subtle flavor, slightly sweet and just a little bit nutty. The texture, soft but with a nice resistance, not unlike properly cooked pasta. The aroma, clean but rich and enticing, not unlike bread fresh from the oven without the yeastiness.

                                                                                                                                                But all that aside, it seems like the OP feels taken advantage of. Perhaps with good reason, perhaps not. But if they are friends isn't it worth it to just let it go? Get a an order of something else to make up for the difference, or a double order of 'his favorite.'

                                                                                                                                                His reasons for not eating rice are his own. You have no way of knowing if he just dislikes it, or if passing on it is the most difficult thing he has had to do all day. Unless he chooses to tell, its unlikely you are going to find out.

                                                                                                                                                After all, there are times we just can't indulge.

                                                                                                                                                1. I don't see a problem w/ not eating rice. I do see a problem if he's picking out the best of the proteins or whatever it is on the other dishes. Overall, if you're going to eat family style, you can't control that others eat fairly from lower priced items. I almost never eat the free bread placed in the center of a table (unless the place is known for it). It never occurred to me that people might judge me for that because it means I eat more of other things.

                                                                                                                                                  FWIW, in a Chinese banquet, you rarely get rice. Maybe that's the way to go so you can all be more equal, if it bothers you.

                                                                                                                                                  1. It's not a question of eating or not eating the rice. it's a question of taking more than a fair share of anything else.* The co-worker doesn't have to go to finishing school to appropriately size up how much is the right share and then start off with a bit less.

                                                                                                                                                    A well placed "Hey,slow down, I want some too" or "wow you took a lot of that, we'll have to order another" (or make up your own phrase) is direct, timely, and honest.

                                                                                                                                                    That is the only counter to the oblivious.

                                                                                                                                                    *See my post on another thread about how to use chopsticks as portion control. Or better yet, buy this product online:

                                                                                                                                                    http://www.scientificsonline.com/free...

                                                                                                                                                    15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                      Some people are just naturally more greedy than others, and don't realize or don't care if others might be turned off by their behaviour.

                                                                                                                                                      If I really want more of a certain dish at a Chinese restaurant, to the point where I might want more than a reasonably fair share of the dish, I'll offer to treat the table to a second order of that dish (and then share the 2nd dish with everyone at the table).

                                                                                                                                                      I get a kick out of the behaviour of some hotel guests at breakfast buffets. When I stayed at a very nice hotel in Paris, I was amazed when another guest took the entire 200 gram wedge of Brie to her table. Other times, I'll see guests take all the prosciutto or smoked salmon off a platter, or pick the strawberries out of a fruit salad.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                        Yeah or they take an entire platter's worth of [item] from the buffet back their table to share, family style, with their eating companions. Arghhhh, that *really* gets me fuming !!!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                          Buffet behavior should be studied on how some human beings behave. There is a place near me that serves king crab legs. You have to steer clear when they bring the platter out to refill. People try to grab the whole tray.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                            Not sure why the Food Network and/or Comedy Network haven't developed a Reality TV show involving buffets and hidden cameras.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                              Genius! I'd watch!

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                              I know this scene it's quite hilarious and I really don't get it, bring me a blue crab, I can pass on the king crab legs.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                Oh how I wish I'm back in university and to be a sociology grad student ! I can just see my thesis title now: "Cognitive Behavioral Analysis of Patrons' Food Acquisition Patterns At All-You-Can-Eat Buffets."

                                                                                                                                                                :-D

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                                                  I guess you can learn alot about a person from a buffet restaurant. I should have taken my husband to a buffet restaunt before i married him.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                                                                    Ouch!

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                  Halloween's coming up. You can see behavior driven by perceived scarcity even in children.

                                                                                                                                                                  When the bowl is near full, every one behaves and takes only one piece politely.

                                                                                                                                                                  When the bowl is working its way down to the last half, many kids try for the biggest handful that they can.

                                                                                                                                                                3. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                  I won't pick the strawberries or best fruit but sometimes I will pick around because Indont want to waste something Inwont eat.

                                                                                                                                                                4. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                                  Except we don't know if it's actually the case that the OP is being "shortchanged", as it were.

                                                                                                                                                                  If I'm not super hungry, or prefer one dish over another, it's ridiculous to expect everyone else to conform to my standards at that meal about what an "appropriate" portion is. I can't imagine nickel and diming people I choose to break bread with in that manner.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                                                                                                    "it's ridiculous to expect everyone else to conform to my standards at that meal about what an "appropriate" portion is."

                                                                                                                                                                    My question for you is: what about the pizza analogy? Or a rack of bbq ribs? if four people split a pizza with someone and a tablemate grabs a 'third slice' without asking, wouldn't you at least be wondering what happened? (especially if the culprit did this while you went to the bathroom!)

                                                                                                                                                                    It's not that difficult to quickly size up a dish for four people, imagine a quarter of that, take a bit less, and pass it on. I've been organizing Chowhound meals for years now, and it is the unspoken rule. Even with a dozen people, it's an easy thing to do. Take less and don't finish it off without asking. Honestly, I have no idea how everyone 'gets it,' but it happens....

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                                      Okay, I do agree with your pizza analogy. If I wanted that second slice, I'd be pissed. I guess more my point was I wouldn't be put out by someone else having it if I wasn't hungry for a second slice, nor would I want to pay less because really, a piece of pizza among friends?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                                                                                                        I agree, definitely not worth a gnashing of teeth... but I wouldn't be shy about launching a preemptive strike the next time.

                                                                                                                                                                5. Nobody signs a contract to eat rice, even in an oriental restaurant. :-) If you're still hungry when the ordered dishes are done, order something more - maybe an appetizer like egg rolls, dumplings, or noodles.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. There are lots of instances of unfairness when it comes to eating out. One friend will add up the cost of his food and drink, add a small tip while forgetting about taxes and leave me to pay th rest. Other friends will order lots of food and drink and insist on the splitting the bill evenly. I personally don't eat rice (I'm Chinese, even my mom encourages everyone to eat more entrees and eat less rice), so I probably end up eating more of the food. In each case, you just have to decide whether you want to eat with THAT person. If you do, it's easiest just to ignore the unfairness.

                                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                                      I was curious reading this whole thread. My sister has lived in China for 7 years, and she told me it is rude to eat too much rice, as it is "filler" and disrespectful to your host. Is this wrong, or does it depend on the setting? I joked with her that I don't like rice much, so that would be easy for me! Ha! Seriously though, I'm going to visit her soon, and will be out eating quite a bit. What is the etiquette?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LexiFirefly

                                                                                                                                                                        That "don't eat too much rice" thing is the other end of the spectrum, respect-wise. The implication is that if you eat a lot of rice, you're suggesting that your host/ess didn't prepare enough food and you had to fill up with rice. So you should eat some rice, but not too much.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                                                                                          Ah, so many rules, so little rice :-D

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: LexiFirefly

                                                                                                                                                                          I'm Chinese. To eat "a lot of rice" (definition of "a lot" is subjective but contextual to setting) at a hosted dinner, whether at their house or in a restaurant, *implies* that their dishes aren't palatable enough and hence you'd need to fill 'er up on the rice instead.

                                                                                                                                                                          Honestly, that may be a faux pas with the older generation or at a formal business/political affair, but for the typical casual gatherings I really don't think people mind.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                                                            My sis eats at a lot of political affairs, I guess it's her fall back if she's not sure of the situation?

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: LexiFirefly

                                                                                                                                                                            Your sister's rules apply when being hosted by someone else and you are the guest. Eating rice implies there wasn't enough other "better" (more expensive) food and is insulting to the host. But at a family meal, best items are given to the oldest or guests, etc so hogging those is an issue if you are not the esteemed elder or guest etc.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jadec

                                                                                                                                                                              Thank you all so much! That all makes a lot of sense. Actually it's the same at thanksgiving in our family, so I'll keep all of that in mind. Don't want to embarrass the sis!

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: LexiFirefly

                                                                                                                                                                              If you eat too much rice, it suggests that the host has not provided enough food. Typically, rice and noodle dishes are served at the end of a banquet so as for people to say they are too full to eat it. This is a quick and dirty summary, etiquette is determined by situation.

                                                                                                                                                                          3. Based on the # of replies I would venture to say that this is a subject that people can relate to. Glad to see that there comments from both sides of the coin. Might this issue be somewhat of a generation divide on manners?

                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: letsindulge

                                                                                                                                                                              As divisive as it is, I don't think it's about generations.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Not everyone wants rice, and there's no hard and fast rule that says "you must eat rice at an Asian restaurant". My DH eats little white carbs. He would probably take a couple tablespoons of rice, and then fill his plate with the non-carb items. And we're Indian, so eating rice is practically required for us!

                                                                                                                                                                              I don't see it being any different as one person not eating pork, but the rest of the table ordering sweet and sour pork, and then splitting the bill equally. Should that person pay less because they didn't partake of one of the items?

                                                                                                                                                                              Either deal with it, stop going out to eat with them, go Dutch on the bill, or order individual portions. You have some different options.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. It doesn't mean he's 'cheap'. So he doesn't like rice, or he's trying to reduce his carbs, or he has blood-sugar issues and too much starch isn't good for him (or he has a small appetite and doesn't want to fill up on rice when there's better stuff to eat)... I'll have a tiny amount of rice compared to what they usually put in the bowl because I just don't really like it. It's bland, starchy, and wreaks havoc with my blood sugar. If you're really curious, ask him why he passes on the rice, but it's not an issue unless he thinks a whole family platter is 'his' and his alone.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. I'm with the OP, of course - I immediately react to this as someone is taking more than their fair share, and not showing concern for others. When eating family style, it's nice to not take too much of certain dishes, to make sure there is enough to make its way all the way around the table. I would only take a little bit of the foods I wanted to try, and then take more after I had finished if there was still food left after everyone had had their firsts.

                                                                                                                                                                                  If I were in a generous mood, I would just chalk it up to your husband's co-worker being clueless and purely focused on what he wants, and not thinking about how many other people are eating at the table. It reminds me of my FIL, who, every time I make gumbo, eats a giant bowl without any rice. This means that there is not enough for everyone to have a bowl the next day (which is really the best). I'd make more if I could, but I'm already using the biggest pot we have. I just smile to myself, because its obvious to me he isn't doing it to be overtly selfish - he really just prefers his gumbo without rice added. Which to me tastes like just eating a giant bowl of gravy - but that's how his tastes lie.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: khh1138

                                                                                                                                                                                    make 2 pots? make it the day before your party?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: khh1138

                                                                                                                                                                                      How big is this Giant Bowl?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: khh1138

                                                                                                                                                                                        I eat gumbo without rice all the time. I'm not trying to hog the gumbo, I'm trying to eat fewer carbs. I also don't eat the potato salad, the dinner rolls or dessert. More for you!

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Oh goodness, I have to say that I'm just like you husband's colleague and now I feel really bad because I never, ever construed my lack of rice-consumption as being cheap and a way of hogging more of the choice dishes. I'm diabetic so try to reduce the amount of carbs I eat.
                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't think I'm a selfish diner - I always offer to pay more if I've eaten more than others or if I've had alcohol and others haven't. If I'm dining with friends or family they always tell me not to be an idiot and just split the bill evenly.
                                                                                                                                                                                        When you eat out with him you could do the same and not have any rice either.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Billy33

                                                                                                                                                                                          But what if OP LIKES rice with their meal?

                                                                                                                                                                                          I really think it's two different issues compounding each other. One is the no-rice issue, the other is that he loads up his plate. The former wouldn't be a big deal without the latter, but together they make for some bad manners.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. went to Chinese restaurant in Chinatown last Friday.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Ordered 2 meat dishes and one noodle dish. The server asked if we needed rice...we said no....no room for rice when there are so many good food. the key is to include at least one noodle dish.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                                                                                            I wish they would always ask if you want white rice instead of just bringing it out!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                                              Move to the Boston area. White Rice (or any rice for that matter) must be ordered ala carte in most Chinese Restaurants and is NOT included in the price of the main dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I cannot imagine wanting to dine with people who are monitoring my consumption so closely. Shall we count the shrimp on each person's plate as well?

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I've been following this thread with interest... I try not to be judgmental, but sometimes it's a human response, particularly with repeat offenders. Those who take take take but never reciprocate *do* get under my skin eventually - not saying that this is the case in the OP's situation necessarily, just relating my own experiences.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I remember my ex and I had a friend when I was a dirt poor student. He *only* ate meat - absolutely no vegetable matter of any sort. He was over at our place most days. I do remember resenting his presence - though there was more to it than just the exclusive meat eating, so it was a bit of a cumulative thing. There were lots of other thoughtless things he did.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ursy_ten

                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree, when I get not picky about things like this there are usually other things bothering me, sort of like the "look at that b**h eating crackers" ecard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LexiFirefly

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lol, I had to look it up - but I agree completely!

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Some people just don't like rice. I have a friend who cannot stand the look or texture of rice. Is it "convenient" that it happens to be the cheapest part, perhaps, but I don't like caviar (I really want to, but just can't) so you can look at it the opposite way that I am saving a luxury for others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Some are just not fans of rice, while others are. I AM, but wife can pass on it. It just depends, and especially on the dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now, when doing things at a "communal level," I have no issues with folk around the table passing on rice, noodles, or other, and concentrating on other aspects of the meal. That is what they want, and I am happy to share the table with them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hunt

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sure, at a communal table everyone should feel free to skip whatever he/she doesn't want. Nevertheless, IMHO that doesn't mean that it's polite for anyone to take more than their reasonable share of the other offerings. For example, at a table for 6, I think it would be very boorish for the non rice-eater to scoop up half of the lobster dish for him/herself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Yet another thread in which I am reminded of the Mary Tyler Moore episode where Lou Grant at a dinner party proclaims how ravenously hungry he is and takes most of the Veal Prince Orloff from a platter, not realizing that is all the veal Mary cooked. There won't be enough to go around for everyone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mary has a word with him in private.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    "you know, it's the funniest thing, I'm not as hungry as I thought..." as he proceeds to put most of it back on the platter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I just saw that episode a few weeks ago. Hilarious !

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love that episode. Absolutely love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        As for the OP's issue, however, I say "eh." I really don't care why someone doesn't want rice. Diabetic, eating paleo, doesn't like the taste, tortured by nightmares of rice monsters as a child... Eating communally should not require all to eat the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was a veg for years and years. Communal dining out with my omnivore friends was tough, but we managed without, I believe, complaining about each other on Chowhound. Lighten up, order another main to share, and enjoy the luxury of an evening out with food and conversation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "tortured by nightmares of rice monsters as a child"--my dad was raised poorer than poor (would be a bunch of CPS charges these days), and his main food, 3x/day was rice with a greasy milk gravy on top (in the U.S., not places where regular rice eating is common). He became actually phobic about rice and banned it from our house. I can just seem him as the "culprit" in the OP's scenario.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I remember that episode too! How funny!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. given that this is a us-centric board, i get that many posters feel it's not a big issue if one person doesn't eat rice, but instead fills up on the mains.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          that's fine in the states (and perhaps parts of europe?), but pull this stunt in chinese-speaking parts of the world, and you probably won't get invited to any more dinners. just sayin' (singaporean here).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          like many of the posters, i don't eat as much rice as my dining companions. but i make sure i only take my fair share of mains (and not more), even though i'm "not eating rice". to do otherwise would be considered rude. unless of course there's more mains left on the table even after everyone's more or less done with the food.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: akated

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I relate to your answer akated. It was the way I was brought up and it's stuck with me. I'm 1st generation Filipino BTW.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: letsindulge

                                                                                                                                                                                                              certainly, my roommate and his parents and his siblings (all first generation from shanghai) do NOT conform AT ALL to akated's description of how "chinese-speaking parts of the world" behave.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              also, my taiwanese college friend and HIS family didn't conform to this description either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              when i've eaten in the San Gabriel Valley which has the largest concentration of chinese-american communities in the united states, akated's description of how "chinese-speaking" people behave is far from being universal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              maybe it's time to restrict your certainty about this generality of how all the people in "chinese-speaking parts of the world" behave, akated.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              or, maybe as soon as chinese-speaking people set foot in the US their behavior and expectations immediately change so i haven't really seen how any chinese-speaking people really behave.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Someone has already mentioned this - but for more upscale, special dinners/banquets, rice is not typically served unless specially requested. You may have been attending one of those dinners. In lower-end family restaurants, it's not uncommon to see a family-size tub of rice on each table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Also consider that southern Chinese eat a lot more rice. Shanghainese and Taiwanese do a bit more noodles, buns, and dumplings than, say, the rice-loving Cantonese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                But all in all, the average Chinese eats 200 lbs of rice per year (Vietnamese eat 365 lbs a year, and Bruneiese eat a whopping 540 lbs a year!) East Asians and South Asians combined consume 90% of the world's rice. Skipping rice is definitely not the norm, especially if they've lived in Asia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Some may opt to change their behavior as they migrate to large cities or the West where eating multiple bowls of rice in one day does not sit well with a modern sedentary lifestyle, and there is certainly more awareness of health issues as more Chinese/Indians/etc. get diabetes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: HungWeiLo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ha, to the embarrassment of my family, I'm the dude who *requests* bowls of white rice at banquets, etc. Of course if my parents are hosting (paying), they'd give me the evil eye across the table !

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HungWeiLo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think you've hit the nail on the head regarding lifestyles in big Asian cities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've lived, traveled, and eaten with friends throughout East Asia for many years (especially China, Japan, Thailand) and it's simply not a standard practice to order white rice at dinner with friends in those cities. I'm sure it is different for home meals, maybe different for meals with your family out, but dining with friends- even if it is not a special event dinner or banquet- is often considered an indulgence and white rice is considered filler. It might be brought, but it's not always consumed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If rice is a complement to a dish- such as curry, it will be ordered. Or a fried rice or noodle dish might be ordered at the end for topping off our tummies. But the notion that a group of friends are obliged to eat a portion of white rice because of tradition or in order to stretch the meal is really dated and provincial.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And here in the States, my wife is East Asian and I eat meals with East Asian-descended friends all the time and we don't just make an obligatory order of white rice simply because we are eating Chinese or Thai food or whatever- and then, as if we are a bunch of persnickety dicks- cast an eye about the table to register whether all of us are keeping up our share of the social contract. That to me is just as bad as hogging all the shrimp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Silverjay

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      agree with your last paragraph; although I guess with friends, one does get some leeway (since you will know what each person likes / dislikes etc). prob not in front of potential in-laws though. guess it's about the context as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Are you saying they hog the food?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have never seen anyone eat that way in a communal setting, but maybe I am just lucky.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i am NOT saying that they hog the food.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i AM saying that often rice isn't ordered at all, and often, even when rice IS ordered, it is hardly consumed at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      p.s. my Shanghainese roommate does NOT order rice NOR noodles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      the supposed "contract" to eat white rice is not at all universal to "chinese-speaking" people who live in california, even those "chinese-speaking" people who immigrated here as adults.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      the meals that have been prepared and ordered are big enough so that everyone can get full without stuffing themselves with white carb filler food. the events and parties to which i have been invited are not set up so that one of the social requirements is that people fill up with rice. most often, rice is not even a normal part of the meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the clarification.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Folks, we removed a few posts from here that were getting really personal and unfriendly. It's fine to share your experiences with eating or not eating white rice, and it's also fine for other people to have had very different experiences with that. Let's try to assume that everyone's reporting their experiences in good faith.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        love this, westsidegal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. What has become abundantly clear in following this thread, is that there is at the present time in history, much variation in the amount of rice eaten by Asian persons. There are many demographic variables that likely influence this: place of birth, place of current residence, age at the time of immigration, age/generation, wealth, education, etc. Also the place of dining (home, restaurant, street market) and the type of meal (simple, banquet, etc) all likely influence this. Almost surely many, if not all, of these factors influence the amount of rice eaten by Asians. To think otherwise, is probably making an unsound generalization.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. ok this is a bit OT, but since etiquette has been broached, is it weird for me to dump the entire bowl/lump of rice onto my dinner plate/bowl and then the contents of my entree? I was going to mix it all up anyway (and takeaway the leftovers as it usually mushes up really nice). I suppose gradually would be more elegant, but I sort of figure the proportions are kinda planned.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I dunno about formal etiquette, but here's how our family eats. We don't use plates, just little bowls with the rice in them. Everyone takes little portions from the family style dishes in the middle and puts them on top of the rice bowl to eat, so each bite gets a little rice and a little main dish. It would be considered rude to take too much of a main dish at one time, plus it would be awkward to eat out of the little rice bowl. But you could serve your self as many smaller portions of main dish as you want and it wouldn't be rude.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I see your point, I generally never order/eat things 'family style' so I'm not hogging somebody else's share.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree in that setting it would be seen as horrendously rude. but I wonder if it's still seen as rude or plain old tacky in the world of individual entrees to eat it that way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Like the traditional Asian family style:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.visualphotos.com/photo/2x2...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gotta love those stock pics, bwahahaha

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I want to introduce letsindulge to someone over in Manhatttan -- a fine fellow by the name of UES Mayor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If you're ever in the Big Apple, you two *need* to get together. You guys are like Chowhound lost souls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/925262

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thank you, that was hilarious!