#31 Rice

Posted March 11th, 2008 by Peter · 12 Comments

It’s been a long time coming, but following our 30th Post Anniversary of Stuff Asian People Like, we cordially bring you an entry about the one thing asians are truly synonymous with: Rice. Get Ready, it’s a doozy!

RiceFor the longest time, Asians have “ got rice.” Ever since Tai Mai Shu’s song debut, the notion for “Asian Pride” has swept through the nation. No longer can an asian person be seen in a different light than rice. Asians and rice have become a single entity. However, this bond has existed for thousands of years. This staple crop has grown in favor due to its:

1. Diet & Nutritional Value: Even though modern science depicts rice as fattening and full of starch, asians know that rice is a source of nourishment due to its Fiber, Complex Carbohydrates, and Vitamin B and E content. In addition, the common misconception that brown rice is better is false because white rice is 98% digestible compared to brown rice’s 80% (asiarice.org). With a balanced intake of white rice, one does not have to worry about getting fat. However, brown rice contains less carbohydrates which are broken down into sugar so it would better for our parents with diabetes to eat. The moderately high caloric count of rice supplements the lack of calories in asian foods. In Vietnamese food, for example, which originates from an area known for its lush vegetation, most foods barely break the 100 calorie mark per serving. Compare this to a Burger King hamburger, which is 290 calories per serving. Think about all those tubby asian kids running around. (Oh wait, there are none…)

Credit: http://lovesthailand.googlepages.com/mango.jpg/mango-full.jpg2. Versatility: Combine the speed of Kobe Bryant, strength of Shaquille O’Neal, grace of Michelle Kwan, and ingenuity of Wolfgang Puck: and you will get rice. Rice has many attributes that have made it a well sought-after commodity to Asians as well as Westerners and Europeans. Asians hate cooking when it leads nowhere. That’s why asians cook rice. “It’s easy to prepare, it’s highly flexible, and it is able to absorb flavors while retaining its texture,” says one of our experts on food. Rice dishes can easily be made sweet, sour, tangy, savory, or even sweet. When combined with milk and sugar, rice becomes a luscious creamy pudding for all to enjoy. Along with this, rice has no fat, salt, or sugar. Instead, rice is highly nutritious, which allows it to be preferred by all asians and eaten by over half of the world’s population two to three times a day. No wonder why rice has been called “the pasta of the 90s.(move over, Italy!)


3. Growability: The “quintissencial” local food, most rice is consumed within about eight miles of where it is grown. If rice is consumed within an 8 mile radius, this means that there are about 896,765 rice plantations in Asia alone. Worldwide, it accounts for over 30-70 percent of some diets and is consumed at 200-500 pounds per year. Rice is a godsend to asians because it can be grown basically anywhere there is an irrigated field. Conversely, McDonalds’ is a deathsend to America, causing people to develop high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

4. Preferences: Asians often argue about the “correct” way to cook rice. This will involve disputes over boiling, baking, roasting, frying, or even pressure cooking it. To quickly prepare rice, every asian house has one or two automatic rice cookers. This is a must in every asian household! When asians enter houses without rice cookers, they immediately feel the need to throw up the previous night’s dinner in order to re-experience its savory goodness. This occurs because asians do not waste food. Leftovers quickly become the main attractions of rice salads, veggie dishes, or other delectable meals.

Here’s a word from the wise before you begin your journey into the wonderful world of rice: Enjoy it. Know that you are not alone because Asians everywhere are eating it. Know that it’s caloric content is low and nutrition content is high. Know that it’s highly versatile in preparation and dish choices. Know that you can store it in a refrigerator and eat it 2 weeks later simply by microwaving it. Know that there are more asians eating rice at this very moment than there are people in the United States. Most importantly, know that you learned all this about Rice on Stuff Asian People Like, and tell your friends. That’s a good thing to know.

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