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Thread: Stainless Steel Bowls?

  1. #1
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    Talking Stainless Steel Bowls?

    Hi guys,

    Quick question.

    Why do Korean Restaurants serve rice in stainless steel bowls? Makes it really hot on the hands....

    Thanks!
    David Pan

    "What distinguishes budo from various sport activities is the quest for perfection."

    - Kenji Tokitsu

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    Default Re: Stainless Steel Bowls?

    Originally posted by DCPan
    ...Why do Korean Restaurants serve rice in stainless steel bowls? Makes it really hot on the hands....
    Yeah. And why don't Japanese tea cups have handles? They get pretty hot too.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    And why do restaraunts in Korea have those horrible stainless 'flatware' type chopsticks that are rectangular in cross-section? Those things suck!
    David F. Craik

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    They use those bowls and sticks to try to keep all the filthy non-Koreans out of the restaurant!

    Two suggestions:
    (1) Take the lid off and put it underneath the bowl. I know you'd think metal top, metal bowl, metal conducts heat . . . but it works.
    (2) When you order, tell 'em you want your three bowls of rice now. That way they've cooled off by the time you've hit your second bowl.

    Happy eating.
    Richard Kim


    "We'll say we're frightened and we have to go home." -- George / Seinfeld

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    Originally posted by Sapporo Ichiban
    They use those bowls and sticks to try to keep all the filthy non-Koreans out of the restaurant!
    LOL!

    I thought it had to do with how in the old days, you use "silverware" because poison will have a blue-tinge on the silverware...as times went on, stainless steel is cheaper than silver....

    So much for that theory huh?

    Originally posted by Sapporo Ichiban
    Two suggestions:
    (1) Take the lid off and put it underneath the bowl. I know you'd
    Some has said it is bad etiquette in Korean to eat rice with the bowl in your hands? They said to leave the bowl on the table, and use the metal spoons because it is also rude to bend your head down to the food....

    True?
    David Pan

    "What distinguishes budo from various sport activities is the quest for perfection."

    - Kenji Tokitsu

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    Dear Mr. Pan,
    Rice is served in steel bowls in Korea because unlike most other parts of Asia, it is not properly eaten with chopsticks but with a spoon. A spoonful of just-cooked rice would be unpalatably hot whereas a smaller portion eaten with chopsticks would have time to cool a bit as it is lifted to the mouth.
    Steel conducts heat more efficiently than pottery. The steel bowls then, dissipates heat from the rice away more quickly, allowing it to cool, so the larger spoonfuls can be eaten comfortably.

    Dear Mr. Yagyu Kenshi,
    There are, as you may know, several kinds of tea cups in Japan. Perhaps the one to which you are referring is the big yunomi used in sushi-ya. It is designed to be cupped by the palm of the hand as a way of warming the hands during colder weather. That is one reason the sides are correctly of a pebbly texture (zara-zara); to better convey the heat of the tea to the surface of the hands. The other reason for keeping the cups hot of course is that it keep the tea inside warmer longer. The sushi itamae (sushi maker) in the old days could slop a big cup of tea for a customer and it would stay warm for the entire meal, keeping the itamae from having to interrupt his work to replenish the liquid.

    Cordially,
    Dave Lowry

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    From now on I'm just going to ask Dave directly about any questions I have about Asian culture.

    That and read his books.....
    Harvey Moul

    Fish and visitors stink after three days - Ben Franklin

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    To add to what Mr. Lowry said:

    A tea cup cool enough to hold easily = tea cool enough to drink easily.

    When the tea cup has a handle, it is impossible to judge the temperature of the tea.
    Earl Hartman

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    David:

    You are correct. It is country-bumpkin-ish to hold the bowl in your hand and to line up 3 bowls of rice in front of you like you're lining up hwato cards.

    However, it's a bit like discussing whether it's proper to switch hands for your fork when eating at Outback or to go Continental. Especially in the United States, you'll almost always be eating Korean casually with friends. In which case, all that matter are (1) well-educated elbows that can temporarily stun whoever's sitting next to you, (2) a steady hand that can spoon from the community jigae without wasting it, and (3) Mr. Miyagi-san-like chopstick skills that enable you to consume more than your fair share of kalbi.

    Richard.


    P.S. Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever heard that men and women should hold their chopsticks differently? Long ago, my parents told me that this was proper for well-raised young men and ladies but no Korean I have ever talked to has heard of such a custom. Not even Koreans from the same localities my parents came from . . .
    Richard Kim


    "We'll say we're frightened and we have to go home." -- George / Seinfeld

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    A female Chinese friend of mine explained it like this: the more of the stick that protrude back over your hand, the lower you are on the Chinese social ladder.

    I found this out after teaching myself to use chopsticks several years back when I started eating sushi at least once a week. She joined us one evening and commented that I was better with chopsticks than most Asians and I even held them like a Chinese aristocrat.

    Oddly enough, this rather torques off a few Asians I know when I do stuff like get the last grain of rice out of a bowl without struggling the slightest bit. Apparently, white people are not supposed to be better at it than they are.

    My personal preferences on chopsticks are wood or tapered bamboo, somewhat longer than what most sushi places use, but not quite as long as the crappy plastic ones you get at a Chinese place. I hate plastic chopsticks - they suck big time.

    Harvey Moul

    Fish and visitors stink after three days - Ben Franklin

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    Originally posted by Dave Lowry
    Dear Mr. Yagyu Kenshi,
    There are, as you may know, several kinds of tea cups in Japan. Perhaps the one to which you are referring is the big yunomi used in sushi-ya. It is designed to be cupped by the palm of the hand as a way of warming the hands during colder weather.
    Thank you, Mr. Lowry.

    Actually I was talking (tongue in cheek, really) about Japanese cups in general, since I have never seen one of any size or style with handles like English tea cups have.

    I was sort of poking fun at David's question, but I'm glad I did because it netted a very educational post.

    Someday I'd like to study Cha-no-yu in some depth, and otherwise learn more about the many types of tea, tea utensils, etiquette, etc.

    Originally posted by Shitoryu Dude
    From now on I'm just going to ask Dave directly about any questions I have about Asian culture.

    That and read his books.....
    Don't forget the Karate Way articles in Black Belt.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    Default Thank you!

    Originally posted by Dave Lowry
    Dear Mr. Pan,
    Rice is served in steel bowls in Korea because unlike most other parts of Asia, it is not properly eaten with chopsticks but with a spoon.
    Thank you!
    David Pan

    "What distinguishes budo from various sport activities is the quest for perfection."

    - Kenji Tokitsu

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    The disposable chopsticks are the best- the wood grips better than plastic Chinese-resteraunt ones.

    Some people complain that the splinters are annoying- I rub them together to make them more smooth...

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    Dear Mr. PwarYuex,
    Please. Please, please, please. One can tolerate all manner of culinarily related gaucherie. Dipping one’s spoon in instead of out while eating soup. Serving woodcock cooked without its entrails. But rubbing waribashi (wooden chopsticks) together like a cricket going into mating hyperdrive is so egregiously annoying I must protest.
    I have devoted an entire chapter of an upcoming book on sushi to the use (and abuse) of chopsticks, but briefly:
    At cheap noodle shops, waribashi are rubbed as you suggest. Not to get rid of splinters, however, but to raise them. A rough burr added to the smooth wood makes gripping slippery noodles easier. Somehow, someone saw this being done at noodle places and decided it was the proper thing to do in all situations. And so they ostentatiously break their hashi and start flicking them together or rubbing them as though they need to start a fire.
    Think about what it implies: This joint is so cheap they have chopsticks that need a little impromptu carpentry before using. Why don’t the people who rub chopsticks just bring along a cleaning cloth to wipe the table down as well? Those teacups need a spot of polishing while you’re at it.
    Fact is, waribashi are made of sugi, a kind of soft wood that does not really splinter much. If you notice something rough, discreetly rub it away. Otherwise, I urge you, no matter what you see others doing or what you’ve heard, leave the woodworking to the shop.

    Re the general discussion of ohashi, some readers might be interested in some distinctions of waribashi.
    Choroku are the wooden chopsticks cut off with a butt sort of like the average PE major’s: plain and square. They are usually used for really cheap prepackaged meals from convenience stores.
    Koban style are cut so corners are rounded off, hence, they look in cross-section like koban, the old lozenge shaped coins in Japan. Koban are the most popular waribashi at noodle shops.
    Genroku are the commonmost kind of waribashi you’ll see at a sushi place, cut square but then with the corners cut off like an octagon with the top and bottom edges longer. They are named, incidentally, after the Genroku jidai (1688-1704), a period of Japan’s history marked by extreme poverty in many places and other hardships. Since Genroku style waribashi use the least amount of wood, they’re named after that necessarily parsimonious era.
    Tensoge, or “cut from above,” are those waribashi that are cut at the butt with a beveled edge. They are considered fairly “upper crust” and some sushi aficionados think they are pretentious in a sushi-ya and should be reserved for more formal dining. It has been my experience that tensoge at a sushi-ya means prices will be higher.

    There are a few others styles, like Rikyu-gata and kaiseki-gata but I will resist further lecture lest I be thought—it occurs this ship might already have sailed—a pedant.
    But will add that in spite of Mr. Dude’s kind comments above, I trust readers here will know there are several contributors on this site who have forgotten more about Asian culture than ever I shall know.

    Cordially
    Dave Lowry

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    Asian culture and etiquette aside, if one doesn't "cricket leg" their cheap wooden chopsticks that one gets at (cheap) restaurants in the States (Us broke folk balance risk, reward, and cost when dining out.), one's pretty likely to get a lip full of splinters.

    I would eat in fear without this crude method. 'Tis better to be a safe n satisfied bumpkin.


    //"""""
    John Connolly

    Yamamoto Ha Fluffy Aiki Bunny Ryu

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