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Food - Drink
The Seasonings You Should Never Add To Rice In Japan
Rice is sacred in Japan and forms the basis of every meal, so eating rice has its own rules, such as never sticking chopsticks vertically into a bowl of rice, as this practice is done at funerals, and picking up your rice bowl to eat from it, rather than leaving it on the table. Rice should also never be overpowered by certain condiments.
According to The Spruce Eats, soy sauce, mayo, chili peppers, or chili oil should never be put directly on your rice in Japan. Japan Today says that combining rice with okazu (non-rice items) is known as “bouncing” and is considered impolite because it taints the rice, with some critics calling it “sloppy,” “unforgivable,” and “dirty.”
You should only directly season rice in Japan with furikake, ajitsuke nori (roasted seaweed), or tsukudani. Furikake refers to seasoning mixes that may include all kinds of ingredients like sesame seeds and dried fish, while sukudani translates to “preserved food boiled in soy sauce,” which may be meat, vegetables, or nuts.