How to Use Chopsticks 101
This entry was posted on July 14, 2008.
You love Asian food, but when it comes to chopsticks, you're clueless. Read this tutorial and next time you're at an Asian restaurant, forgo the fork. To start, you'll need disposable chopsticks or a Fun Chop set and a few delicious morsels for practice. Once you're a chopstick master, learn the proper etiquette so you don't offend your host.
Step 1. Pick up the First Chopstick
If you use disposable chopsticks, you'll need to break them apart first. Gently pull them apart. Try not to twist them or you might end up with a few splinters in your rice. Place the first chopstick so that the broad part rests at the base of your thumb and the narrow end rests on the tip of your ring finger. Hold it in place with the tip of your middle finger.
Step 2. Add the Second Chopstick
Place your thumb over the second chopstick. Position the second chopstick so that it is held against your index finger by the end of your thumb. Hold it like you would grip a pencil. Make sure the ends are even.
Step 3. Practice the Pivot
Keep the bottom (first) chopstick stationary and pivot the top (second) chopstick. Move the tip of your index finger up and down while the thumb remains stable. Open and close the chopsticks until the movement feels natural. Once you get the hang of it, pick up a morsel of food. It might take a few attempts. Practice at home with sliced cold cuts and cheese, then try bits of meat and vegetables. If you still can't get the hang of it, try this Fun Chop chopstick holder.
- Never stab or pierce your food with a chopstick, many cultures consider this rude.
- Don't stick your chopsticks into your rice straight down. This is commonly done at funerals.
- Lay your chopsticks parallel to each other. Never let them cross.
- It's considered bad manners to wave your chopsticks over food, trying to decide what to eat next.
- Don't eat directly from the central plate; always transfer food to your plate first.
- Never lick your chopsticks.
Did you know there is a difference between Japanese chopsticks and Chinese chopsticks? Read our article about the differences between Chinese and Japanese chopsticks if you'd like to know more. Now that you're a chopstick pro, shop for chopstick sets, rice bowls, and other household items at Asianfoodgrocer.com.