A Simple and Fast Method for Correctly Using Chopsticks

Have you ever been to an Asian restaurant and wished you knew how to properly use chopsticks? Well, now is your chance to learn how to do so without having to travel to Asia.

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Master the art of using chopsticks like a local without ever leaving your living room.

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Is it true that you've visited an Asian restaurant and wished you knew how to use chopsticks properly? All right, here's your chance If you hold your chopsticks in the correct position and only move the top one, you'll soon be a pro. Learn how to use chopsticks properly and acquire some refined Asian dining etiquette by reading on.

  • A third of the way down from the thicker end is where you should hold your chopsticks.
  • Try propping the bottom chopstick up between the side of your ring finger and the crook of your thumb.
  • Hold the upper chopstick perpendicular to the lower one, using your pointer and middle finger as if you were holding a pen.
  • To grab food, move the top chopstick up and down using your thumb as a fulcrum while holding the bottom chopstick still.
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    Hold one chopstick in the bend of your thumb. First chopstick is held with the tapered end resting on the side of the ring finger and the thicker top resting in the crook of the thumb. Chopsticks are easiest to use if they extend out from your thumb crook by about a third; any further, and you'll have trouble maintaining control while eating. [1]

    • Use the pattern on the broad end of your chopsticks to gauge how low in your hand you should rest your thumb. Chopsticks are best used by holding them so that the decorative end rests in the bend of your thumb.
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    Hold the second chopstick like a pen by resting it on top of the first. Align your second chopstick with the first one so that you're holding them both at the same height. Your second chopstick should rest on the side or pad of your middle finger. The second chopstick's thicker portion rests in your thumb crook, but it's positioned higher, near your pointer finger's first knuckle. [2]

    • Like you would with a pen, place your index finger atop the top of the second chopstick. Following these steps will allow you to properly use chopsticks to pick up food and transport it to your mouth.

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    Remember to never move the first chopstick. The first chopstick, the one resting on the plate, must remain in its fixed position throughout the entire meal. If you want to open and close your chopsticks, you should move the top, or second, one up and down. [3]

    • Start by simply squeezing the tips together until you find the right amount of pressure. Too much force will cause the tips to cross; take it easy!
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    You can practice using chopsticks by eating with utensils made of wood or bamboo. The natural stability and lack of slipperiness of wooden and bamboo chopsticks make them ideal for children and people just learning to use chopsticks. After you've mastered using wooden chopsticks, you're welcome to upgrade to plastic or stainless steel chopsticks. [4]
    • Japanese chopsticks are typically lacquered, making it more difficult to pick up slippery objects before developing the dexterity to apply the appropriate pressure.
    • Traditionally, Korean chopsticks have been made of stainless steel. This pair of chopsticks is notoriously difficult to master; don't use them until you're sure of your chopstick skills. [5]
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    If you're having trouble, you should try learning how to use chopsticks. Chopsticks used for training are joined at the top to reduce hand fatigue. Though designed for children, adults can feel comfortable using them.

    • Do not use them in front of others if doing so would make you feel even slightly uncomfortable; instead, save them for private home use. You can practice using chopsticks for snacks until you're ready for "real" ones.

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    Open your chopsticks by bringing up your index and middle fingers. To make a straight line with this chopstick, pretend it is a pen or pencil and use it as such. The chopsticks are opened and closed in this manner. [6]

    • Be mindful of not moving the bottom chopstick while you manipulate the top. Keep it tucked securely under your thumb so it won't fall when you move your other fingers.
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    Put a stop to the spread by closing your chopsticks around a single bite. Let the games begin! To use chopsticks, first open them over a piece of food by drawing an imaginary line upward, and then close them by drawing the line downward. Get a good, firm hold on the food before you try to lift it and bring it to your mouth. [7]

    • Get your hands around something roughly the size of a piece of sushi, and work your way down to smaller and smaller targets as your dexterity improves.
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    Keep a light grip as you bring the food to your mouth. Hold the food firmly enough to avoid dropping it, but not so tightly that you squeeze or crush it. How much pressure you need to use will change based on the density and texture of the food you're working with. [8]

    • Using miniature objects as a guide, experiment with different amounts of pressure. To illustrate, try to avoid squashing a cotton ball when picking it up.
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    To eat rice, tilt your chopsticks to one side and scoop it up. Servings of traditional Asian fare are typically designed for use with chopsticks. What about the rice, though? To do this, simply rotate your wrist in the direction of a handshake so that the hand holding your chopsticks is facing sideways. Then, use your chopsticks to dig into the rice and grab a handful. [9]

    • In particular, Japanese rice is sticky enough that it won't scatter when you use chopsticks. However, you should still keep them relatively close together for the best results.

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    Collect the disposable chopsticks from their packaging. Waribashi, or chopstick holders, are stored in a folded piece of paper that must be torn open to reveal the implements. Simply separate the halves with a snap, and they're ready to eat. Keep them apart from each other. Some people rub their waribashi together to get rid of splinters, but that can be dangerous if you have cheap, poorly made ones. When done in a restaurant, however, it conveys the message that you find the quality of the chopsticks to be subpar. [10]

    • If you find any splinters, you can remove them in private by rubbing the affected area with your chopsticks. Another option is to return them to their original packaging and request more.
    • Put your used chopsticks back in their paper case when you're done eating. The paper sleeve can double as a rest for your chopsticks when you need a break.
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    Grab food with both chopsticks at once and enjoy your meal. Consider the chopsticks as a pair, since using one will be difficult without the other. While it may be tempting to use the sharp end of a single chopstick to spear food for picking up and eating, this is not proper etiquette (and will likely earn you some curious glances). [11]

    • For some people of Asian descent, using your chopsticks to do things like stir your food or tear it into smaller pieces is an insulting social faux pas.
    • Since chopsticks are traditionally used to eat Asian cuisine, there is typically no need to make smaller portions.
    • No one will judge you if you pick up a piece and chew it into smaller bites if it's too big to fit in your mouth at once. Don't eat off of it and then put it back on your plate; use your chopsticks the whole time.
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    Don't use your chopsticks as a weapon. As with a knife or fork, it's impolite to point your chopsticks at someone. Don't use your chopsticks for anything other than eating food. Set them down on the chopsticks rest or your napkin beside your plate when you're not using them so you won't be tempted to fiddle with them in between courses or while you're done eating. [12]

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    Napkin to the tips of your chopsticks. In order to prevent drips, please wipe your chopsticks before placing them on the chopstick rest. You shouldn't lick or sucking them to remove the liquid because it's considered gross. [13]

    • Using chopsticks properly will allow you to transfer food to your mouth in a stylish manner. Your chopstick use will be seen as more refined if they barely touch your mouth.
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    Gather around a table and use serving chopsticks to eat from shared plates. There are many Asian cultures that eat together as a family. Food will be served to your table on large platters, with individual plates set out for each diner. Remove food from the platter using the larger serving chopsticks and transfer it to a separate plate. Follow that by eating with your own set of chopsticks [14]

    • Using serving chopsticks can be tricky because of their size, but there are ways to get around this problem. When you see someone else being served, hold up your plate and ask to be served as well.
    • As a matter of etiquette in Hong Kong and Cantonese cuisine, if you don't have serving chopsticks, you can simply use your own chopsticks backward to access the food on the communal plates. This side is more hygienic because it hasn't been in your mouth. [15]
    • Do not share your chopsticks with another person, and do not transfer food from yours. Doing this at the dinner table is bad luck because it brings to mind a funeral ritual. [16]
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    Whenever you're finished eating, simply place your chopsticks across your plate or bowl. Placing your cutlery across your plate conveys the same message. You'll send the message that you're finished eating and the waiter or waitress at a restaurant is free to remove your plate. [17]

    • Use the chopsticks rest or set your chopsticks down beside your plate or just along the edge of your dinnerware while you pause between courses. So no one will think you're finished until you say so.
    • You shouldn't ever, but especially in Japan, leave your chopsticks upright in your bowl of rice. Anything associated with death or funerals is extremely unlucky, so you should avoid this ritual at all costs. [18]

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Inquiry New
  • Question

    Where can I find some chopsticks?

    Caeiia

    There are some gorgeous, low-priced options available in Asian markets and online.

  • Question

    The food keeps falling off my chopsticks. What's wrong, me, or the meal?

    Community Answer

    It's easier to use chopsticks on some foods than others. Noodles, rice, and other grains , rather than "pinch" the food out, you'll have to scoop it out. Scooping food is done in the same way as with a spoon by keeping the pointed ends together. You'll get it if you keep at it.

  • Question

    Where can I locate a store selling chopsticks?

    Community Answer

    You can find them in most Asian markets and probably online as well. They might occasionally (but not very likely) turn up at a nearby flea market or second-hand store. You can also buy a pair of chopsticks from an Asian restaurant and take them home with you; these are typically disposable but can last for quite some time if you treat them well.

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Thuong Tan

Thuong Tan and Jennifer Mueller, JD, a staff writer here at wikiHow, wrote this article together. Noodle expert and Noodelist creator Thuong Tan is known for his innovative vegan instant noodle company. Thuong has a BA in International Business and Marketing from Haaga-Helia, University of Applied Sciences, as well as an MBA in Luxury Brand Management from IFA Paris, Polimoda/Shanghai University. Noodelist's goal is to create healthy, tasty, and sustainable moroheiya noodles made entirely from plants. There have been 517,064 views of this article.

Co-authors: 13

Updated: Dated: 12/13/2022

Views:  517,064

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