Using Wooden Chopsticks: A Step-by-Step Guide (with Illustrations).

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    Split your chopsticks in half. Pick up a pair of chopsticks and place one in each hand. In order to move forward with one stick, you must simultaneously pull the other stick in toward you from behind. Chopsticks are supposed to crack in half. Keep in mind that you should bend the sticks to your knees before breaking them so that you don't smash any of the tableware. [1]

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    Remove splinters by rubbing the chopsticks together. When chopsticks break, they often leave splinters behind. A quick rub between the chopsticks should do the trick if you find any splinters. [2]

    • Avoid rubbing together nicer wooden chopsticks, especially non-disposable ones. [3]

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    Chopsticks are not to have their wooden tips snapped off. Chopsticks' wooden tips are not meant to be broken off, despite common belief. Your chopsticks may splinter or even break due to the tough wood. After separating your chopsticks, avoid touching the wooden block at the end. [4]

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    Thumb, pointer, and middle finger on the first chopstick. Chopsticks made of wood are used and held in the same way as those made of other materials. One chopstick should be held between the first and second fingers. Stick the chopstick's tip into the palm of your hand to keep it in a straight line across your hand as you use the other fingers to pick up food. [5]

    • You don't have to get it right the first time. Chopsticks are tricky to use properly until you get the hang of it.
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    Stick the other chopstick in your palm between your thumb and index finger. You should rest your second chopstick below your first. Hold the chopstick firmly between your thumb and palm by placing it there and rolling your thumb in towards your palm. When using this chopstick, it won't budge on your plate. [6]

    • Do not worry if it is difficult at first. A little bit of practice is required.
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    Use your middle and index finger to move the top chopstick. Check your chopstick skills after you've mastered the proper grip. You should only use your index and middle finger to move the top chopstick. Don't move your thumb at all [7]

    • Using chopsticks properly is an art that may require some practice. Don't rush into handling food; instead, give yourself some time to practice the fundamentals. Keep your thumb in mind and try to keep it still. You'll be able to maintain more control while using the chopsticks if you do this.
    • Tap the tips of your chopsticks against each other to hone your skills.
    • It could take some time to get used to the feel of these chopsticks if you're used to using ceramic chopsticks, for example.

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    Use the top and bottom chopsticks to seize food. Once you've mastered the fundamentals, using chopsticks is a breeze. To divide the chopsticks, you use your index and middle finger to slide along the top chopstick. Then, use the space between the upper and lower chopstick to scoop food up and bring it to your plate or mouth. [8]

    • In spite of appearances, this may take some practice to master. If you're used to eating with utensils like forks and spoons, switching to chopsticks may feel awkward at first. Be patient with yourself as you adjust to the change.
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    Use chopsticks as a rice spoon. In the majority of Asian countries, you can simply use chopsticks to shovel rice into your mouth. Hold the rice bowl at eye level when eating. Gently push the rice with your chopsticks into your mouth while holding them side by side. [9]

    • To avoid social awkwardness while dining in a Korean restaurant, you should refrain from doing the following.
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    Take care not to cross your chopsticks while eating. When picking up food, the ends of your chopsticks should not form an "X." Picking up food will be extremely challenging in this situation. Chopsticks that cross at the tips indicate an overly firm grip. Don't grab the food so hard; instead, let go and try again. [10]

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    Chopsticks should not be used as spears when eating. If you're having trouble picking up food, you might be tempted to use a chopstick to spear it and then bring it to your mouth. Using chopsticks in this manner is not recommended because it causes food to fall off. It's also considered rude. [11]

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    It's bad form to stick your chopsticks straight up in your rice. After a person's death, their spirit is honored in some Buddhist cultures by offering rice at a shrine. Chopsticks are left standing in a bowl of unfinished rice as an offering to the spirits. In general, it's best to avoid making a rude gesture toward Buddhist cultures by sticking your chopsticks vertically in your rice. [12]

    • It's best to err on the side of caution when eating in a restaurant where the culture is unfamiliar, as not everyone who uses chopsticks is a Buddhist.
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    Keep your chopsticks from touching each other on the table. In certain Asian funeral rituals, chopsticks are crossed over a bowl or plate. Although not all Asian cultures observe this custom, it's best to be mindful of it and not cross your chopsticks. Don't leave your crossed chopsticks on the plate when you're done eating; instead, set them next to your plate. [13]

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    Chopsticks should never be washed in liquids. When you're done using your chopsticks, it's not a good idea to wash them in your soup or beverage. Instead of putting unclean chopsticks into your soup or water, clean them with a napkin or get a new set. [14]

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    Never switch your chopsticks mid-meal. The cremated remains of the deceased are passed from person to person using chopsticks as part of certain Buddhist funeral rites. Due to the association with death and funerals, passing food between chopsticks is generally frowned upon. [15]

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Yoko Isassi

In addition to me, Yoko Isassi contributed to this article. L.A.'s own Japanese food expert and Foodstory creator, Yoko Isassi Since 2011, she's been sharing her knowledge of Japanese cuisine and cooking techniques with others. Yoko earned her Master of Arts from Columbia. With 201,651 views, this article has proven to be popular.

Co-authors: 15

Updated: Monday, August 12th, 2022

Views:  201,651

Categories: Table Manners

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