Thursday, 25 October 2012

How To Use Chopsticks

How To Use Chopsticks


Just as it's important to use a fork and knife correctly when eating western cuisine, using a pair of chopsticks correctly is part of etiquette in many asian countries. It might seem difficult to use at the start, but with a little practice and the help of our guide, you'll be using chopsticks as if you were asian in no time!

Chopsticks are for picking up food

It's common for beginner's to spear food with their chopsticks, but with a little practice, you'll learn how to use a pair of chopsticks properly. Spearing food with chopsticks is akin to spearing food with a knife and eating off it.

If a dish is too far for you to reach, use your hands to bring it nearer, don't use your chopsticks to push, pull or drag the dish nearer to yourself.

In many asian cultures, food for everyone is placed in the middle of the table and shared by everyone, sucking or licking your chopsticks then using the same pair to pick up food is kinda gross. If there is a separate pair of chopsticks to serve yourself, or a serving spoon, use those to serve yourself from the main plates. In some cultures where you use only one pair of chopsticks, use the opposite end to pick up food.

When picking up food from the main plate, always put it down on your side plate first. Alternatively, you can also carry the food in your chopsticks and let it lightly touch your side plate before bringing it to your mouth. Bringing the food from the main plate straight to your mouth is seen as being greedy.

Pointing with chopsticks at either food or people is also rude. It's alike to pointing at things with your knife.

Stabbing your chopsticks into the table or plate loudly is considered rude. Use your hands to adjust the height of your chopsticks.

Where do I place my chopsticks

If a chopsticks rest is provided, place your chopsticks on that, if not, balance your chopsticks on the side of your side plate. In the absence of a side plate, balance your chopsticks on the side of your rice bowl.

When putting your chopsticks down, keep them neatly side by side and ends lined up evenly.

Sticking your chopsticks into your bowl of rice, noodles or other food is offensive as it resembles offerings made to ancestors.

When in doubt

When in doubt of what you can or can't do with chopsticks, always go back to what you do know. If you wouldn't do it with a fork and knife, don't do it with chopsticks. You will have noticed that etiquette for using a fork and knife or a pair of chopsticks is generally similar.

How to use chopsticks

Hold one of the chopsticks (the lower one) with the non eating end at the base of your thumb and balanced on your middle finger. This chopstick does not move when you're using it. It provides support when you lift food.

Hold the other chopstick (the upper one) with the non eating end balanced on your fore finger and gripped between your thumb and forefinger. When picking up food, this chopstick pivots up and down to grip the item you're picking up.

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