Food

The Correct Way to Hold Chopsticks – Your Simple How to Hold Chopsticks Guide

Aug.27.2021
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how to hold chopsticks

From Lo Mein noodles to salmon sashimi, chopsticks are given with many of today’s most popular menu items. If you ever want to travel to East Asia you are going to need to know how to use chopsticks properly. For those who were brought up using a fork and knife as their preferred eating utensils, chopsticks might seem a little tricky, but with a bit of practice, they can be your new favorite things to eat with. 

Learning the proper way to hold chopsticks is a super useful life skill. Learning how to properly hold chopsticks might also save you from an awkward or embarrassing moment while dining at a friend’s house or at a restaurant when chopsticks are placed next to your entree. If you don’t want to give up and use a fork or your fingers to eat, this guide on using chopsticks for beginners can take you from novice to pro in no time. 

Correct Way to Hold Chopsticks

Correct Way to Hold Chopsticks

In order to learn how to use chopsticks, you need to know how to hold them properly. The best way to hold chopsticks is three-quarters of the way to the top of the chopsticks. The part of each chopstick that is made for picking up food is typically narrower than the top part, which is made to hold onto. The size and shape of the chopsticks will vary depending on the region that they were made. Holding the chopsticks near the top is best for maintaining good control over the utensils. A novice mistake while using chopsticks is holding them too far down towards the bottom or too high up towards the top. Both of these mistakes can make it really difficult to use chopsticks in any way. The grip you want while using chopsticks is similar to the grip you have on a pen or a pencil. 

First, hold the bottom chopsticks like you would a pen, making sure to get a good feel for the weight and sensation of the tool. Then add the second chopstick by resting it on your middle finger and using your index finger to control it. The index finger should be your key to controlling the chopsticks’ opening and closing, while the middle finger and the hand stabilize the bite you’re about to take. 

There are different ways to hold chopsticks depending on what you’re doing with them and what kind of food you’re eating. Some foods are harder to use chopsticks to eat, particularly slippery noodles and rice. When eating rice, you have to do more of a scooping motion with both chopsticks held together more tightly. This scooping motion is more useful than trying to pinch individual grains of rice or chunks of rice that easily fall apart when moved. The chopsticks’ technique for slippery noodles is to do your best to combine the pinching and scooping actions so that you can gather a mouthful of noodles together and then scoop them up and into your mouth. Another way that people use chopsticks is to rip or tear food into smaller, more manageable bites. This can be done with the same grip that you use for eating normally, or you can hold the chopsticks perpendicular to your plate, pierce the food item you wish to rip with two chopsticks held tightly together, and slowly but strongly open or spread the chopsticks to rip the food from the inside out. 

What Not to Do 

Be mindful of chopsticks etiquette when eating with chopsticks, particularly when you’re eating out or at a fancy meal. Manners are an important part of any unabridged chopsticks instructions, so of course, we are going to give you the rundown on manners in this chopsticks guide. For starters, avoid using only one chopstick to poke, cut or frankly do anything. You should always be using both chopsticks or none at all. When you’re being served something, use the serving utensils instead of your own personal chopsticks. This is similar to the rule that you should not use your own fork or spoon to take something from a communal dish. Don’t use your hands to help you pick something up with chopsticks, this is considered very bad manners. If you can’t pick something up with your chopsticks, either ask for a fork, tilt your plate a bit or try using more of a scooping method. Never use your chopsticks for anything other than food, you might think this goes without saying, but waiters and waitresses have seen it all. 

Chopsticks Tricks

Chopsticks Tricks

If you’ve tried your best, but you’re still struggling with chopsticks, there is one trick for building beginners chopsticks to help you get the hang of it. For a super-easy way to hold chopsticks, roll up a piece of paper or the sleeve, your chopsticks came in to make a small and sturdy cylinder. Take that little paper cylinder and put it between your two chopsticks, almost at the very top. Then take a rubber band and secure the two chopsticks together with the paper cylinder nestled securely between them. Then practice using chopsticks with this easy hack. These beginners chopsticks are perfect for teaching children or anyone learning to use chopsticks for the first time. While they’re great for informal dining and eating at home, avoid this trick when going to a formal dinner party or elegant restaurant.

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