How to Use Chopsticks - Beginner to Pro in Minutes
Chopsticks are probably the most versatile Japanese kitchen utensil ever. It’s a fork, knife, pair of tongs, a whisk, and a steamer stand all in one. The only issue is, learning how to use them can be a daunting task. Here's where Sonosopa come in, we have put together a short guide to deliver a fool-proof chopstick eating technique, which will allow you to master the skill in no time.
What are the Different Types of Chopsticks?
Firstly we must understand that not all chopsticks are created equal! There are actually a few different types of chopsticks, each with its own unique benefits.
To start with, metal chopsticks are certainly the most durable, but are not friendly for beginners to learn how to use.
If you're new to the chopstick game, we would certainly recommend starting out with a quality pair of textured chopsticks - these are much easier to use as the texture provides grip.
Another great beginner design is the lightweight chopsticks - these are elegant and can be manoeuvred easily between your fingers. Once you've gotten the hang of using chopsticks, feel free to experiment with different materials and designs!
How To Eat With Chopsticks
So, let's say you go to a Japanese restaurant and you really want to embrace the culture of the dish you're eating and use the chopsticks provided.
Don't worry, here's exactly how to hold chopsticks without the risk of dropping your sushi into the soy sauce, or painting yourself with noodles.
- Hold your dominant hand loosely. Place the first chopstick in the valley between your pointer finger and thumb. Balance it on your ring finger.
- Place the second chopstick in the valley between your pointer finger and thumb along with the first chopstick, but rest this one on your middle finger instead of your ring finger.
- Use your thumb, pointer and middle fingers to grasp the second chopstick a bit more tightly.
- The first chopstick (on the bottom) remains more or less stationary, this should always be the case. The index and middle fingers do all the heavy lifting with the second chopstick. Using your index and middle fingers to move the top chopstick up and down, open up your chopsticks.
- Close them over the food. Remember to keep your hand loose but still maintain good control over that chopstick. Don't worry if it's not perfect and you drop a few pieces of food on your first few tries. It takes time to master using chopsticks successfully.
Top Restaurant Chopsticks Tips and Manners
While learning to eat with chopsticks can seriously step up your elegance at the dinner table, there are some things that should be taken into account, especially in a Japanese restaurant.
- Don't skewer food using chopsticks
- Resist the urge to point with your chopsticks
- Don't leave your chopsticks crossed on your bowl or on the table
- If you wish to share food, don't pass from one pair of chopsticks to another
How To Eat Sushi With Chopsticks
Sushi can be quite challenging to eat with chopsticks due to the dipping and gripping required.
The best way to eat sushi with chopsticks is to first, pick up the sushi with your chopsticks around the middle of the piece and with a gentle but firm grip. Too tight, and you're going to cut the piece in half. Too gentle, and you'll drop it.
Now you have the sushi, drip it fish side down into soy sauce and eat in one bite. If you feel as though your mouth is too full, cover it with your hand as you chew.
How To Use Chopsticks With Ramen
Ramen is a completely different ball game altogether as we introduce a soup and noodle combination.
The best way to eat ramen with chopsticks is to first, use the chopsticks to grab a bunch of noodles and then slurp them up! This may sound messy, but it's actually the most effective way to get the noodles into your mouth without making a complete mess (and the 'slurping' is actually considered a sign that the food is delicious in Japan).
Then, you can use your chopsticks to pick up any toppings or vegetables that you want.
And finally, drink the soup directly from the bowl. While this technique might seem unnatural, it's the only way and most enjoyable.
We really hope these tips and tricks have helped you to master the art of using chopsticks.
Remember these things take time, and it is as much about the attempt to learn a new eating technique and food culture, as it is about doing it perfectly first time.
The most important thing is to enjoy your food, and of course only buy high quality, sustainable chopsticks that will make your overall experience much more enjoyable.
Our personal favourite and most beautiful Hasu gold tipped chopstick range is presented below:
Thank you for reading, happy eating!