Eating with chopsticks is definitely a skill you need to know if you want to savor delicacies from China and Japan. While you may get away with using the fork back home, if you are in a high end restaurant or traveling to Asia, it is best that you master the art of eating with chopsticks. Here are 7 easy steps to using chopsticks.
1. The First Chopstick and the Thumb
The first chopstick should be placed in the crook of your index finger and thumb. The chopstick needs to touch the base of your thumb. Your thumb needs to be at a third of the distance from the top of the chopstick. This is certainly one of the easy steps to using chopsticks.
2. The First Chopstick and the Ring Finger
Now, you need to rest the first chopstick on your ring finger. Your ring finger needs to be at half or two thirds of the distance from the top of the chopstick, based on the size of your hand and grip.
3. The Second Chopstick
In the same way that a pen is held, hold the second chopstick. It should touch the tip of your thumb and your middle finger should be used to support and maneuver it. This is another of the easy steps to using chopsticks.
4. Moving the Chopsticks
The index and middle fingers should be used to move the top or the second chopstick. The bottom chopstick is meant to remain as still as possible. Try moving the upper chopstick with your two fingers.
5. Adjusting the Chopsticks
You should aim at being able to make the tips of both chopsticks touch each other. If this is not happening, try adjusting the chopsticks in the most comfortable position to be able to do so. While there is a perfect way to holding and using chopsticks, let us first focus on being able to use them at all rather than attaining perfection in the art.
6. Picking up Food
This is the next logical step. Once you are able to get the two tips of the chopsticks to meets, try maneuvering the chopsticks so that you can wrap them around a piece of food and pick it up. First try with larger pieces of food, at least bite sized pieces. Once you are able to handle that easily, move on to smaller pieces like rice and grains.
7. Practice until You Are Perfect
Like with everything else, practice makes man perfect. Try carrying chopsticks around and in your free tie, use them to lift all kinds of articles like pens, erasers and other small items around the house or on your desk.
As mentioned before, the first thing to do is to follow these 7 easy steps to using chopsticks and gaining some proficiency. You will be surprised to know that in different parts of Asia, there are different ways, rules and etiquette of holding chopsticks. You can learn and master them if you wish to, and following these steps will get you started.
Top image source: my.chinese.cn