When you go out with a group of friends to an Asian restaurant, are you always the one that asks for a fork? Well, you don't have to be that person anymore. It's actually not that difficult -- watch the video above and learn how to use chopsticks. However silly it may seem, try practicing on foods at home before you head out to the restaurant. You might just find yourself turning out to be the chopsticks expert, showing your friends how to hold them. Read on for more information about chopsticks and proper etiquette.
The Types Of Chopsticks
There are many different types of chopsticks, but for beginners, wooden chopsticks are the easiest to use because they grip food easily. You may find yourself using plastic or lacquered chopsticks at certain restaurants or Asian homes -- these are harder to use as they're slippery with food. Koreans use slender metal chopsticks, which are the most difficult to use. Practice does make perfect, though.
Some Chopstick Etiquette
Watch the video here to learn more about chopstick etiquette.
- Do not stab food with your chopsticks or use one stick to cut food -- it is considered rude.
- Do not use your chopsticks to dig through a dish (called "grave-digging") to find a particular ingredient.
- Do not cross your chopsticks or stick them upright into a bowl of food, because it resembles the "feeding the dead" ritual used in funerary rites.
- Do not bite, chew or hold chopsticks in your mouth.
- When resting your chopsticks during eating, do not put them down on the table or on the bowl or plate. It's best to use a chopstick rest, or, if you're using disposable chopsticks, use the paper sleeve as a rest (here's a tutorial on how to make a rest out of the paper sleeve). Once finished eating, you can rest your chopsticks on the top of your bowl or plate to signify you are done (disposable chopsticks should be placed back into the paper sleeve).
- When eating communal style, with bowls of food at the center of the table, oftentimes there will be serving chopsticks used for those dishes. But when serving chopsticks are unavailable, flip your chopsticks so you're using the wider ends to carry food to your individual plate.
Do you know how to use chopsticks? Let us know in the comments below.