How to eat with chopsticks: techniques and instructions for eating with chopsticks! The history of Chinese chopsticks!

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If you are a fan of Asian food, especially Chinese food, to enjoy it to the fullest you have to eat it with chopsticks. But before we talk about the techniques and instructions for eating with chopsticks, let's take a look at their history.


Chinese chopsticks, these eating utensils used in parts of Asia, have an interesting history. According to the California Academy of Sciences, chopsticks appeared in China about 5 years ago. Hence the name "Chinese chopsticks", although they are also used in other parts of Asia.

The earliest versions of Chinese chopsticks were probably twigs used to chew food from cooking pots. When resources became scarce around 400 BC, skilled cooks figured out how to save fuel by cutting food into small pieces so that it could cook faster. 

How to eat with chopsticks

This new method of cooking has made the existence of a table knife useless. A practice that also fits into the non-violent teachings of Confucius, as expressed in one of his many quotes: "The honorable and upright man stays away from both the slaughterhouse and the kitchen. And he doesn't allow any knives on his table”. It should be noted that the philosopher Confucius contributed to the spread of chopsticks. He campaigned against the use of a table knife

From Confucius (Chinese philosopher) to the present, "Food is the Most Important Thing" and even the traditional greeting “Who do my hands” = “Did you miss it?”.

By the year 500 AD, chopsticks had spread to Japan, Vietnam, and Korea. Early Japanese chopsticks were used strictly for religious ceremonies and were made of a piece of bamboo joined at the top like tweezers. Be aware that Thais do not usually use chopsticks.

How to eat with chopsticks
How to eat with chopsticks

Asians have also developed some superstitions around chopsticks. Some Asians believe that if you are offered an uneven pair of chopsticks, you will lose a boat or a plane. An old Korean superstition claims that "the closer someone holds a pair of chopsticks to the top, the more unmarried they will be."

Overcoming superstitions, it is very useful and interesting to learn to eat with chopsticks. I admit, I'm a fan of Chinese cuisine, maybe some Japanese. But in terms of the use of chopsticks, I still have to practice. It is said that those who use chopsticks can improve their memory. So I will continue to improve my chopstick eating technique.

Techniques and instructions for eating with chopsticks

For this, I looked for some tutorials, which were useful to me and I want to share them with you. Below we have one of the best tutorials on how to eat with chopsticks, regardless of the material from which they are made.

It should be noted that the sticks are not held too close to the top or the opposite end, but to 1/3 of their length. Normally, the chopsticks should be equal in length. The technique of eating with chopsticks requires a lot of concentration at first.

Some interesting and useful information about eating with chopsticks

  • Do not grasp the sticks with your whole hand, as in a fist.
  • Do not stick the chopsticks in the food - "Sashibashi" - sticks as a spear. In many parts of Asia, the gesture is not well received by locals.
  • Do not use chopsticks to pull the bowl of food or other products closer to the table. Hands are used for these gestures.
  • Do not place the chopsticks horizontally over the plate or food bowl. Doing this in the middle of a meal can mean that you don't like food. The chopsticks are normally supported by the special stand or the edge of the plate / bowl.
  • Don't lick the chopsticks.
  • When you want to take different dishes from a common plate, it is advisable to use the opposite ends of the chopsticks to the ones you eat with.

How do you do when it comes to eating with chopsticks?

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