How to eat Chinese chopsticks?

If you like or like Chinese food, then you probably know that it has many features. And one of them is the use of Chinese chopsticks instead of the usual for all spoons and forks. And in order to fully enjoy all the dishes and not to lose face, you need to learn how to eat with chopsticks.

A bit of history

It is believed that the first sticks as a device used during the meal, appeared in ancient China BC. And invented by their ancestor of the Chinese Yu. He wanted to get a piece of meat from a hot pot and decided to use sticks for this. The Chinese call this item “quaizu” or “quaizi”, and the Japanese call it “hashi”. By the way, Chinese sticks are longer than Japanese ones.

What to eat?

What dishes are eaten with Chinese sticks? In principle, any that relate to Chinese or Japanese cuisine. Some of the most common options are:

  • Fig. It is common in China and Japan and is practically the main and most popular product.
  • Vegetables.Chopped into small pieces and fried vegetables with sauce is also convenient to eat sticks.
  • Noodles. It is also very convenient to eat using sticks.
  • Sushi rolls. It is thanks to them that the Europeans met with Chinese chopsticks.
  • Funchoza. This traditional Chinese and Japanese dish resembles ordinary noodles, but is made from starch obtained from mung beans.

How to choose suitable?

Rods can have different thickness and length, they are made of different materials. So, disposable sticks are made of wood, and reusable sticks can be made of plastic, metal, and even ceramics or porcelain. In addition, the ends may have different shapes.

If you are a beginner, it is better to choose disposable wooden ones. They do not slip in the hand, food does not slip from them. It will be convenient for a beginner admirer of Chinese cuisine to use chopsticks with relatively wide tips, since thin ones require certain skills and experience.

The optimal size can be determined by simple calculations. Spread your thumb and forefinger so that a right angle forms between them. It turns out that the fingers will be the legs, and the distance between their tips will be the hypotenuse of an imaginary right triangle.

So, the length of the stick should be one and a half times (that is, half) more than the hypotenuse. But still such calculations are approximate, so rely on your feelings. Usually the length varies from 20-24 centimeters.

How to hold?

How to learn to eat Chinese chopsticks? First you need to understand how to properly hold them in your hand. So, the main stages:

  1. First you need to take the bottom stick. To do this, squeeze the ring finger and little finger together, bend them a little. A thumb should be turned inward, that is, to the palm. Now place the wide end of the wand between the palm and thumb (right at its base). Fix it with your thumb so that its thin end is located on the ring finger, namely on its third phalanx (approximately under the nail). If everything worked out for you, your index finger, middle finger, and thumb should move freely.
  2. Now you should take the top stick. Place it approximately parallel to the bottom and take your thumb, index and middle fingers as you normally would with a pencil or pen. At the same time about a third of the wand (its wide end) should be placed outside of the palm.

How to take food?

All movements are made with the upper stick, that is, the middle, index and thumb. The lower stick plays a supporting role and remains motionless.

If you want to take a piece of food, then straighten the middle and index fingers, position the sticks so that the food is located between their narrow ends (not at the very tips, but about a centimeter from them, otherwise the piece may fall). Now bend your fingers and grab the food, but do not squeeze it. Do not strain your fingers, sticks can move or crush a piece.

Rules of etiquette

When using Chinese chopsticks (especially in restaurants), you should follow some etiquette rules:

  1. Do not stick sticks in the food, it is considered bad form.
  2. Do not lick sticks. Firstly, it is impolite and ugly, secondly, if the sticks are wooden and poorly polished, then with too active licking you can leave a tongue in the lip or lip.
  3. Chopsticks are used only for food, no other use is allowed.
  4. Do not transfer chopsticks food to another person. Instead, it is better to serve the whole dish.
  5. Do not swing your chopsticks, do not knock them together, do not point to anything.
  6. Do not hold the sticks in a fist, in China it is considered a sign of a hostile attitude.
  7. If you stop eating for a while, do not put the sticks on a plate or on a table. They should be placed on a special stand, and in front of a plate and so that thin ends look to the left and up.
  8. With a common dish, take food by using the opposite end of the sticks or special serving appliances.
  9. Do not pick with chopsticks in a plate and all the more in a common dish.


Useful tips for beginners:

  • First, master the technique of proper holding and movements.
  • Practice. First take large or medium-sized pieces of food, then go to small ones.
  • To learn how to eat Chinese chopsticks, eat them as often as possible, including at home.
  • If you feel insecure, do not use sticks on people until you master this skill.

Good luck and, of course, enjoy your meal.

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