Instructables
Picture of How to use chop sticks

Eating Chinese food with a fork is great if you got take out and are planning to indulge yourself in front of the tv in your living room. But if you've ever gone to a swanky restaurant where chopsticks are the norm and forks aren't even offered as cutlery you'll be happy you read and re read this instructable!

Learn the proper hold of chop sticks and how to orient your fingers to actually allow for flawless plate to mouth food transport!

Let's get started!

 
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Step 1: Snapping Apart

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If you have disposable chopsticks, the ones that are readily available at nearly all Chinese restaurants, you must first snap them apart, wishbone style. Remove any stay splinters if the snap wasn't a clean one

Step 2: Grasping Stick 1

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Taking only one stick and using your dominant hand (although in the Chinese tradition, even if you are not right handed, you would still use this hand to eat with) place the narrower end as you would a pencil tip. Adjust the stick so only about an inch of the thicker end is sticking out of the area between your forefinger and thumb. The lower joint of the thumb will help to stabilize this stick. Now place the narrower end (but not the tip, per se) so it rests just slightly on the inside part of your ring finger, freeing your middle and forefinger from holding onto the stick, entirely.

This stick will be your base stick and will/ should not move while you pick up food

Jim_Knowles6 months ago

This is an excellent 'ible; step-by-step instructions, each step fully and carefully explained with plenty of clear pictures.

bennelson is exactly right, and Amazon has all kinds of chopsticks just waiting to show up at your door.

I practice by using chopsticks to eat finger food and, hey, it keeps that cheesy orange powder off my fingers, too.

kadyc6 months ago
哈哈……只要夹起食物吃的到就好了^_^
bennelson6 months ago

Another thing I would recommend is everyone getting yourselves a GOOD pair of chopsticks for at home, instead of using the disposable ones. It's like the difference between eating with stainless steel vs. plastic forks, they just don't compare with how much nicer they are!

kzelina made it!6 months ago

my chinese teacher said that my pointig finger must be free, like in the picture. anyways he also said that the main point is to eat with chopsticks, its all the same how you hold it :)

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dwmorley6 months ago

Another neat trick we learned for kids while we were in Thailand. The servers prepared the chopsticks for our girls by rolling the chopstick wrapper into a tight little log and putting it between the chopsticks an inch or so from the big end, then tightly wrapping a rubber band around the end. This made chopstick tweezers that the girls could use easily.

lbrewer426 months ago

Good 'ible. Thanks for posting.

I admit when I learned how to use them i just did it b.c I wanted to know why in the world people would torture themselves while eating instead of using a fork and spoon. But I figured it was my own ignorance making his opinion since over a billion people cannot be wrong.

Now I find I like them better for some things b/c of the precision. I guess its an issue akin to some people liking driving a stick stick shift VS an automatic. Stick just gives some people a feeling like they have more control of the situation.


jlms6 months ago

The image isn't Chinese food, it is sushi (Japanese food) , which is eaten with bare hands :-)

Good instructable other wise .

John_Betong6 months ago

Directions are good for individual food pieces but a different technique is involved for noodles.

To curl noodles into a ball around the chopsticks, ensure chopsticks are virtually parallel, select noodles and twirl chopsticks until a ball is formed with no dangly noodles. Persevere, this takes a bit of practise.

Have fun :)

That's not the way I do it; I pinch bundles of noodles from the side the same way as everything else. Just suck the noodle in (slowly, to avoid splatters) once you have one part in your mouth.

Dartag6 months ago

A good cheater/beginner method is to "choke up" on the chopsticks. Instead of 1 inch sticking out the back of where the chopsticks rest at the base of the thumb, try 2 or 3 inches. It makes the control of the moving chopstick much easier to handle. As you gain skill, moving back to the 1-inch location isn't nearly as difficult as it is on your first few tries.

Indeed, that is what did it for me; position them so you are essentially pinching the food with your fingers, with the chopstick there just to keep your fingers from coming in direct contact.

AJMansfield6 months ago

I learned how to use chopsticks a few years ago, and have been using them regularily for eating things like ramen noodles. Recently I tried eating noodles with a fork (since there were no chopsticks available), and found it rather difficult.

makwa6 months ago
Thank you thank you! I have tried and tried.... Now maybe I will be successful!?
snoopindaweb6 months ago

Greetings, Martin Yan (Yan can Cook) suggested using them as a Lobster uses Its claw.

MootScience6 months ago

Rub the chopsticks against each other, up and down, to help with removing the splinters. Imagine you are trying to sharpen a knife with a rod. It's not easy to spot them and it hurts when a piece gets in your mouth. For beginners, I would not recommend using the smooth wood chopsticks. Once you can pick up wet mushrooms and single grains of rice, you're on track. If you want to really test your skills, try holding the chopsticks as close to the edge as possible and picking up food.

openroad6 months ago

That is so easy (at least until I try it with food). Thanks for helping to get rid of those cramped fingers and empty mouth. Great post.

quequeg16 months ago

Nicely done, i've tried to explain this to many people myself. one thing i like to point out is that when your hand is relaxed with chopsticks the default position of the sticks should be with the tips almost touching each other. the closer you are to this the less muscle tension in your hand when actually trying to hold a piece of food because the natural muscle position will help squeeze the sticks together. your photos illustrate it quite well.

beodeulpiri6 months ago

Korean children practice like picture of chop sticks.

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muy útil e interesante, lo provare y ya comentare.

I have always never been able to use chopsticks
MonkiMan6 months ago

i've always wanted to use chopsticks but i have no deftness of hand. awesome 'ible

samalert6 months ago

Another easy style is to hold stick-2 as if holding a pen and slide stick-1 between the thumb and stick. I googled it few days when i was curious how the waiters serve using spoons which was quite similar to sticks.

brandt e6 months ago
Thanks, I've always struggled with this