Introduction: How to Use Chopsticks

Our Makerspace team was having a Chinese meal in a local restaurant when the subject of chopsticks came up. So we decided we needed an instructable on how to use chopsticks. Practise at home and then you will be ready to wow your friends next time you go for a Chinese!

Step 1: Training

You can either buy some training chopsticks (which are joined together with a W shaped bridge at the top) - or you can use a paper napkin and an elastic band to modify some ordinary chopsticks. We learned this trick in a London Chinese restaurant when my son was a small child.

Fold the paper napkin up small, then wedge it between the chopsticks and tie them together with the elastic band. Now you can learn to control the upper chopstick with your thumb and index finger to pick things up. The band and napkin act as a stable fulcrum for you to lever against. See the pictures!

Step 2: Move on to the Real Thing

Hold the lower chopstick securely between your third and fourth finger - see picture. This chopstick does not move!

Now add the upper chopstick - this is gripped between you thumb and first finger. This chopstick moves to and fro to grip pieces of food.

Practise moving the upper chopstick to open the "jaws" of your "pincers" and close them again - see pictures.

Step 3: Now Tackle Food!

Use your chopsticks to pick up a chunk of food. You can also use them to shovel food in, like a fork - this is how you eat rice. Don't be afraid to pick up your rice bowl and hold it near your mouth, the Chinese do this. Making a mess on the table is part of the fun.

Incidentally, straw mushrooms are the world's most difficult thing to eat with chopsticks!