Introduction: How to Use Chop Sticks

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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!

Step 1: Snapping Apart

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

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

Step 3: Grasping Stick 2

This stick will have a lot of work to do, as it should be the one solely responsible for initiating and completely a successful food transport.

Having the thicker end line up with the thicker end of stick 1, peeping out to about an inch between forefinger and thumb, follow the narrower end so it passes just below your thumbs tip and between your middle and index finger. Get yourself comfortable with this stance because this is the basic way to hold chopsticks

In order to move stick 2 (as stick 1 never moves) use the top part of your thumb, but keep the bottom part stationary as this part is holding onto stick 1. Also use your index and middle finger as leverage to push against your thumb to either tighten or loosen the sticks' grasp on food

You will need to synchronize the way your thumb tip, middle and forefinger all operate in unison for a controlled movement of Stick 2, as it comes down to meet Stick 1.

Step 4: Grabbing a Bite

Practice squeezing and releasing the sticks so that when actual food is introduced you won't get frustrated at not being able to hold onto anything.

Position the area between your sticks opening so that its wider than the piece of food you want to grab onto. Then slowly lower and close Stick 2 so you can squeeze and subsequently grab your food.

Once you're ready, I recommend starting off by grabbing larger food items like prawns or sushi, and move up to foods like noodles and rice, as the smaller food requires more coordination to hold onto it.

Good luck!