Chopsticks – the kitchen and dining utensils from Eastern countries – is known as one of the most challenging tools for people from the West to use correctly. However, using chopsticks is a must – have skill if you want to dig deeper into the Eastern cuisine since so many dishes must be eaten with this kind of tool, not forks or spoons. In fact, there are even more rules that you should know than just learning how to use a pair of chopsticks. In this article, we will find our 9 basic things that you should aware of so as to avoiding faux pas with the help of experts from countries such as China, Vietnam, and Korea. You might not know how to use chopsticks yet, but you must remember this advice so as to shorten your training and also avoiding losing your face in front of people when having meals.
- Asian Foods Don’t Require Using Chopsticks All The Time
As in Western countries where you have to use several kinds of eating utensils to eat a particular type of food, Eastern people have their list of dining utensils, too. Though the chopsticks are in the top of the list, people still can use spoons or forks instead of them.
In many countries that are affected by Western culture a long time ago, people don’t use chopsticks. For example, in the Phillippines, most of the dishes are served using forks and spoons. You don’t need to know how to use chopsticks right away unless you are tending to travel to China or Japan, where a majority of dishes are eaten with chopsticks.
- You Need To Change Your Chopsticks Type To Match With The Cuisine
Many people think that the chopsticks are the same, even though they are made in different places. However, the truth is not that simple. The chopsticks are different from each other in regard to their original country and the serving purposes.
In Japan, the chopsticks are made from bamboo with polished so as to make them shinier and firmer. The tips are often pointy so as to eat sushi and other types of raw foods sliced small. The chopsticks in Japan tend to be small in size and more dainty. Whereas in China, the tips are blunter and the size is a little bit bigger so as to grab more rice and food in one move.
- Never Do Silly Things With Your Rice Bowl
What I’m trying to tell you is that you can do anything with your bowl of rice, but never stick your chopsticks vertically or use them to knocks at the side of the bowl. According to Eastern traditions, these are the ways to call starving ghosts to eat their rice or offer the rice of bowl to dead people.
In addition, when you grab food on your chopsticks, don’t pass it directly through another because it refers to a funeral rite. That’s would be no good and people would consider that disrespectful.
- Don’t Use Chopsticks To Eat Nigiri
It would be quite fine if you eat nigiri for the first time. However, it is not the proper way to eat it. The right technique is to eat your nigiri with fingers.
Lift the slice up then turn it over so that the fish slice is under the rice. Then slowly dip the nigiri into soy sauce. You should dip the fish – side first so that the rice can stick together and won’t break apart before the whole piece is put into your mouth.
- Don’t Mess Up The Shared Plates With Your Chopsticks
Basically, when you are invited to an Eastern meal, the foods will be served in shared plates. That’s the reason why you should use your chopsticks carefully and not mess things up.
In addition, don’t use the ends of the chopsticks that you are eating to grab the food from the plates. Instead, you should turn your chopsticks around then use the clean ends.
- Use The Chopsticks As A Pair
The chopsticks are born to be used as a pair. Unless you have anything else that needs only one stick, you should leave them to rest one your bowl as a pair. It would be rude if you use one and leave another one alone.
- Never Eat Curry With Chopsticks
Chopsticks are used mostly for eating rice, noodles, fastfood and other types of foods that are sliced into pieces. That’s the reason why you shouldn’t use these tools to eat liquid foods such as curry or porridge. You can still use them but your meal wouldn’t be easy. So why don’t you use a spoon and do the same thing as eating a bowl of soup? I know practicing using chopsticks is very important, but the final purpose is till enjoying your meals, right?
- Don’t Hold The Tips Of Your Chopsticks
People tend to try using the chopsticks as short as they could because they think it would be easier to control small things. The truth is it just make the other ends become heavier so that your moves would be very slow and you can’t make them move as you wish.
Practice more and you will see that using chopsticks require many skills, but once you’ve mastered this kind of utensil, nothing can be the challenge for you on the dining table.
- Don’t Use The Chopsticks To Point At Anyone
Using the chopsticks with your thumb pointing at people in front of you is considered very rude. You should use them gently so as not to rude the whole meal. In addition, pointing is very rude in any eating culture. So I think you can imagine the emotions of people around you when you accidently point your chopsticks to their faces.
Eastern cuisine is very interesting but very hard to follow as well. That’s why the foods and the culture here are very attractive to Western tourists. Learn to use chopsticks before going to Asia helps you to fit it better and enjoy more foods here.