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How to Eat With Chopsticks Like a Pro

Rutuja Jathar Nov 4, 2018
Chopsticks are the traditional eating medium used to eat food in many East Asian countries. Here are some chopsticks etiquette and tips on how to eat with them.
Chopsticks are a pair of sticks of equal length which are shaped in a certain way. They originated in China, and are now used in Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and Indonesia as well.
Using these to eat food is a part of the East Asian food etiquette and table manners, in China, Japan, and Korea. The technique is not difficult as it seems. It is an art which can be perfected with practice.

Some More Information

The size of the chopsticks varies depending on the purpose of their usage, which differs from one country to the other. For instance, Chinese people use longer and rounder sticks for eating food, while Korean people eat with sharp-edged, metallic ones.
Among all these types, the Japanese ones are considered to be the easiest to get acquainted with and to use as well. They are known as Hashi. However, you need to address them as O-Hashi,  which is the polite way to ask for them. Here, are some things you should avoid doing while eating with chopsticks.
Komi-bashi: It means stuffing food into your already full mouth using the sticks.

Saguri-bashi: It means searching for an ingredient in the soup with help of the sticks.

Neburi-bashi: Cleaning the stick ends with your mouth.

Mayoi-bashi: The word mayoi  means "dithering". Avoid waving the sticks over the food, as if wondering where to start.
Yoko-bashi: You should never use them together as if they were a spoon.

Sashi-bashi: The word sashi  means "inserting". It means eating sushi and large food chunks by spearing the sticks through them.

Yose-bashi: The word yose  means "drawing closer". So, avoid using the sticks instead of your hands for pulling a dish towards you.

Useful Tips

Before learning how to use these sticks, remember that both their lower ends should always be evenly leveled.


If you are in a restaurant where they provide disposable chopsticks, then, before you start eating, you need to learn how to separate them.
To do that, place both your hands on both the sticks and pull them horizontally away from each other. Never try pulling them in a vertical direction, as it might cause them to splinter.


Hold the first stick in your hand in such a way that its thinner part is below the lower side of your middle fingertip. Then, trap the stick firmly with help of the thumb.
Position the second stick in such a way that it is held against the side of your index finger. To hold them both in the proper position, press both their ends at an angle at the side of the serving plate. You need to do this to level both the sticks.


Apply pressure on the top portion of the first stick. Always remember that the first stick and your index and middle fingers always move, while the second one and your thumb are always stationary.
Move the tip of the first stick towards that of the second. Practice this move till you get it right. After that, practice holding the tips of both the sticks firmly together. Hold them tight enough, so that you can grab a piece of food or sushi firmly. Lean in to eat the morsel of food.
You need to practice keeping the second stick stationary and moving the first one towards it. Once you get the hang of this procedure, you can eat any kind of food using these sticks, even rice.