Tips for First-Time Chopsticks Users

When you visit your favorite Asian restaurant, are you tempted—and intimidated—by the chopsticks by your plate? Although using chopsticks takes some practice if you are used to a fork and knife, it isn’t as difficult as you may imagine. If you’ve decided to forgo your fork and pick up chopsticks for the first time, this advice will help.

Get the Right Position

You should use whatever hand you typically used for your fork to use your chopsticks. Start by picking up one chopstick and putting it between your thumb and pointer finger, with the pointy side of the chopstick facing down. The chopstick should be positioned so that it can rest on your ring finger about a third of the way down the stick, with a few inches of the top, wider potion poking up from the area between your thumb and pointer finger. The second chopstick should go in the area between your thumb and pointer finger as well, but this one should rest on your middle finger. Keep your grip loose; a tight grip actually makes it harder to pick up your food.

Practice Manipulating the Sticks

To use your chopsticks, the bottom stick should stay mostly stationary. All of the movement happens with the top stick, which is on your index finger. Practice opening and closing your chopsticks this way. When you feel confident with that motion, you can start to practice picking up food.

Avoid Chopstick Faux Pas

There are a few faux pas you can make with chopsticks that you should try to avoid. One is standing your chopsticks up in rice, which reminds people of funerals. Avoid stabbing food or using chopsticks as a shovel. Don’t put your chopsticks next to your plate between bites, as it tells your host that you’re done eating.

Try out your chopstick prowess at Noodles & More Saigon Café in Steamboat Springs.
The restaurant’s Pan-Asian menu features sushi, Thai food, and much more, right in downtown Steamboat Springs, CO. For more information, call (970) 870-1544.