People who are just getting acquainted with oriental cuisine often wonder how to hold chopsticks. Therefore, today we want to tell you how to use these important utensils, as Asians hold great reverence for the ritual of their usage. For them, bamboo sticks are a national treasure.
Training and regular sushi chopsticks
Before delving into the technique of holding chopsticks for sushi, it is important to understand their types. They are typically categorized into two types: regular and training chopsticks.
- Regular chopsticks measure around 20-25 cm in length and can have a square or round cross-section. In the case of the latter, the base is square-shaped to prevent them from rolling off the table.
- In Asia, children are taught to use chopsticks from as early as their first year, so chopsticks for kids and beginners are slightly shorter, approximately 16 cm. They are fastened together at the top with an elastic clip, allowing them to be used like tweezers or tongs. In Europe and America, training chopsticks often differ from regular ones only by the presence of a flexible retainer.
How to properly hold chopsticks for rolls?
Understanding how to hold chopsticks for sushi is crucial, as it simplifies the dining experience and adds an authentic touch. Here are the basic rules to follow:
- After unwrapping the chopsticks, lightly rub them between your palms to remove any loose fibers.
- Slightly bend your arm at the elbow and extend it forward.
- Relax and slightly bend your fingers, except for the index and middle fingers – they should point forward.
- Place the upper part of one chopstick in the hollow between your index finger and thumb, and rest the lower part on the upper phalanx of your ring finger.
- Pinch the second chopstick with your index and ring fingers, similar to holding a pinch of salt. Ensure you can move this chopstick comfortably, as the first chopstick should remain stationary.
- Relax your grip slightly. Try tapping the chopsticks against each other gently.
- Check that the ends of the chopsticks are aligned at the same level; otherwise, the food may slip off onto the table. To prevent this, lightly tap the chopstick tips on the plate.
- Try to first practice at home with ordinary pencils, grasping small objects with them – this way you will quickly understand how to hold Japanese sticks correctly.
What food is traditionally eaten with chopsticks?
Now that you know how to eat rolls with chopsticks, it is worth figuring out what dishes are eaten with them. Most often, they are used for such treats:
- Sushi and rolls. These are typically served on a wooden tray alongside traditional seasonings like wasabi paste and pickled ginger. Soy sauce is provided in a special dish, which should be held in the left hand in a hanging position. It is customary to start with rolls wrapped in nori sheets to maintain their crispness. Dip each piece completely into the sauce and consume it without biting;
- Sashimi and tempura. he sauce dish should be placed at chest level, and you should delicately dip the food pieces into it. Avoid using your hands to take food from the common plate; instead, use special long bamboo chopsticks for that purpose;
- Soups and ramen. Use chopsticks to eat solid ingredients and sip the broth directly from the bowl;
- Asian noodles. Rather than winding them like spaghetti on a fork, carefully grip the noodles with chopsticks and draw them in with a distinctive slurp, which is not considered impolite;
- Salads. Typically, salad ingredients are thinly sliced or shredded, allowing for easy gripping with chopsticks.
It is very important to know how to use sushi chopsticks according to tradition. There are several rules that must be followed:
- Use chopsticks only to pick up food.
- Take the piece you touched first.
- Do not blow on a hot piece or wave your chopsticks in an attempt to cool it down faster.
- Do not skewer food on sticks.
- Tap the chopsticks on the plate to align them, making sure to do so discreetly.
Now you know how to hold Chinese chopsticks. Quickly implement our recipes for cooking Asian dishes and start practicing!