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 cutlery, because representatives of Asia attach great importance to the ritual of their use. For them, bamboo sticks are a national treasure.
Educational and traditional sushi chopsticks
Before learning how to hold role sticks, it is important to understand what they are. Most often, they are divided into two types: ordinary and educational.
- The length of ordinary sticks is about 20-25 cm. They can be square or round in cross-section. In the second case, the base is made square so that the sticks do not roll off the table.
- Babies in Asia are taught how to eat with chopsticks right from the first year of life, so the length of the chopsticks on which children and beginners practice is a little shorter – about 16 cm. They are fastened together at the top with an elastic clip that allows you to use them, like forceps or tweezers. In Europe and America, teaching sticks often differ from ordinary ones only in the presence of a flexible retainer.
How to properly hold chopsticks for rolls?
It is very important to understand how to hold sushi chopsticks, because this will simplify the meal and make it truly oriental. The basic rules are as follows:
- After you unwrap the sticks, you can rub them lightly between the palms of your hands to remove any remaining microfibres that have come off.
- Bend your arm slightly at the elbow and extend it slightly forward.
- Relax and slightly bend your fingers, except for the index and middle fingers – they should point forward.
- Place the upper part of one stick in the hollow between the index finger and the thumb, and the lower part on the upper phalanx of the ring finger.
- Squeeze the second stick with your index and ring fingers, as if you were holding a pinch of salt. Make sure that you are comfortable moving this stick, because the first stick must remain stationary.
- Relax the brush a little. Try gently tapping the sticks against each other.
- Make sure that the ends of the chopsticks are at the same level, otherwise the food may slide onto the table. To prevent this from happening, lightly tap the tips of the chopsticks 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. They are usually served on a wooden tray, on which traditional seasonings such as wasabi paste and pickled ginger are also laid out. Soy sauce is served in a special plate, which must be held in the left hand in a hanging position. It is worth starting the meal with rolls wrapped in nori sheets so that the seaweed does not lose its crunch. Dip each piece in the sauce completely and eat it without biting;
- Sashimi and tempura. The plate with the sauce should be at chest level, you need to carefully dip pieces of food into it. You cannot take food from the common plate with your hands – use special long bamboo sticks for this;
- Soups and ramen. With the help of chopsticks, solid ingredients are eaten, and liquids are drunk simply from a bowl;
- Asian noodles. It is not wound, like spaghetti, on a fork, but carefully grasped with chopsticks and drawn in with a characteristic slosh, which is not considered obscene;
- Salads. Usually, the ingredients for salads are cut into thin threads that are convenient to grab 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, you need to be invisible to others.
Now you know how to hold Chinese chopsticks. Quickly implement our recipes for cooking Asian dishes and start practicing!