Don't look like a dummy the next time you go out for Asian food with friends.
If you've ever been "that person" who asks for a fork at an Asian restaurant despite the fact that chopsticks are already set out and every other patron is wielding them with skill, then you know the shame that results from the request. After all, they're just two little sticks, and even children can use them!
You're missing out if you're declining invitations to new sushi restaurants or dim sum cafeterias just because you can't use chopsticks, so and teach yourself how to maneuver these ancient tools.
Beginners may have better luck using disposable wooden chopsticks, like the kind that most take-out places offer. They're lighter than plastic or lacquered varieties, and the rough texture of the wood can be easier to grip.
Start by holding one chopstick near your first thumb joint, resting it in the little nook where your thumb meets your hand. Then hold the second chopstick like you would a pencil, between your forefinger and middle finger.
Now practice holding the bottom chopstick still while you control the top one with your more agile digits – this is key, because moving them both all willy-nilly doesn't work out so well. After a while, you should find it pretty easy to pick up most types of food with chopsticks, with sushi and solid chunks of meat being the easiest.
When all else fails, you can simply stab food with your chopstick. Just don't do this in front of anyone you want to impress.
Practice makes perfect
It's best to hone your skills at home rather than at a fancy restaurant, to avoid embarrassing yourself. Trust us, nothing draws glares from strangers quite like fumbling around at the dinner table, especially if flying food and chopsticks are involved. You might even put someone's eye out, and that's just bad table manners.
Try making some Japanese-inspired creations, like these Seafood Sushi Wraps
or Spicy Salmon Star Wraps
to practice at home. If you want to challenge yourself a little more, whip up a batch of Sticky Rice