How to Use Chopsticks

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How to Use Chopsticks

Don’t you just envy how the Chinese and Japanese pick up food using chopsticks expertly and flawlessly? If you feel out of place in an Oriental restaurant because you can’t use these eating utensils, have no worry; Here are simple steps on how to use chopsticks.

What You’ll Need:

  • A pair of chopsticks (if you’re a beginner, short wooden or bamboo ones are more preferable than ceramic, plastic or metal types)
  • Small rice bowl
  • Placemat (to clean up easily, in case you make a mess)


  1. Identify your dominant hand, or the hand you use often when you eat.
  2. using chopsticks

  3. Hold the first chopstick in your dominant hand. It must be placed in the crook between the thumb and index finger. Arrange it so that it rests at the thumb’s base, while your thumb must be 1/3 down from the chopstick’s broad end.
  4. Let the chopstick rest on your ring finger, at least 1/2 to 2/3 way down the chopstick. It should be stable, one end resting on the ring finger, while the other secured between the index finger and the thumb.
  5. Put the other chopstick in your hand, as if you’re holding a pen. It should be resting slightly at your thumb’s tip, held into place and supported by the middle finger.
  6. Move the top chopstick’s tip using your middle finger and index finger, in an up and down motion. The chopstick on the bottom must remain still, and as you move the one on the top, downwards, its tip must meet the tip of the one at the bottom. It’s as if you’re trying to pinch someone.
  7. Adjust your grip on the chopsticks, if the tips don’t meet. It’ll be hard for you to pick up anything, if the two tips aren’t even.
  8. Once you’ve got the hang of moving the chopstick, try picking up some food. Start with big chunks, like veggies, meat or dumplings. Once you can do this perfectly, move to smaller food items that are trickier to pick up, like grains and rice.
  9. You can use a small bowl, similar to what Asian people use when eating. You can lift it up with your other hand, so the distance the chopsticks travel to get to your mouth isn’t that far. You’ll avoid making a mess, too.
  10. Practice doing this, so you’ll get used to it more.

The next time you visit a Japanese, Korean or Chinese restaurant, show to your friends or family how good you are with chopsticks. They’ll be so impressed, they’ll beg for you to teach them how to do it!