How To Use Chopsticks - In About A Minute 🍜

Why choose wikiHow?
wikiHow marks an article as reader approved once we have received enough feedback to know that most readers were able to successfully complete the task. In this case, we have also received several testimonials from our readers, who told us how this article truly helped them.

How to Eat with Chopsticks

Two Methods:

Chopsticks are a type of dining utensil typically used to eat East Asian cuisine. Though it may seem confusing or complicated at first, eating with chopsticks is fairly easy once you know how to hold and maneuver the sticks properly.


The Maneuvering

  1. Pick up the first chopstick and place it between your middle finger and the base of your thumb.This one is your anchor --it should not move.Stiffen your hand for a firm grip. Have the broad end of the chopstick lay in the crook of your hand, where your thumb and pointer finger connect. Rest the narrow end between the base of your thumb and the side of your index finger. It should be virtually immobile. It's similar to how you hold a pen, but a bit lower.
    • Some may prefer to hold the chopstick on the side of their ring finger, with the tip of their ring finger holding it in place. This frees the middle finger to hold the other chopstick more securely and provides that one with more control. It is a more formal approach.
  2. Grip the second chopstick with your index finger and thumb.This is the stick that moves. Place your thumb over the side of the second chopstick, so it rests above the first. Adjust your grip to a more comfortable position. Make sure the narrow tips of the chopsticks are even with each other to help prevent them from crossing or being unable to "pinch" the food.
    • To get them even, you can tap them on the table. Uneven chopsticks will be very difficult to use.
  3. Practice opening and closing the chopsticks.Make sure the broad ends of the chopsticks do not make an "X" as this will make it difficult to pick up food. Is only the top one moving? Great!
    • If it helps, move your hand up and down the chopsticks, but maintaining the same position, experimenting with levels of grip. Some find it easier to maneuver closer to the base, others further up.
  4. Start picking up food!Working from a 45° angle may be easiest right now. Once you have it steady, lift 'er up. If it feels unstable, put it down and try again.
    • Once you get good at one type of food, move onto different sizes and textures. When you start feeling really confident, practice with noodles!

Method 1 Quiz

When you pick up your first chopstick, where should the broad end lie?

Chopstick Etiquette

  1. Know the rules when sharing food.Often at Asian dining tables (whether at home or at a restaurant) means sharing large plates of food. It'snotproper to dive into the communal meal with chopsticks that have just been in your mouth! You have two options:
    • Use a public pair of serving chopsticks that never touch your own (or anybody else's) bowl of rice/food
    • Pick with the other (non-eating) end of your chopsticks. That's the broad end that hopefully, you're not chewing on!
  2. Know what to do with them when not eating.The rules of using chopsticks don't end once you have the food in your mouth, unfortunately. Each society has slightly different rules, but in general:
    • Don't stick your chopsticks upright in your food. It's looked at as a bad omen and is reminiscent of incense at funerals.
    • Don't spear your food with the ends of your chopsticks. If all else fails, it may seem like a good alternative, but it's viewed as impolite.
    • Don't pass food from chopstick to chopstick. Also funeral protocol and viewed as bad (or even ominous) table behavior.
    • Don't cross your chopsticks. If you're done eating, lay them to the side of your dish on the left.
    • Don't point at people with your chopsticks. Pointing, in general, is a no-no in Asian cultures and same goes with chopsticks.
      • This page would be far too long if all the rules were listed. These are the basics.
  3. When eating rice, be willing to dig in.If a bowl of rice is placed in front of you and all you have are two small bamboo rods, you may feel like you're up a creek without a paddle. But it's perfectly acceptable (normal, rather) to lift the bowl of rice close to your mouth and work from there. You won't look foolish, you'll look seasoned!
    • You may feel a little like the Beast during his dinner with Belle, but rest assured, this is how it's done. Don't shovel the rice into your mouth like a caveman, but do lift up the bowl near to you to prevent rice drippings from accumulating around your eating area.
      • Japan has slightly stricter rules regarding this. If you're in China or Vietnam, for example, you may be able to shovel away.

Method 2 Quiz

What should you do when taking food from a communal bowl?

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Can I use my middle finger to help me hold the second chopstick?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    This is a quotation from Method 1: "Some may prefer to hold the chopstick on the side of their ring finger, with the tip of their ring finger holding it in place. This frees the middle finger to hold the other chopstick more securely and provides that one with more control. It is a more formal approach."
  • Question
    Do Koreans have any cultural rules about eating with chopsticks?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Koreans will typically eat boiled rice with a spoon. In Korea, it is also considered bad behavior to hold a spoon and chopsticks together. Lastly, you should always wait until the elder starts eating before you start eating.
  • Question
    Which type of chopsticks are better to use: bamboo or metal?
    Community Answer
    Bamboo or wooden are the easiest chopsticks to use because of the gripping texture at the top.
  • Question
    Where can I get chopsticks?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can get them at the supermarket or a kitchen store. You can also get them from Chinese and Japanese restaurants.
  • Question
    How do I use chopsticks to eat noodles?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    This really depends on the type of noodles you are eating and on local etiquette. Japanese Ramen usually involves a lot of slurping. Mix in condiments with your chopsticks, pick up some noodles with the chopsticks (some people twist them slightly as they grip the noodles in order to prevent the noodles from sliding off) and slurp away! Eating ramen, it is completely okay (and expected!) to bring your face close to the bowl and slurp loudly. When you finish the noodles (assuming there is some broth left) you can ask for kaedama: a noodle refill which you mix into the left-over broth. Finish the broth with a spoon or drinking directly from the bowl.
  • Question
    Is it impolite to ask for a normal spoon or fork?
    sandy morat
    Community Answer
    No. You may use whatever utensil that makes you comfortable. It is impolite to hold chopsticks and a spoon or fork together.
  • Question
    Is it disrespectful to cross chopsticks like an "x" when holding them?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Not only is it disrespectful to cross your chopsticks in some areas, but it is also not practical. If your chopsticks cross while you hold them, then your technique is wrong and it will be next to impossible to pick up food.
  • Question
    Can I eat a riceball with chopsticks?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can, but it is not mandatory. A riceball is like a cookie, so you can just use your hands.
  • Question
    How should I eat with chop sticks if I'm left handed?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can follow the instructions, but use your left hand instead of your right hand.
  • Question
    Can I hold them farther down?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, but you typically want the butt end of the chopsticks to be about an inch and a half away from the skin between your thumb and index finger.
Unanswered Questions
  • What are the rules for using chopsticks in Taiwan?
  • Is it rude to break your chopsticks in half?
  • What are the rules for eating rice in Japan?
Ask a Question
200 characters left
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.

Quick Summary

To hold your chopsticks properly, lay the first chopstick between your middle finger and the base of your thumb, then grip the second chopstick between your index finger and thumb. If necessary, move your hand up and down the chopsticks until you find a comfortable position. When you’re ready to eat, place your chopsticks around a piece of food at a 45° angle. Then, move your index finger toward the palm of your hand to close the second chopstick and grip the food.

Did this summary help you?
  • While it may seem easier at first to hold the chopsticks near their tips, holding them further back means that they are closer to parallel, which helps to scoop food (like rice) from below. You'll also be able to pick up larger pieces of food.
  • Do not use chopsticks to stab food, as this is considered rude and an insult to the chef or cook who prepared the food.
  • Next time you're at a fancy Japanese restaurant, remember to avoid rubbing your chopsticks together. This is considered rude because it implies that the chopsticks are poor quality.
  • Floppy and sliced foods, like cold cuts or sliced cheeses, are good to practice on. They're more forgiving than cubed foods when you're learning to keep the chopsticks lined up and how much pressure to apply. You could also practice on bigger foods, like popcorn and marshmallows, before using chopsticks with trickier foods like rice and noodles.
  • Wood or bamboo chopsticks are the easiest to use because of the gripping texture at the tip. Plastic ones will be harder to use. Metal chopsticks, as favored by the Koreans, are the hardest of all. Master one, and move up to the next.
  • If you're given disposable chopsticks at a restaurant, consider taking them home with you to practice more there.
  • Apply a firm but gentle pressure on the food, just enough to keep the food from falling from the chopsticks. Too much pressure is more likely to cause your chopsticks to cross at the narrow ends unless they're perfectly aligned and could literally launch your food across the table.
  • Be patient as it takes a while to learn to use them correctly. It is perfectly permissible to ask for a fork or spoon if you get too frustrated.


  • Chinese etiquette says that you may lift your personal rice bowl close to your mouth with one hand, as you use the chopsticks to push the rice into your mouth. However, Korean etiquette says this is very bad form! Be aware of the people you are eating with, and what the customs are.
  • Do not hit the bowl or plate with your chopsticks. It was what beggars did in ancient China.
  • Do not pick your teeth with your chopsticks, even if there is no toothpick where you dine.
  • Avoid passing food with chopsticks. This resembles a section of the traditional Japanese funeral, where the family members pass bones using chopsticks. Instead, when passing food, place the food on an intermediary plate, preferably using a serving utensil or, if none is provided, turn your chopsticks around so the ends that have not been in your mouth touch the food, then give the plate to whomever.
  • Decide which food in the dish you want before putting your chopsticks in it. Picking at things in the dish is considered very impolite.

Things You'll Need

  • Chopsticks

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

Made Recently

Did you try these steps?
Upload a picture for other readers to see.
Upload error
Awesome picture! Tell us more about it?

Article Info


In other languages:

Italiano: , Español: , Português: , Deutsch: , Français: , Русский: , 中文: , Nederlands: , Čeština: , Bahasa Indonesia: , ไทย: , हिन्दी: , العربية: , 한국어: 

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,770,107 times.
Did this article help you?

About This Article

How helpful is this?
Views: 1,770,107

Rowen Chisholme

Jul 22, 2019

"Without detouring from your instruction - not even once in an attempt to see if there was another way to use them -I found myself using chopsticks. I have embarrassed myself on many occasions and in many social situations; this led to my feeling stupid,awkward and angry. Your instructions have put this to bed for me now. I am genuinely grateful for the confidence you have given me, which has inspired me to upgrade my current chopsticks. Thank you so much."
Rated this article:

Greg Gou

Jun 2, 2019

"I am Chinese, and I think your article useful, but I usually use the ring finger to make the first chopstickstable. The index, middle fingers and thumb help to manipulate the other one. "
Rated this article:


Nov 7, 2019

"I enjoyed how the editors not only described in detail how to use a pair of chopsticks, but they also addedetiquette techniques to help the reader respect other global cultures!"

Bella McKay

Nov 5, 2019

"I love this article because it is not just about how to use chopsticks but about etiquette. Thanks for taking thetime to explain cultural differences using chopsticks!"

Satoshi Kojima

Jun 28, 2019

"Fantastic instruction for chopstick beginners! Also useful for correcting bad habits in hand posture one may havedeveloped over time without realizing. Five stars."

Caitlin Lloyd

Jun 16, 2019

"I am going on a trip to a Chinese restaurant, that uses chopsticks. This really helped because I had no idea how tohold or use chopsticks, until now!"

F. Kia

Jul 30, 2019

"It's really helped me. I checked other websites but I couldn't really understand how to use it. Here I learnedreally quickly, thank you. :)"

Huang Guiqing

Jun 2, 2019

"Picking up food is seemingly a simple thing, but how many people can't finish it, including me. The course isuseful and I like it."
Rated this article:

Vishwanath Shanbhag

Oct 9, 2019

"Have been trying to master this for a long time but didn't know the exact grip. This article has cleared it for me.Thank you."
Rated this article:

Arccymae Wilburn

Aug 22, 2019

"The way to hold the chopsticks was explained very clearly. Rules are generally not included in posts explaining howto eat."


Jun 6, 2019

"l have always loved to use chopsticks, and now just practicing from wikiHow in my school library. Now I'm like anexpert. "
Rated this article:

Amu K.

Apr 19, 2019

"This is very well written. This article is hilarious, engaging, crisp and informative. This article is a greatwikiHow."


Sep 9, 2019

"The maneuvering provided with pictures and videos helped me to learn how to use chopsticks easily and fast. Thankyou."


Aug 1, 2019

"The multiple methods of holding chopsticks and the difference in traditions between China and Korea were helpful."


Sep 15, 2019

"It's a good thing to eat with chopsticks.Thank you for showing how to use chopsticks and thanks for the tips too."

Harold Van Brunt

Jul 1, 2019

"Great way to learn eating habits and foods of other cultures. Learned many things I did not know."
Rated this article:


Apr 13, 2019

"The article was written very well and was easy to understand, it really helped me!"

Mar Ben

Oct 22, 2019

"Reeducation on using chopsticks. I think I've been using incorrectly for years!"
Rated this article:

Junde Liu

May 29, 2019

"Thank you for helping a Chinese person learn haw to use chopsticks. "
Rated this article:


Mar 18, 2019

"I get how to hold the chopsticks. Now practice, practice, practice."
Rated this article:


Sep 22, 2019

"The precise and basic information was helpful, best for a learner."

Vincent Chen

May 29, 2019

"Taught me how to know how to teach anyone to use chopsticks. "

Shriniwas Apte

Dec 30, 2019

"The chopstick etiquette was very interesting, thanks a lot!"

Nakiya Luciano

Jun 30, 2019

"My boyfriend is Asian and I wanted to see how to use them."
Rated this article:

Jan Walker

May 31, 2019

"I'm now better-equipped to practice using chopsticks."
Rated this article:


Sep 22, 2019

"It really helps me. Now I know how to use chopsticks."

Osama A.

Jun 28, 2019

"It really helped me out! Thank you so much."
Rated this article:

Suenthely Henriette

Aug 5, 2019

"It told me how to eat with chopsticks."
Rated this article:

Abby Reid

Dec 7, 2019

"I found all of it helpful. Thank you!"

Amit Kumar

Apr 28, 2019

"GIF image helped me in a better way.

Video: How to Use Chopsticks

How to Eat with Chopsticks
How to Eat with Chopsticks images

2019 year
2019 year - How to Eat with Chopsticks pictures

How to Eat with Chopsticks forecast
How to Eat with Chopsticks recommendations photo

How to Eat with Chopsticks images
How to Eat with Chopsticks foto

How to Eat with Chopsticks How to Eat with Chopsticks new pics
How to Eat with Chopsticks new pictures

images How to Eat with Chopsticks
foto How to Eat with Chopsticks

Watch How to Eat with Chopsticks video
Watch How to Eat with Chopsticks video

Communication on this topic: How to Eat with Chopsticks, how-to-eat-with-chopsticks/
Communication on this topic: How to Eat with Chopsticks, how-to-eat-with-chopsticks/ , how-to-eat-with-chopsticks/

Related News

Time Saving Beauty Tips toFreshen UpYour Look and Help You Become Well-Groomed and Stylish
Rihannas lingerie show is threat to Victorias Secret
Chung Shi
How to remove tan with besan Fairness with besan
Nueve momentazos que nos dejaron los 2000
Thinking your problems are special ends up making you stuck
The Best Time To Book Flights If You Need To Travel Cheap
Snapchat, other apps with maps vandalized to label NYC Jewtropolis
How to Make Infusoria
Food Contest Sign Me Up
Creating a Healthy Adoption With an Older Child

Date: 06.12.2018, 15:18 / Views: 81451