Chopstick Etiquette 101

Thursday, June 29, 2006

So after witnessing way to much abhorrent behavior in chopstick etiquette, I can only say Ms. Manners would not just be rolling in her grave, she's prolly getting ready to rise her corpsey self up and smack you upside your damned head.

Seriously people, you don't scratch your oily face with your fork midway through the salad course, you don't use your knife as a hockey stick to pass the soy sauce, and you wouldn't do it with your chopsticks. It may be okay at home over take out with buddies and a rental of Tron (awesome movie, btw), but not at the restaurant. Therefore please utilize the following tips:

  • Do not hover your chopsticks over a dish, deciding what you want. Figure out what you want beforehand, then grab it.
  • Don't shave down your chopsticks for splinters. If you are being served chopsticks that have splinters, get the hell out of there. The food will probably infect the cuts you get from them. Good places won't give you wooden ones anyways.
  • Do not pass food from your chopsticks to another person's chopsticks. This resembles the passing of bones into an urn after one's death. It's bad juju.
  • Your chopsticks are not a a tool of murder. Do not try to use them to stab or saw your food. Your meal is not a scene from a Rob Zombie film.
  • Don't scratch yourself with your chopsticks. Just, ew... no.
  • Do not pass, push, pull, or generally move dishes or plates around with your chopsticks. Just put the chopsticks down and move it, or ask someone to pass it. Remember your "please" and "thank you."
  • Don't stick your chopsticks in the rice, sticking vertically out. This is the ultimate taboo. Only in offerings to the dead is this done with chopsticks and insence. Bad karma and bad juju.
  • Basically, your chopsticks should only be making a beeline from your plate to your mouth, and back again.
We cool? Good. Thanks for your time. Now go eat, chopstick, and be merry.

Special shout out to Celeste at Chopstick Cinema for assistance with this post!


  1. what about when I am done eatting?, should i put my sticks a certain way or when i have to leave and plan to return?? thanks


  2. aha, I'm so ashamed. I'm Korean & I do not absolutely follow rules 1, 2, 3, and 7. I've never even actually heard of the ones about bad luck ;_; My brother and I always get wooden chopsticks at restaurants...but the food is sure dang tasty. And he always stuffs his chopsticks up his nose (for a laugh anyways.)

    if you're wondering why I'm commenting on such an earlier post is because it's 1:30 AM in NY right now and I have nothing to do than rereading Vanilla Garlic (not meaning Vanilla Garlic is at the bottom of my list.) :D


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