Have you seen the new Karate Kid movie – the one with Jackie Chan? I don’t want to spoil it, but there’s a great spoof of the first movie where Mr. Miyagi catches a fly out of mid-air with his chopsticks. Yeah, I know you’re too sophisticated to watch Karate Kid, so rent it when no one is looking!
Our subject today is chopsticks or, as they are called in China, kuaizi (kwhy-zuh). The good news is, if you know how to hold a pencil properly, you’re halfway there. Here are the steps to mastering the art of eating with chopsticks.
The first chopstick is your “anchor” stick. Grasp it as if you were going to write with it.
Now adjust your anchor stick until it “locks” in place at the very tip of your ring finger. The two points of contact should be the crotch between your thumb and index, and the tip of your ring finger.
The second stick is your “scissor” stick. It does all the work while your anchor stick just sits there. Grasp your scissor stick with your thumb, index and middle fingers.
Practice picking up small objects by moving the scissor stick up and down.
You now have the basic idea, but because everyone’s hand is different you may have to experiment until you find the right combination. For example, many people use their middle finger to lock the anchor stick and their thumb and index for the scissor stick.
You will know you are a kuaizi master when you can eat shelled peanuts one at a time from a bowl set in the middle of the table!
Eating noodles is a cinch with chopsticks and eating rice with chopsticks is easier than you may think. Hold your rice bowl up to your mouth and kind of shovel it in!
Next lesson: How NOT to eat with chopsticks!