Chopsticks are the dining utensils that you may have seen in place of knives, forks and spoons if you’ve ever eaten at an Asian restaurant or have been to Asia. However, using chopsticks comfortably might be a struggle for left-handed people since the standard chopstick grip was developed for right-handed persons. But don’t fear, left-handed persons can learn the chopstick grip with the appropriate technique and practice. Although they seem tricky to use, once you get the hang of them, you might find yourself reaching for them to eat practically any cuisine, including food featuring rice or noodles! If you’re left-handed and want to know how to use chopsticks left handed, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll walk you through the left-handed chopstick grip so you may enjoy your favorite Asian dishes with ease. However, it is pertinent to note that some cultures still don’t allow their left-handed children to eat using their left hand, so we’ll also cover whether it’s ok to use chopsticks in different countries. Finally, we’ll recommend which chopsticks to get if you’re still in the training phase.
Table of Contents
- 1 Is it OK to Use Chopsticks Left Handed in Japan, Korea, or China?
- 2 Understanding the Chopstick Grip
- 3 How to Eat With Chopsticks Left Handed: Step by Step
- 4 Left Handed Training Chopsticks
- 5 FAQs
- 6 Conclusion
Is it OK to Use Chopsticks Left Handed in Japan, Korea, or China?
Considering that only 10% of the population is left-handed, it doesn’t come as a surprise that most left-handed children have right-handed parents who train their kids according to what’s normal for them. For the most part, most reluctant Asians who are still living according to their old conventional ways consider eating with the left-hand bad manners, impolite, or plainly an awful sight to behold.
In Korea, even passing and receiving objects with the left hand is frowned upon, and so is eating with the left hand. In contrast, if you’re in China and are using chopsticks with your left hand while eating in a tight space with others, people might perceive you as a rude person because you might accidentally elbow a fellow diner to your left. Japan has comparatively stricter rules when it comes to correct chopstick etiquette, and there’s a long list of things you have to avoid.
The conventional methods still have several Asian households convinced that they need to force-train their children to learn to use chopsticks using their right hand. However, modern parents are abandoning such old ways and don’t force their left-handed children to learn how to use their chopsticks using their right hand.
Therefore, if you’re still in the training phase with the chopsticks, it’s not necessary that you do so using your right hand if you’re a lefty. Needless to say, you just need to ensure that your hands are thoroughly washed, even if you don’t intend to use your left hand.
Understanding the Chopstick Grip
Chopsticks are made of diverse materials such as bamboo, plastic, and metal, and their grip may also vary. The “pinch” grip, which uses your index finger and thumb to hold the upper chopstick, is the most frequent. This grip, however, can be awkward and uncomfortable for left-handed persons, especially those used to writing with an over or side hook grip.
How to Eat With Chopsticks Left Handed: Step by Step
Using chopsticks with your left hand is not all that different than using them with your right hand, but if the popular pinch grip doesn’t feel right to you, then follow the steps below instead. You have to follow the technique and practice rigorously in order to use chopsticks with your left hand reasonably quickly.
- Place one chopstick between your thumb and index finger, specifically where the two meet at the base. The broad end should point outwards.
- It would be best if you were holding it close to the upper end of the broad bit; this is typically where any print or etching on the chopstick ends.
- Make sure that your thumb is straight and not bent, as this will determine control of the chopstick.
- You can fold your fingers and rest the middle of the chopstick on either your middle finger or your ring finger, whichever feels the most comfortable to you.
- Move your hand while keeping your thumb straight and stiff to ensure this lower chopstick is not moving.
- Take the second chopstick and place it between your index finger and your thumb, similar to how you would hold a pencil.
- Bend your index finger slightly and place your thumb to almost touch where your index finger’s first joint is without bending the thumb.
- Ensure that the length of both chopsticks is equal and the narrow tips are even.
- Make sure you’re not using the tip of your thumb to hold the second chopstick.
- Open and close the chopsticks using your index finger while ensuring that your thumb is straight and stiff.
- Use this method several times with foods of varying sizes to perfect the movement.
Here are some tips to help you master the left-handed chopstick grip:
- To make it simpler to hold, use chopsticks with a rough surface or rubber tips.
- Use lightweight chopsticks to minimize fatigue and make control of the chopsticks simpler.
- Choose chopsticks with a broader base to provide greater support for your fingers.
Left Handed Training Chopsticks
Training chopsticks typically come with tiny rings for your fingers and toppers that hold the two chopsticks together at the broad end. The positions of the rings have been reversed for lefties. You can use these to practice using chopsticks at home before moving on to the real thing at Asian restaurants. While training chopsticks are designed to make the learning process easier, persistence and consistency are crucial for perfecting the proper technique.
The following training chopsticks for kids and adults who are left-handed are some of the best ones you’ll find to begin practicing at home:
The New Poroso Edison Training Chopsticks for the Left Hand are 7-inch training chopsticks designed for the young ones’ tiny hands. Made of plastic, which makes them ultra-lightweight, these chopsticks are available in a variety of colors to make the learning experience fun for children. The rings on these chopsticks have been specifically designed for left-handed kids and are designed for the thumb, index finger, and middle finger. Additionally, the embossed edges of these chopsticks make them non-slippery, which will prove beneficial for the young ones.
Moreover, the Poroso Edison Training Chopsticks for Left-handed Children 2nd Step is also available for those children who have perfected their form on the shortened left-handed chopsticks above. Made of plastic as well, these chopsticks only have two rings – for the thumb and the index finger. The connector is still there, so kids don’t have to worry about evening the ends or holding them together just yet.
The Edison Friends Training Chopsticks for Left Handed Adults have explicitly been designed for adult use and training. Although these chopsticks don’t have the rings that are featured in the two options designed for kids, they do have a top connector to hold the chopsticks in place. The rings are replaced by edges that act as guides, showing users exactly where to place their thumb and fingers.
Can left-handed people use chopsticks?
Yes, left-handed people can use chopsticks. With the right technique and practice, lefties can master the chopstick grip too.
What is the best way to hold chopsticks for left-handed people?
The best way for left-handed people to hold chopsticks is the left-handed chopstick grip, which involves holding one chopstick between the middle finger and thumb and the other between the index finger and middle finger.
Learning how to do anything right-handed becomes an enormous challenge when you’re a left-handed person. We hope this guide has helped motivate you to use your chopsticks using your dominant hand without feeling bad or ashamed about it. If you want to learn more tips and tricks for left-handers in this world dominated by righties, be sure to check out more of our info blogs here.