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Chopstick Etiquette by the King of Chinese cooking, Ken Hom

How to use chopsticks – with a few tricks for children

Posted: 8 January 2016

Ken Hom demonstrates the art of chopsticks

Okay, so we know that learning to use a knife and fork properly can be sufficiently challenging for a young child, but there's something rather exciting – not to mention – authentic about using chopsticks, so give it a try!

Here's a some tips for the dextrous and more patient among us

1. Hold one chopstick in the index finger, cradle the chopstick in between the index finger and thumb.

2. Place the second chopstick between the index finger and the second finger.

3.Make sure the two chopsticks are parallel, then keep the lower chopstick steady and move the top one to pick up food.Hold the chopsticks as high as possible. This will give you more leverage

4. Never place chopsticks sticking up in a bowl of rice. This is bad luck and only done at funerals.

5. Never lick your chopsticks. It's bad manners!

6. Remember, practice makes perfect. Try picking up peanuts with chopsticks for practice. Once you have mastered this, you will be perfect with chopsticks.

Here's some tips for the more youthful and cackhanded among us

1. Invest in a pair of children's chopsticks will definitely make the job easier. We love the Children's Chopsticks from The Asian Cookshop  which are shorter, and easier to handle, 65p each; the funky Chopstick Kids £4.99, from Clickshop, which you attach to the tops of traditional chopsticks, or the Eddingtons Chopstick Buddy, £4.99, from Amazon. Holdstick are attached at the top, like a tong, so are easier for all ages – £4.99 from Amazon.

2. Take a tip from your favourite child-friendly Chinese restaurant, and use the rubber band trick! Wrap an elastic band tightly around the non-eating ends. Take a small strip of paper, fold it up small, then wedge it in between the chopsticks up near the rubber band to make a 'tong' effect so your child can just squeeze the chopsticks together to grab their food.

For more tips and recipes on hosting your own Chinese New Year celebration, visit


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Chinese New Year, Ken Hom, chinese, cooking, cook, food, children, family, family dining, chopsticks, how to use chopsticks

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