Probably the most interesting and challenging cutlery to use, chopsticks can be very convenient once you've mastered the basics. As straightforward as they might look, there are quite a few decisions to be made when selecting the right chopsticks for your needs. But don't worry, as long as you stick to this article, you'll be able to choose the perfect pair!
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Chinese, Japanese and Korean chopsticks? Which ones are good for eating noodles, and what is the best pair of chopsticks for kids? Our buying guide is here to help! From elegant lacquered chopsticks, to beginner-friendly and eco-friendly options, we've ranked the top 10 chopsticks available to buy in the UK from Amazon, Japan Centre and eBay.
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Don't be fooled by how they look, chopsticks are more than just two wooden twigs! There are many considerations to take into account, if plan on purchasing the perfect pair or set for your household. From the different types, to materials used and kid-friendly options, you'll soon discover choosing chopsticks isn't as straightforward as you think!
Didi you know chopsticks come in three different styles? Their uses are identical, but they have some slight differences in the measurements and appearance. Let's take a look at each style, along with the cultural etiquette of using chopsticks in each country!
Kuài zi in Mandarin Chinese or Faai zi in Cantonese, Chinese chopsticks are typically longer and thicker. This is because food was traditionally served in the middle of the table, and chopsticks were considered the extension of one's finger.
With a length of 25 cm and circular blunt ends, one can easily pick up small foods like beans or rice. Chinese chopsticks may even be the best for eating noodles!
Remember chopsticks are utensils, so don't tap or spin them - drumming chopsticks on your plate is even associated with the act of begging. Also, never stick chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice as this resembles the incense sticks that are offered to pay respect to the dead in Chinese culture.
Known as Hashi or Otemoto in Japanese, these utensils usually measure between 16 - 24 cm in length, which is significantly shorter than Chinese chopsticks. This is because the Japanese have their meals presented in front of them, instead of sharing them as the Chinese do. With fish commonly served in the Japanese diet, the sharp and pointed end will allow for easier deboning.
Whilst the etiquette of chopsticks is similar to the Chinese, in Japan, it is considered taboo to pass food from one pair of chopsticks to another. This action is identical to the practice of passing the bones of the deceased during Japanese funeral rituals, which is why you should never do this in Japan or in front of your Japanese friends!
Korean chopsticks, or Jeotgarak, have two distinctive features: they are flat and are usually made from metal. Historically, the upper-class used silver chopsticks to prevent food poisoning, whilst the flat design prevents the chopsticks from sliding off the table. This means Korean chopsticks are also significantly heavier than other styles!
Modern Korean chopsticks are made from stainless steel and sometimes you'll be able to find round chopsticks instead. However, this type of chopstick is more difficult to use, not because of the flat shape, but because the material makes it harder to grip food.
Another feature of Korean cutlery is that both a spoon and chopsticks are used for a meal. Unlike the Chinese and Japanese who lift their rice bowls, in Korea, the rice bowl must stay at the table at all times. Meaning spoons are used for rice and soup, whereas chopsticks are used for the side dishes!
Children are never too young to start eating with chopsticks. Chopsticks are an excellent too to help promote hand-eye coordination, improve fine motor skills and more!
When buying for your child, it's important to choose chopsticks that are suitable for little ones. Kids chopsticks are usually much shorter, which will allow for easier grasping and control. Some kids chopsticks even come with removable silicone rings which give extra support and guidance.
If you're an adult learning how to use chopsticks for the first time, you may also find it helpful to practice with these tools until you're confident enough to use an adult pair!
Whether it's bamboo, stainless steel or even wheat straw, chopsticks can be made from a variety of materials, each with their own benefits. Check out these materials to help you decide which ones might be best for your household.
If you'd like your wooden or bamboo chopsticks to have an even longer life span, try lacquered chopsticks. The lacquered coating protects the wood or bamboo, making them more durable. Long exposure to water or heat will cause the coating to peel off, but with care, these chopsticks can last for quite a while.
Fibreglass is another common material used in chopsticks manufacturing as it is very durable and can withstand high temperatures. They are also less prone to staining and won't retain odours. Although, fibreglass chopsticks can can be slightly heavier than others.
Melamine chopsticks are scratch resistant and lightweight. These are often used with bento boxes and are a good choice for children learning to eat with chopsticks, as it's easier for their little hands to control.
If you're eager to use recyclable chopsticks or those made from eco-friendly materials, then you should try stainless steel or sustainable wheat straw chopsticks. Stainless steel is a highly durable and sterile material that's easy to wash. However, they are more slippery, which can be difficult for beginners to eat with.
You'll also be able to find chopsticks that are created by utilising the by-product of wheat production. The resultant material is called wheat straw, and it is just as strong and easy to use as most other materials - it's very affordable too!
Thanks to modern technology, cleaning up after meals can be made effortless using a dishwasher. By choosing dishwasher safe chopsticks, you can save yourself from having to wash them up separately. Just remember to avoid using high temperatures to wash your chopsticks if you want them to last longer.
Sadly, lacquered wood and bamboo options are only suitable for handwashing. That said, it should only take you a minute or two to wash even four pairs of chopsticks!
How disappointing it is to find out you're missing a pair of chopsticks, right before sitting down to a meal with your family. To avoid such tragedy, we always suggest buying a few extra pairs of chopsticks on top of the number of people in your household.
When buying sets online, always check how many pairs of chopsticks come included. If you live alone and seldom use chopsticks, we think one pair would be enough. However, if you're using them in a larger household for both meal prep and eating, we think five pairs are a good place to start.
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Multicolour Fibreglass Japanese Chopsticks
A Pair of Beautiful Chopsticks for Each Family Member
Eco-friendly Wheat Straw Chopsticks
Support Local Businesses With These Eco Friendly Chopsticks
Red Wooden Lacquered Chopsticks
Enjoy Eating Meals With Traditional Japanese Aesthetics
Training Chopsticks Set for Beginners
Suitable For Beginners of All Ages
Premium Chinese Dragon Chopcticks
Decorated With Exquisite Golden Dragon Carvings
Natural Wooden Japanese Chopsticks
Vibrant Ukiyo-E Prints on Your Utensils
Bamboo Chopsticks with Dragon Print
An Economical Choice for Families
Children's Bamboo Chopstick Set
Cute Animals to Accompany Your Kids During Meal Time
Silver Korean Chopsticks
Traditional Korean Chopsticks
Long Chinese Chopsticks for Hot Pot
Your New Favourite Tool for Deep Frying at Home
The pairs of chopsticks in this set each come in an individual colour, united by a uniform design. On the tips of every pair is a pattern that represents an element of Japanese culture, so you can designate a specific pair to each family member.
Made from fibreglass, these beautiful chopsticks will never bend or break and can even withstand high temperatures up to 180°C, meaning you can cook with these if you wish. And with a hexagonal design, anyone will be able to hold them comfortably. They're so good, you'll probably want to use them for every meal!
We love that these award-winning chopsticks are made from wheat straw, a by-product of wheat farming, by a small company based in Cardiff. Not only are they strong and easy to grip, but you can even pop them into the dishwasher!
They're an eco-friendly alternative that are biodegradable too. Most importantly, the company is a registered reforestation partner with the NGO OneTreePlanted, which means they'll plant a tree for every product they sell. What's better than supporting a local business, while making our home a better place to live?
Anyone will agree that this pair of chopsticks is in line with the definition of 'miyabi', a traditional Japanese aesthetic ideal. Glazed with bold red lacquer and paired with simple gold and silver stripes, you'll feel a sense of tranquillity by just looking at this pair.
We believe this pair of chopsticks will enhance the entire dining experience, even when eating the simplest of meals. Gift these elegant chopsticks to your loved ones, and we guarantee they'll treasure them.
Although they are aimed towards kids, we think any beginners, including adults, will be able to benefit from this set. You can learn at your own pace and master the art of holding chopsticks by gradually removing the silicone rings and the grip helper at the top. Once you're ready, you can even convert these helpful friends into normal chopsticks!
Many parents have stated just how much their children love these colourful cartoon chopsticks, and the joy they have brought to the dinner table. So why not give this set of chopsticks a go?
Demonstrating the beauty of 'less is more', these black chopsticks are made even more fashionable with subtle yet exquisite golden dragon carvings. This design also reflects the Chinese tradition whereby dragons symbolise great power, good luck and strength.
As soon as you receive this product, you'll know these delightful chopsticks are worth every penny! Visually pleasing and easy to use with an anti-slip design, these will surely please your guests alongside a deliciously prepared meal.
You'll instantly recognise that these are Japanese chopsticks, as they are adorned with vibrant ukiyo-e prints. Even beginners will soon become experts at eating with chopsticks, thanks to the grooves at the top of each pair. These provide additional assistance, so you won't experience as many failed attempts when learning how to pick that piece of sashimi up off the plate.
Presented in a handmade gift box, they make a wonderful present for family and friends. Just make sure to never wash these chopsticks at high temperatures to preserve the beautiful prints!
As our most economical choice, you'll be bringing home 10 pairs of chopsticks at a very reasonable price. You don't need to worry about the quality either, as many customers have expressed how durable these chopsticks are. With an appealing dragon print, these simple chopsticks are far from being boring and ordinary!
Even though bamboo is naturally moisture-resistant, remember not to soak these chopsticks as their shape will distort. Instead, wash them gently by hand and let them air dry.
We're sure any small child will be enthusiastic about learning to use chopsticks with these cute animal-themed utensils. Only 16.5 cm in length with ridged ends, your little ones will be able to firmly pick up and hold food like fried chicken or sushi with ease - after a bit of practice, of course!
These chopsticks are significantly shorter than normal ones, making them less suitable for adults to use and control. That said, if you want to save space in your lunch box, we don't see why you shouldn't include these adorable chopsticks?
These traditional Korean chopsticks will let you and your friends enjoy kimchi and japchae in the most authentic way! Flat in shape with a mirror-like polish, you'll soon be obsessed with this set of chopsticks. Plus, they're versatile enough to match any tableware or lunchbox.
As these chopsticks are made from stainless steel, they'll be more slippery than others, making it more difficult for you to grip your food. But if you're up for the challenge, it could be a good way to train the stability of your hands!
With a length of 38 cm, these chopsticks will be your new favourite cooking utensils as you'll be able to cook while keeping a safe distance away from the stove. We think these chopsticks are especially useful for deep-frying at home, as you'll easily be able to avoid boiling oil splashing onto your hand!
Note that these chopsticks are too long to be used for eating meals. However, if you enjoy having hotpot, or cook ramen regularly, this pair will be your new best friend.
If you're looking to upgrade your tableware collection, perhaps we can provide you with some inspiration? From the best dinnerware and cutlery to wine glasses, we've got you sorted!
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