Chopsticks are one of the oldest and simplest utensils in the world. Although many Westerners consider chopsticks difficult to master; their extreme popularity in Asian countries for thousands of years says otherwise.

Origin of chopsticks

Despite being known as an eating utensil today, it is widely believed that chopsticks were originally used as a cooking utensil. The development of various cooking methods required the use of utensils to avoid injury. Chopsticks also allow for fine motor control while maintaining distance from the dish. For example, using this utensil a person can directly pick individual pieces of food out of hot pans or dishes instead of using a large spoon or spatula type utensil.

Uses in cooking

Chopsticks can serve many functions in the kitchen. Firstly, they can work as a whisk when cooking soups, or making eggs. Second, they can be used to carefully pick up foods. As they are much more delicate than a pair of tongs, they are also less likely to tear up delicate foods, like dumplings or gyoza. Finally, if you are preparing food for other people, they allow for fine motor movements without using your hands. For example garnishing a dish with finely chopped veggies or other edible decorations.


Chopsticks are very easy to clean, even if they have to hand washed. Depending on what material they are made out of, they could be thrown straight into the dishwasher. But even if they are made out of a less durable material, hand washing chopsticks isn’t difficult. There are no grooves or small holes for food to get into. So they just need to be quickly wiped down with soapy water and rinsed before being air dried.

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