The Best Chopsticks

The Best Chopsticks

Are you a fan of Asian cuisine? If so, you are probably using a chopstick set (or at least you want to do so)!

Whether you want to know more about the differences in the sticks coming from  China, Japan and Korea or you find it more important what material they are made of – metal, bamboo or plastic – we got you covered! Here you will find the best chopsticks currently for sale online.

What do you need to know before you buy chopsticks?

the best way to use chopsticksChopsticks are kitchen and eating utensils used to pick up pieces of food. First invented by the Chinese during the Zhou Dynasty, they have spread in all East Asian countries and nowadays there are used across the globe by people from all countries, which want to enjoy some delicious Asian food with them.

There is no single set that has been accepted as the best chopsticks out there, but there are plenty of options to choose from. Their prices, authenticity, quality and purpose vary, but we will explain to you everything in details. First, let us show you why it matters which country your sticks come from!

Authentic chopsticks by country of origin

Chopsticks are used in many parts of the world. While principles of how they look like a kind of similar, there are some differences from region to region.

Japan

The Japanese chopsticks that are 12 to 16 inches and called “ryoribashi” are used as cooking chopsticks for deep frying foods and stirring noddles, among other kitchen tasks. The ones that are 9 inches long are the real chopsticks that are used for eating. It is common for Japanese sticks to be shorter for women and children. Usually, the chopsticks in Japan have circumferential grooves at the eating end that makes food stop slipping.

By tradition, chopstick sets from Japan are made of wood or bamboo. They are also usually lacquered for decoration and waterproofing purposes. Other production materials include plastic, bone, metal, ivory, jade or porcelain. For the people that prefer luxury, these metal chopstick are considered the perfect gift. And for those in search of only the finest chopsticks available, these handmade sterling silver chopsticks are exquisite in every way.

Korea

shining steel sticks for eatingKorean chopsticks of medium-length with a small, flat rectangular shape are paired with a spoon made of the same material. The set is called sujeo and is used in traditional eating. They are usually made out of flat rust-proof stainless steel and come really handy for hot pot and daily meal use.

Many chopsticks from Korea are ornately decorated at the grip. In the past, materials for sujeo varied with social class – one could find sets made of gold, silver, cloisonné and so on, but common people used wooden sujeo. Nowadays, sujeo is usually made of stainless steel. Most Koreans use the chopsticks for side dishes and the spoon for rice and soup.

China

Chinese chopsticks are traditionally 11 inches long and lightweight. They are non-slippery and easy to hold any Chinese food, salad, hot pot, other East Asian cuisines, sushi, noodle soup, BBQ, Pho etc. Sticks made in China have gained a great reputation and are sold all over the world becoming one of the signs on the Chinese world heritage.

In the traditional culture of China, authentic chopsticks are primary tableware and they also reflect of manners and education of the people using them. With squared or rounded sides and ending in either wide, blunt, flat tips or tapered pointed tips. Blunt tips are more common with plastic or melamine varieties whereas pointed tips are more common in wood and bamboo varieties.

Vietnam

Vietnamese chopsticks are used as often as a fork, knife and spoon are. There is a great mixture of Western style and East Asian dishes and some of them such as rice or noodles are eaten with sticks, which are similar to the ones originating from China.

Thailand

Thai chopsticks are actually only used for noodles or other dishes with Chinese origin. That is why the chopsticks look a lot like the typical Chinese ones – rather long, simplistic and wooden. However, Thai people use a combination of spoon and fork for most of their dishes and Westerners sometimes get surprised when served with these in a restaurant and not with sticks.

The different types of chopsticks by material used

There are plenty of materials used when making different chopstick types. Price, quality, culture and intention of the purchase (whether it is a gift or not, whether it is a luxurious collectors item or just a standard set for eating). The most common materials are metal, plastic or wood, but let`s dive in each of there in more details.

Metal

The metal chopsticks are usually rugged, square hollow, and have a non-slip texture with a chopsticks tip that makes it easier to pick up food. They range between 9 and 10 inches.

Because metals are easily cleaned, these sticks are environmentally friendly and could be cleaned in a dishwasher. They are corrosion resistant to various acids found in meats, milk, fruits and vegetables. Most importantly though, stainless steel, which is the most commonly used metal, has no chemicals that could get into your food.

Silver

Lightweight and heat insulated, the silver chopsticks are actually made of stainless steel but have a silver finishing which makes them look more elegant. They are also eco-friendly and durable and have a polished texture with smooth touch feeling. If you would like to have real silver chopsticks (as with the precious metal silver), be prepared to pay a substantial fee as they are not produced in a great quality and the price of silver is quite higher compared to stainless steel.

Wooden

Sticks made out of wood, which are photographer on a piece of timberThe wooden chopsticks are usually made of hardwood such as boxwood, chestnut wood, ebonywood, and either ironwood or padauk wood and they are much more durable than bamboo. Hardwood has no splinter and it is lightweight, durable and dense, it won’t swell or absorb water. Hand wash recommended.

Very handy when you have sushi, noodles, BBQ or any type of Asian cuisine, wooden chopstick sets are ideal for any Asian-style dinner party and Sushi night. Some of them are varnished with natural lacquer from lacquer tree.

The thermal conductivity of wooden chopsticks is considerably lower than that of metal chopsticks so using wooden chopsticks is preferable when having hot meals like noodle soup.

Plastic

Plastic chopsticks are probably the most widespread reusable chopsticks for sale on the market. There is a great variety of these in the different price segments.

The chopsticks made of plastic should be break resistant and durable. The material is dishwasher safe and will not melt or chip away easily. However please be careful with that when using plastic chopsticks from the lower price segment as they might have issues.

Recently plastic has been used to create merchandise such as Star Wars themed lightsaber chopsticks.

Bamboo

The disposable chopsticks are usually made from natural bamboo inside their own paper sleeve. The sticks are 8 to 9 inches long and as a one-time use product, this product helps to reduce the time it takes to clean up after meals. Smaller package quantities are perfect for enjoying take-out or home-cooked meals. A full case of 1000 pairs is ideal for large events, caterers, restaurants, and more!

The bamboo chopsticks are biodegradable and they can be thrown out with the regular food rubbish. Bamboo products are considered better for the environment than wood. Bamboo is a grass and does not need to be replanted after each harvest. It also has greater tensile strength than wood and is less likely to splinter and leave uncomfortable shreds in the mouth.

Others

Chopstick sets can be made of plenty of materials. Some of the not so common include:

  • The jade in the Jade chopsticks could be mined anywhere, but then they are hand carved in China. Every piece of jade is different, each carving will have small variations, but will be of the same quality for a specific product line. They are relatively expensive and are a great gift and collector’s item.
  • Usually produced in Jingdezhen (the capital of porcelain in China), porcelain chopsticks are common for a gift set that includes one or two beautiful white pairs with blue or red pictures. They come with porcelain rests as well and although they could be used as standard chopstick set, they are better stored by hobby collectors.

Training chopsticks for kids and adults

a white plate with food and a pair of chopsticks for childrenAre you tired of being the only person on the table with the fork? Do you love sushi, but can’t handle the chopsticks? Or would you like to see your child eat Asian food like a pro?

Then there are plenty of easy-to-use chopsticks available online that are suitable for you. By learning to use them, you can create a cultural dining experience that the whole family could enjoy. From kids to adults, everyone can have great fun eating with а set of learning chopsticks.

Kids chopsticks

Every parent would be proud of seeing its child handle Asian food like a local. That is why there are a few brands that offer children`s chopsticks for training purposes. They might look like a toy, but in reality, they are the perfect instrument for learning how to eat with chopsticks for all levels of users.

Little hands can easily control them while developing fine motor skills, which makes the whole process look like a child game. It is easy and fun and depending on the brand and model, the training chopsticks can be used with left and right hand. Usually, the tips of the sticks are scored, which makes picking up the food easier. That is a great advantage for kids that use chopsticks for beginners.

Learning chopsticks for adults

Although mostly used by kids, there are lots of training chopsticks on the market that adults can also choose from. The beginners who want to take food using chopsticks with no difficulty will be pleasantly surprised that they can learn how to use them very fast with a pair of the right ones. Once you are confident in using the training ones, you can always switch to regular ones and impress your friends and family.

In order to enjoy your favourite Asian meal in style, get yourself the right chopsticks and start practising. Fans of the Korean, Chinese or Japanese cuisine will add an element of fun to the dining experience. If you have already mastered using them, they are also a great gift idea for anyone that wants to learn the chopsticks technique!

Custom chopsticks sets

a hand reaching with a set of chopsticks for some foodThere are custom chopsticks set for sale that are very stylish and practical. People who prepare for weddings or other special occasions might find these the personalized and unique gift depending on the interests of the recipient. The sticks usually come along with one rest and they are placed in a carry case for a graceful and outstanding presentation.

The handle area of the personalized chopsticks can be engraved with laser and painted with custom names, initials, dates, messages or even logos sometimes. The sellers usually contact the buyers via email to get the specific personalized engraving request.

If you really want to make high-end luxurious gifts, few companies on the market offer designer chopsticks, which are associated with a higher price. However, the visual appeal is a lot more attractive and such gifts are really well received especially by Asian people.