Thai Chopsticks – Do Thai People Eat With Chopsticks?

Thai Chopsticks – Do Thai People Eat With Chopsticks?

Even though Chinese first imported them and started using them, the chopsticks in Thailand nowadays are only common for certain dishes. They are used only for dishes that are Chinese or their origin comes from there. Such dishes mainly include noodles (because eating them with anything different than sticks is really hard!) such as rat na, pad thai, pad see ew and pad kee mao, although these can also be used with fork and spoon.

If they don`t eat with chopsticks in Thailand, what do they use?

In the past it was common for Thais to eat with their fingers and use utensils only for soups or curry. Nowadays, in parts of Thailand (the North especially in the Isaan region), rice is till eaten by hand. Because the rice is sticky it can be made consumed in the shape of a ball and it can be dipped in various dishes that the locals eat.

One pair of wooden unlacquered chopsticks

Since the early 19th century, the spoon and the fork are the primary eating utensils in Thailand after the royal family asked the commoners to start using them. The story that is being told about that is that one of the kings of the Chakri dynasty – either Rama II, Rama III or Rama IV – had a dinner in Bangkok with the consul from the Great British Empire and was fascinated by the use of the fork and spoon that the Brit had. That was enough for the king to spread the new news that these tools will be used for eating.

The fork should be held in the left hand and it should be used to push food to the spoon in the right hand, which is used for the actual eating. Knives are not needed at the table as the food is always chopped to small bite sizes during the cooking. That is what Thai people use when eating. A lot of westerners are surprised when they visit Thailand and they get served their food not with wooden chopsticks, but with a fork and spoon.

How do chopsticks in Thailand look like?

A typical meal for Thailand, pad thai, that is eaten with chopsticks

Thai chopsticks are relatively similar to Chinese style chopsticks in length and tip, however chopsticks from Thailand are typically made of wood without lacquer or paint finishes, are round in profile and have decorative carving or wood inlays. Handcrafted in Thailand our Thai chopsticks are made from a variety of woods.

There is no real distinctive feature of the Thai chopsticks. They follow the style of the Chinese chopsticks in terms of length (approximately 10 inches long) and shape (pointed blunt ends). The material used for their production is usually wood. The wooden sticks could also be carved with some decoration, but you will not see them lacquered, which is a difference compared to the chopsticks in Japan.