Joyce Chen Foods

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Chopsticks Used the Proper Way

When Joyce Chen published her cookbook, Joyce Chen Cooks in 1962, she wasn’t just thinking about recipes. She introduced U.S. diners to Chinese ingredients, seasonings, utensils, cooking methods, perfect rice, tea, bean sprouts, dipping sauces, and measurements. And, she was gave instructions for “Using Chopsticks the Proper Way.”

Joyce Chen’s Instructions for Using Chopsticks the Proper Way (page. 45 of 1962 edition, Joyce Chen Cooks)

  • “When you eat in a Chinese restaurant, you may use a fork and knife as eating tools. But I think a pair of chopsticks can definitely give you a better and prouder feeling.”
  • Use thumb, index, and middle fingers to hold it. The right place to put your fingers in roughly at the middle of the chopsticks. (For children, it is advisable to hold it a little lower.)
  • Just rest the upper half of the chopstick on the juncture of your thumb and index ringer, and lower the half on the end of the ring finger.
  • Together, they make a beautiful combination. Fix the lower one firmly and move the upper one freely as you wish. Your little finger is used to support the ring finger.
  • One thing that you should not forget it that the two ends of the chopsticks must be even, and not cross, Make them even by tapping the round ends on a plate or on your palm, which is un no sense bad manners.

… at first you may be clumsy and slow. Don’t be discouraged. Like any manual skill, it takes practice to manage well.”