Pointed Chopsticks

"Nasubi Donburi" Cedar Park, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/25 sec, ISO3200
“Nasubi Donburi” Cedar Park, 2016

こんばんは!How are you today?

Tonight, Mariko prepared another out-of-this-world dinner: spicy miso-flavored eggplant 🍆 and pork 🐷 stir-fried and served over rice 🍚. As you might expect, it was so yummy. 😀

Can you see the chopsticks in the photo? These are Japanese-style chopsticks, or “hashi”. They differ from Chinese-style or Korean-style in the shape and material. Japanese-style usually come to a point, while Chinese-style are longer, and stay thicker and have a blunt end. Korean-style, I am not familiar with, but I’ve used stainless-steel chopsticks, which are kind of flat, but come to a pointed end.

The disposable, wooden chopsticks are ironically kind of the opposite. Japanese-style are generally squarish, and the Chinese-style come to more of a point, though still blunt. Oh, and natives usually don’t rub wooden chopsticks to remove splinters. I think it’s because people who have good chopstick skills, are more precise at handling the food, particularly releasing the food in their mouths.. You don’t really slide chopsticks against your lips, or poke the food deeply or stab straight on, so splinters never really have a chance to come into play.

In our house, we only have Japanese-style (since Mariko is Japanese!) but when I was growing up, we had both Japanese and Chinese-style chopsticks in the kitchen drawer. It makes sense since we have both bloods running through our veins! 🇯🇵 🇨🇳

I never really gave it too much thought before, but the other day, Koa and I were eating at a new ramen 🍜 restaurant, and since ramen is Japanese (actually a Japanese soup dish that uses Chinese-style noodles) I am used to eating it with Japanese-style chopsticks. When we were given Chinese-style chopsticks to eat with, I immediately noticed that they didn’t feel right for ramen. I already knew the restaurant was not Japanese, but the chopsticks were a dead give-away. (The ramen wasn’t bad, but didn’t taste authentic, with the char siu being a sweeter Chinese-style taste, and baby bok choy greens added)

Anyways, there’s a little chopsticks trivia for ya!


– B Barron Fujimoto

Share your thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.