While most people probably associate chopsticks as a necessity in eating food from Asia, one of these types of food actually don’t require them – sushi.  Sushi is a familiar food at this point, but many people will probably be happy to hear that it is ok to eat sushi without using chopsticks; in fact the first iteration of modern sushi was actually created as a fast food that could be eaten with one’s hands.

A normal sushi set that you will find in a sushi restaurant probably consists of a medium sized plate, small dish for soy sauce, and pair of chopsticks. Some additional items you might see are a chopsticks rest, small salad or rice bowl, and accompanying sake set. While you will always see the chopsticks with the set, keep in mind that eating with your hands isn’t necessarily considered poor manners.  However, with a little practice you will probably find that using chopsticks is pretty straightforward and the main block to using them is probably mental.

If you do plan on using them, a good basic way to start is by laying one stick on the part of your hand between your thumb and index finder, with the narrower end running towards the tip of your fingers. Rest the narrow end on the inside of your middle finger (the position of this chopstick can change with practice and depending on preference). For now this chopstick will remain stationary. Then pinch the second chopstick in between your thumb and index finger in a way that allows maneuverability of this top chopstick.  You can practice your new skill by picking up small objects – keep in mind that in addition to getting used to the new motion required by the chopsticks you will need to develop some new muscles in your hand.

It might take some practicing (probably will) but you will probably find that it’s not as difficult as you had imagined. In fact, it might end up being your Sushi Set Salvation instead of the one part of the set that you are worried about.  Either way, hopefully you will be enjoying some tasty sushi.

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