Top & Best Hashi: How to choose the best model in 2020?
Hello, welcome to mypricesaving.com. Today we are going to talk about chopsticks, the “chopsticks” used to eat Japanese, Chinese and Korean food, popular here in Brazil.
Chopsticks can be disposable or reusable, made from different raw materials, have different sizes and shapes, and this variety of models has a reason: each one is suitable for certain Asian dishes.
In this article we will explain everything you need to know about chopsticks, how to handle them, what you should and shouldn’t do at the table, how to choose the ideal model and give some buying suggestions.
First, the most important
- Chopsticks can be made from different materials. There is the disposable model, made of wood, and the reusable models that can be made of bamboo, plastic, materials of metallic origin, ivory and lacquer.
- The chopsticks can have different sizes, between 13 and 36 cm in length. On average, men use 23 cm chopsticks, women 21 cm and children 13 cm.
- The shapes also change, the chopsticks can be thin, thick, rectangular and cylindrical. Each format of chopsticks is best for eating certain types of food.
You may also like:
- Santoku knife: How to choose the best one in 2020?
- Cutlery: How to make the best choice in 2020?
- Placemats: How to choose the best in 2020
Ranking: The 3 best Hashi models
In oriental culture, chopsticks are not just utensils used for food, but a cultural object. Because of the importance, there are correct ways to handle chopsticks and even some rules of what should and should not be done.
Although disposable wooden chopsticks are still very popular today in China and Korea, Japan has been adhering to reusable, personalized chopsticks. For this Ranking we have selected the best models of reusable chopsticks, check it out.
For admirers of oriental cuisine, chopsticks (the correct pronunciation is hash) is the highlight of the table. The cutlery has been linked to Asian customs since 2500 BC and its cultural importance is very great.
In this Buying Guide, you will learn much more than just choosing a chopstick, we will talk about the origin of the cutlery, tips on how to handle it, which format to choose according to the cuisine and which models exist.
What is a chopstick?
Chopsticks are the type of cutlery used in the East, in countries such as Japan, China, Korea and Vietnam. These “two sticks” serve to eat everything: rice, legumes, vegetables, all kinds of meat and even soups.
Although most people associate chopsticks with Japanese food, we must not forget that this type of cutlery is also used in China and Korea, and each one has its own characteristics, as they were developed for the typical dishes of each region.
What type of chopsticks are used in each country?
The Chinese chopsticks (Kuai Zi) can be made of bamboo, wood or plastic, have a square upper end and the lower end rounded. It is also longer (between 22 and 24 cm), because in China, the food is in the center of the table and the person needs to reach out to catch it.
The Korean chopsticks (Jeotgarak) is made of metal, as in Korea people eat a lot of barbecue, and wood or bamboo chopsticks not resist high temperatures (may burn) and take smell.
This type of chopstick is usually flat, so that it doesn’t slip off the plate easily. Korean chopsticks also usually come with a spoon, because in Korean cuisine, a lot of soup is consumed.
The Japanese chopsticks (Hashi or Ohashi) is made of wood, it is more pointed (to facilitate picking up raw fish and removing the thorns) and is smaller since in Japan, people consume individual portions.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a chopstick?
The interesting thing is that there are different types of chopsticks, specifically for each country’s cuisine. There are different formats, sizes and materials.
An advantage is that there are reusable models, that in addition to helping the planet with less discard, you have your own pair of chopsticks. And you can even take it with you to different restaurants. It is a very cheap item and, if taken care of, it can be quite durable.
As a disadvantage, some people may have difficulty handling them.
How to handle chopsticks?
Although it looks complicated, eating with chopsticks is quite simple. Follow the step by step, practice a little and soon you will know how to handle perfectly.
- The first step is to position the chopstick between the thumb and the index finger, using the ring finger for support.
- With these three fingers, hold the chopstick as if you are handling a ballpoint pen.
- With your thumb, squeeze the chopstick down while the ring finger pushes up.
- Move the chopstick with the middle and index fingers, opening and closing it always with the ends well aligned.
If you have a lot of difficulty, you can use the chopstick clip, which is made of flexible plastic or silicone and fits on your hands and ensures firm handling of the chopsticks, just fit your cavities in the ends of the chopsticks.
Rules of etiquette: What to do – and not to do – with chopsticks?
In addition to the correct way of handling chopsticks, there is a set of practices for using cutlery (mainly in Japan), which work as etiquette rules. You should never:
- Aim for food using chopsticks;
- Cross the chopstick;
- Take the food vertically, always horizontally (side);
- Stick the chopsticks in the food;
- Use chopsticks to cut the food.
Other etiquette tips are:
- Hold the chopstick closest to the bottom end, never in the middle or at the beginning;
- Keep the chopstick parallel between the people and the table containers, which are supported on a support, the hashioki;
- When you have finished eating, place the chopstick in front of you, resting on the hashioki and with the tip facing left.
What are the different types of chopsticks?
Nowadays it is possible to find a wide variety of materials, colors and sizes of chopsticks. Initially made of bamboo, you can find wooden chopsticks (ideal for beginners) that are disposable.
Disposable chopsticks: The use of disposable chopsticks (waribashi) is one of the strongest traditions in the East. Cutlery is made of wood and is considered more hygienic and efficient than chopsticks made of other materials.
The shape of the disposable chopstick is different in each country: in Japan it has the thinnest tip, in China it is longer and in Korea it is flatter.
The use of disposable chopsticks, however, has been questioned by the environmental impact it causes, and the use of reusable chopsticks has started to be encouraged, although this option is not widely accepted by the population.
In Japan, a new tradition is emerging: that each person has their own chopsticks, made of materials with greater durability and customized. But in South Korea and China, people don’t want to give up disposable chopsticks.
Personalized chopsticks: When having your own chopsticks was not yet a tradition in Japan, chopsticks could already be found in materials other than the disposable wood used in waribashi.
Examples of these materials are bamboo, plastic, acrylic, ivory (popular in Korea), materials of metallic origin such as iron, steel, metal and precious metals such as gold and silver.
Nowadays, personalized chopsticks can have different colors, sizes (from 13 to 36 cm), styles and paintings as symbols, drawings and Japanese messages.
The chopstick is a very cheap cutlery, you can find plastic options already with clip to facilitate handling for less than R $ 10. There are some options of sets with four or five pairs of bamboo chopsticks with values between R $ 20 and R $ 30.
If you want a chopstick with thematic decoration, you will find options of up to R $ 100. For those who want to buy disposable chopsticks in a larger volume, you can find bags with up to 100 pairs for R $ 15.
Where to buy?
You can buy chopsticks at oriental stores and supermarkets like Hirota Food. You can find some options in home goods stores, but you will find this product more easily on the internet.
If you are looking for a recommendation, we suggest Amazon, there you can find disposable chopsticks and personalized models of excellent quality, national and imported brands at low prices.
Did you know that chopsticks are estimated to have emerged in 2500 BC as a creation of the Chinese?
Initially, chopsticks were used as a support for grilling hot meats. But the habit of eating typical oriental dishes using chopsticks arose in the West, since the Japanese used to eat with their hands.
The samurai ate with silver chopsticks, because if there was poison in the food, the material would change color.
Purchasing criteria: Factors for comparing the different chopstick models
As you read this article, you could see that chopsticks are not all the same. For you to choose the ideal model, this last section of the Buying Guide is dedicated to explaining which features differentiate one model from the other:
We will explain each of the items so that you don’t have any doubts and choose a chopstick for you.
There are four types of chopsticks, they vary according to the format, size, materials and uses indicated:
- Waribashi : It is the disposable chopstick, made of wood. It is widely used in oriental food restaurants.
- Toribashi and Saibashi : These types of chopsticks are used to assemble sashimi dishes. They are slightly larger, about 35 cm and can be made of wood or stainless steel.
- Aguebashi : This chopstick has a metal tip. It is used in the kitchen to turn fruit.
Chopsticks can be made from different materials such as wood extracted from different types of trees and plants such as bamboo.
Some chopsticks are made from different types of metals such as iron, steel, titanium, copper, silver and even gold. There are versions made of animal bones like ivory, fragile materials like porcelain and glass and plastic chopsticks.
The most used are wooden (disposable), bamboo (easy to use) and plastic (easy to wash) chopsticks. If you are a beginner, give preference to chopsticks made of bamboo and wood, as they are more sticky.
Lacquer ones are very soft, both for handling and in contact with the mouth, however they should be avoided to eat slippery foods. Handmade chopsticks, which usually have an irregular texture and a square tip, are wild cards.
Ivory ones are the softest, but they are also more expensive. Glass ones are used only for serving food, as they are very fragile and break easily.
Those made of metallic materials such as steel, silver and titanium are rarely used, as the sensation in the mouth is not good and these materials are thermal, that is, they heat up a lot and cool too much, depending on the temperature of the food.
Chopsticks can be of different lengths, with a minimum of 13 cm and a maximum of 36 cm.
The chopsticks used for eating are, on average, 23 cm long for men, 21 cm for women and 13 cm for children and those used for cooking are 35 cm.
To find out the exact size your chopstick should be, make an “L” with your thumb and forefinger and measure the distance between them, then multiply that number by 1.5 and you will know how much your chopstick should measure.
You can also find chopsticks in different formats: thin, thick, cylindrical and rectangular. Each is called in a way:
- Skid tip : Square end with rounded angles. The advantage is that because of the shape, the food does not slip from the cutlery. The disadvantage is that the touch on the mouth is not smooth.
- Square tip : This chopstick shape is ideal for eating pasta, because with it, the food does not slip.
- Circular or oval tip : This type of chopstick is ideal for eating boiled fish. It is very easy to handle and the touch on the mouth is very soft, however the food slides easily.