Should You Eat Thai Food With Chopsticks
Chopsticks are not traditionally used to eat Thai food. However, the rice noodles are very slippery and tend to stick together which is why usually served with chopsticks. Chopsticks are avoided in Thai culture and are commonly eaten with hands, forks, and spoons. The Thais only use chopsticks to eat Chinese-style noodles in a bowl.
Thais generally do not use knives a lot when eating Thai, since most dishes are served as small pieces, thus there is little need for knives. Well, there is not a lot of need to do this in Thai cuisine since most dishes are served in bite-sized pieces with no need to slice. Most local restaurants serving Thai do not carry steak knives, so if you do find a big chunk of meat, such as in a steamed fish dish or barbecued chicken, you may use the edges of a spoon to slice your meal into smaller pieces. If you have to slice smaller pieces of food, cut it with the edge of the spoon, reaching with a fork only when needed.
If you want smaller pieces, hold your fork over your meat or vegetables, then use the spoon edge to cut. If you would like to chop up something, such as a juicy chunk of barbecued pork ribs that is just too large, you can use the fork to hold the food, with the spoon acting as the substitute cutter. The fork should be held in your left hand, which is used to propel your food toward the spoon in your right hand, which is used to actually eat. When you are eating Thai, you would either have a spoon in the right hand and the fork in the left hand (or you would have a spoon in the dominant hand and a fork in the other).
If you want to eat like a Thai, you will use a spoon as the primary tool, with the fork being the second-most important tool, used to serve rice dishes. Each shared dish should have its own serving spoon, so that you will not need to use the spoon that you are eating from. Some restaurants, or some families, will even use a tablespoon as the serving spoon for the shared dishes at a dinner party. Typically, a spoon is used to pick food off the plate or bowl and put it in your mouth, and a fork is used to help direct food to the spoon.
The chopsticks are used to pick up noodles, then the noodles are placed onto a spoon of the soup, which is placed into the mouth. If you are unfamiliar with using chopsticks for eating noodles, then asking for a spoon and a fork is fine. However, chopsticks really do have a place in the noodles department (have you ever tried eating noodles with a spoon?). Chopsticks are called Takiap in Thai, and are generally used for noodle dishes, Chinese food, or Japanese foods only.
Although Chinese people imported and started using chopsticks first, nowadays, chopsticks are common only in some dishes. Thais actually do use chopsticks sometimes; usually, they are used for dishes with Chinese inspiration, or for vendors at the street. Even if you do prefer chopsticks, and you would like to demonstrate you are adept at using them politely, Thais do not use them with rice-based dishes. That is why all Thais are adept at using chopsticks, even though they are not a common cutlery choice in Thailand.
Well, the Thais eat Chinese food with chopsticks, while the common choice of utensils is either spoon and fork, or that old standby, your fingers. I have to say, however, given several years living in Thailand, that I much prefer the fork and spoon for every dish that I have eaten that does not involve cutting.
With most Chinese and other Asian dishes, where the norm is the chopstick, food is typically chopped up in bite-sized pieces and served over rice or noodles. Curry, roast duck, and dried fish are examples of dishes you will not be eating on chopsticks in a Thai restaurant. Dishes you would normally eat with chopsticks are Kauai-Tiao, Khao Son, and other noodle soup dishes. Most homes in Thailand will certainly have a pair of chopsticks, but the chopsticks that are readily available throughout Thailand are not the main tools used for eating Thai.
While Thailand is located in very close proximity to much of China, the food of that country is generally not eaten using chopsticks. If you are traveling through Thailand and staying at tourist hotspots, you will find a large amount of Western food served with knives and forks, while Thai food is served with spoons.
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Many Westerners are surprised when visiting Thailand that they are served their food with forks instead of wooden chopsticks. Not a lot of people realize that Thai dishes come with extra spices, which are not necessarily meant to be eaten (unless you choose to). While a lot of places in the U.S. and elsewhere serve dishes individually served on plates, and families are generally smaller, Thai meals are typically served to large groups. When your meal arrives, put small amounts, no more than two tablespoons, of several dishes, along with a little sauce, onto the rice.
Then, using your individual fork, press one piece of rice and one piece of the side dishes together on the individual spoon. You will be given one plate or bowl of white rice, and maybe one more bowl for whatever soup is being served.
You will either eat straight off of your chopsticks, or you will put small amounts of noodles, meat, vegetables, and broth into your spoon for eating. If you took one of these pieces of pork from the picture above, and decided that all you wanted was half, you just held it with the fork, then used your spoon to tear it into two pieces. Do not stab pieces of food to eat with chopsticks–it is a grossly rude gesture, and you could as well just use your fork if you are doing that.
Because chopsticks are blunt, it can be tempting to use them to pierce food, especially if you are having some trouble. When using chopsticks, keep them held about halfway up the stick, which will make your chopsticks longer and look a bit classier. If you are really using chopsticks to eat anything, restaurateur Apsorn Gumnurdmanee recommends sticking to Chinese rules that say never stand chopsticks straight up in a bowl.
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This eating style makes using chopsticks extremely unworkable and unconventional, as you are usually holding all the ingredients in one hand. The rolling motion is fundamental to properly eating Thai and is clearly very hard to accomplish with chopsticks. The frequent use of sticky rice, and chopsticks lack of function when manipulating that rice, is another reason why chopsticks are not used frequently. Spoons and forks are quite handy, and they can be used for eating most types of Thai foods, from rice, stir-fry, soup, curry, or som-tam salad.
Why do Thai people eat with a spoon and fork?
Typically, the fork is used to help direct the food onto the spoon while the spoon scoops the food up off the plate or bowl and into your mouth. Eating most meals this way makes sense because a spoon makes it much simpler to collect your rice than a fork or chopsticks.
Do You Eat Thai Food with Hands?
A sticky rice dish (Khao niaw) is typically eaten with the hands of Thais. Rice usually comes with grilled or fried meat, which they eat with rice. In addition, there are some dishes with chili-based sauces (nam phrik) that include raw vegetables that have been picked by hand and then mixed with the sauce.
Is It Disrespectful to use Chopsticks the wrong way?
You should never hold your spoon in the same hand as your chopsticks – although it seems impossible, it is impolite. Pushing food into your mouth with chopsticks is perfectly acceptable in China. However, Koreans and Japanese do not do this. In their opinion it is rude.