People have been using chopsticks for millennia, and these days Asian-inflected dishes are a common component of modern cuisine. So it’s high time you picked up a few pairs for your humble kitchen.
Originally invented in China around 1200 B.C., the first chopsticks were more twigs than utensil, and quickly became popular for their ability to reach deep into pots of boiling water or oil. The trend spread to the rest of the Asian continent, and now, they’re used the world over, favored by many Westerners because they encourage healthier, slower eating. That is, eating with chopsticks means you eat a smaller portion with each bite.
But not all chopsticks are the same. Chinese chopsticks are thick, with a blunt end, while Japanese chopsticks are slightly shorter and taper to a fine point. Korean chopsticks, on the other hand, are often made of metal and textured at the ends to ensure a strong grip. Your preference will vary depending on the qualities you value most. Regardless, here are four great options to choose from.
1. Zomchain Chinese Dragon and Phoenix Chopsticks
Zomchain’s chopsticks are truly gorgeous. They are Chinese chopsticks so they are longer, have a blunt end and are made of wood. What makes them stand out, though, is their design: a dragon is carved on the grip of one pair; a phoenix is chiseled on the other. The different designs have different wooden holders to match. Plus, they come in a similarly inspired gift box.
2. Cathylife Stainless Steel Chopsticks
The antithesis of disposable chopsticks, this set by Cathylife is built to last. Forged from durable stainless steel, each chopstick measures 9.8 inches and sports a striking laser-engraved pattern that ensures the stick will seldom slip from your grip. There is also more etching on the bottom of each stick to help you pick up food with minimal effort. Thanks to the square body, these chopsticks don’t roll on the hand and are a real pleasure to use. They’re also dishwasher safe and can be used for 10 years or even longer, according to the brand.
3. JapanBargain Bamboo Chopsticks
Chopstick rests are usually pretty simple in design—their primary purpose, after all, is just to keep the ends you’re eating off of from touching the table. JapanBargain’s set is the exception, as their set of five bamboo chopsticks comes with five colorful origami cranes to hold them. The chopsticks are noteworthy enough in their own right too—they’re made in the Japanese style, so they come to a finer point, and are nine inches long.
4. HuaLan Fiberglass Alloy Chopsticks
HuaLan’s five pairs of chopsticks are all made of fiberglass, which essentially makes them much more durable. It also means that, unlike many wooden chopsticks, they’re completely dishwasher safe, so cleaning up will be a much easier task. Even with all of these functional elements, the chopsticks don’t skimp on style, though: Each has a different, colorful design on its base.