Unless you are some sort of hyper-organised Kondo type, it is likely your kitchen has a "junk drawer" and, among the tomato sauce packets, that there are a few pairs of chopsticks in there. It's time to fish them out, friends, for chopsticks are an infinitely useful kitchen tool that can be used in almost every stage of making a meal.
Photo by Jessica Spengler.
Chopsticks are the utensil of choice when eating Asian dishes, but they can do a whole lot more than just pick up noodles. Check out these ten other reasons to keep a pair or two of chopsticks around.
Basically, chopsticks are smaller, more precise tongs, but their uses go beyond grabbing bits of food. (As such, I always hoard any extras that come with my takeaway.) Some of my favourite uses for chopsticks include:
- Scrambling eggs: I'm a big fan of custardy eggs with super small curds, and plain, wooden chopsticks help you achieve this without scratching your nonstick pan.
- Cooking rice: Using just a chopstick, you can determine the exact amount of water you need to add to your pot of rice to make sure it comes out perfectly every time. (A.A. Newton can walk you through the process here.)
- Frying: When deep frying, little bits of food falling to the bottom of the pan is somewhat inevitable, but they can be saved from their charred fate with the humble chopstick. (If getting your hands that close to oil makes you skittish, consider grabbing an extra-long pair.)
- Plating: Owning a pair of plating tweezers is just a bit much, but artfully plating your food can actually make it taste better, and chopsticks allow you to place your culinary feats just so.
- Checking in: Fishing out a single noodle or chunk of potato to test for done-ness is more easily achieved with a couple of nimble chopsticks than with a pair of large tongs.
- Keeping clean: My fingers are short, chubby, and prone to getting sticky when exposed to food. As such, chopsticks are my preferred method for fishing tiny pickles and olives out of jars, tossing salads, and even eating cheesy snacks.
Beyond all of these somewhat specialised uses, they're also great food flippers. They also make pretty good skewers, and who doesn't love eating things off sticks? What are some of your favourite ways to use chopsticks in the kitchen?