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Keeping It Simple: A Talk with Martin Yan by Kris Man


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Chopsticks 101

     In Chinese, chopsticks are called fai jee, which means "quick little boys." The name may sound a little odd to you if you're someone who typically uses a single chopstick to spear a few shrimp, the quickly asked the waiter for a fork. But with a little practice, you'll find that chopsticks are surprisingly easy to use, and they're just right for plucking up the perfect mouthful of Chinese food.

     Start by placing one chopstick through the crook formed by your thumb and index finger; let the stick rest on the tip of your ring finger. Now inset the second stuck above the first one, and hold it the way you would hold a pencil. The idea is to hold the first stick still while you move the second stick up and down, bringing the tips of the two sticks together to pick up food.

     Remember, practice makes perfect. If at first you don't succeed, stick with it!

Chopstick Taboos

     Chinese food is somehow more satisfying when you master the art of eating with chopsticks -- maybe because they help you slow down and really enjoy the food. Here's what not to do with them: Pointing or playing with your chopsticks between mouthfuls is considered rude in polite company. Setting them down in a crossed position is said to bring bad luck. And sticking your sticks straight down into your rice bowl evokes ancient funeral rites - a downer at dinner!.




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