Korean Chopsticks, Jeotgarak: Flat Metal Chopsticks
Korean chopsticks are different? Are you curious about the differences between Korean chopsticks and Chinese or Japanese chopsticks?

Korean Chopsticks, Jeotgarak: Flat Metal Chopsticks

Eating with chopsticks is a skill that takes some practice. But once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to eat like a pro! In Korea, there are specific ways of holding and using chopsticks that differ from the way they are used in other parts of the world. So if you're planning on visiting Korea, or just want to try out this unique way of eating, check out these tips for using chopsticks like a local!

Are you curious about the differences between Korean chopsticks and Chinese and Japanese chopsticks? Some definite distinctions set these apart from one another. Check out this post to see what makes them unique!




What are Korean chopsticks and what is their history?

Korean chopsticks are typically made of metal, and they have a slightly different shape from the more common wooden chopsticks. They are also usually longer than other chopsticks, which can make them a bit tricky to use at first.

The history of Korean chopsticks is interesting. It is believed that they were first used during the Three Kingdoms period, which was from 57 BCE to 668 CE. At that time, Korea was divided into three kingdoms: Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla. These kingdoms were constantly at war with each other, and food was often in short supply. So the people of these kingdoms began to eat with metal chopsticks, which could be reused over and over again.



How are Korean chopsticks different from other chopsticks?

As mentioned before, Korean chopsticks are usually made of metal and they have a slightly different shape from other chopsticks. It can make them a bit tricky to use. Korean chopsticks are longer than Japanese chopsticks and shorter than Chinese chopsticks.

difference of chopsticks from China, Korea and Japan

Are they difficult to learn how to use compared to traditional chopsticks from China or Japan?

No, Korean chopsticks are not difficult to learn how to use. However, it is important to note that they may take some time to get used to if you're not familiar with using metal chopsticks.

Because they are made of metal and heavy, young children begin to learn to use chopsticks with light plastic chopsticks. Furthermore, chopsticks with a supplementary device for learning how to use chopsticks were developed and marketed in Korea.



Why are Korean chopsticks made of metal?

One reason Korean chopsticks are made of metal is that they can be reused over and over again. In the past, when food was often in short supply, people would use metal chopsticks so that they didn't have to throw them away after each meal.

Another reason Korean chopsticks are made of metal is that it is believed to have certain health benefits. For example, it is thought that eating with metal chopsticks can help to improve your digestion.

It is said that the kings of Baekje used silver chopsticks to detect poison, and later dynasties used silver chopsticks for the same reason. So even the wealthy used metal spoons and chopsticks.

flat Korean chopsticks

Why are Korean chopsticks flat?

Korean chopsticks are flat because they are made of metal. This makes them different from other types of chopsticks, which are typically made of wood or bamboo. It has been developed in a form that can save the metal used in making it as much as possible. The flat shape of Korean chopsticks makes them easy to grip and prevents them from slipping out of your hand.



How do you use Korean chopsticks?

To use Korean chopsticks, start by holding the chopstick in your dominant hand. Then, place the chopstick in between your thumb and index finger. Next, use your index finger to hold the chopstick in place. Finally, use your middle finger and ring finger to grip the chopstick.



What are some common Korean dishes that you can eat with chopsticks?


Some common Korean dishes that you can eat with chopsticks include kimbap (rice and vegetables rolled in seaweed), japchae (stir-fried noodles), ramyeon(Korean instant ramen), and bulgogi (marinated beef).
In fact, with the exception of broth, all Korean food can be eaten with chopsticks. Of course, you have to be as good as Koreans with chopsticks. Koreans can pick up even a single grain of rice with chopsticks. The original etiquette is to eat rice and soup with a spoon, while the rest is eaten with chopsticks. There is no longer any distinction between them.



Korean chopsticks etiquette

When using Korean chopsticks, there are a few etiquette rules to follow. First, always use the chopsticks to pick up food from your own plate. It is considered rude to reach over and take food from someone else's plate. Second, when you're not using the chopsticks, place them on the side of your plate or in a chopstick rest. Third, don't stick the chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice - this is associated with death in Korean culture. And finally, don't wave the chopsticks around or play with them - this is considered to be bad manners.



Do they have any other names in addition to "Korean chopsticks?"

Korean chopsticks are also known as "jeotgarak(jeosgalag)." This word is made up of two Korean characters - "jeo" which means metal, and "garak," which means chopsticks. A set of Korean chopsticks and spoon is called as "Sujeo".



Koreans love chopsticks

Chopsticks are very important to Koreans. Skillful chopsticks are like a child growing into an adult. So, sometimes in Korea, people point out people who can't use chopsticks well. There is also a song lyrics that say that you can eat well even if you are not good at chopsticks.

Related to that, there are meme gifs that are famous even among K-pop fans. It's a meme where BTS' memebers eat cake and pizza with chopsticks. In fact, this is something you see a lot in real life in Korea. Koreans use chopsticks when eating pizza, hot dogs and cakes. They don't want to get their hands dirty, so they use chopsticks. Even Koreans are very good at spooning, so they take turns eating with a spoon and chopsticks in one hand.

bts chopsticks meme hotdog

BANGTANTV | YOUTUBE


bts jimin cake with chopsticks

BANGTANTV | YOUTUBE



Are you ready to try chopsticks?

Now that you know all about Korean chopsticks, you're ready to try them out for yourself! So next time you're in Korea, be sure to pick up a pair of metal chopsticks and give them a try. Who knows, you might just find that you prefer eating with Korean chopsticks to using any other type of chopstick!

If you have any questions about chopsticks, just ask us. Thank you for sharing your experience with chopsticks. You could leave a comment below.

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Shin Chang-geun

I love Korea, I love people who love Korea. I want to talk to people who love Korea, share their passion for Korea, and give them the information they need.

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