All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Saibashi, moritsukebashi, toribashi / cooking, plating, and serving chopsticks

Once you master the technique of maneuvering chopsticks, they become like a second set of fingers when cooking and serving.
Saibashi cooking chopsticks

Cooking chopsticks are longer and sometimes thicker than those used for eating (regular chopsticks are 22-24 cm long). Many are made of bamboo. Wooden and metal ones are also available.

The long pair (35cm) at the top is made of bamboo. I mainly use them for deep-frying, as their length allows me the distance to avoid spattering hot oil as well as the heat. They also are handy when I need to get a container from a high shelf.

The next three pairs (28 cm) are made of wood and coated with urushi lacquer (fukiurushi, where lacquer is allowed to penetrate the wood for extra durability). One stick finally chipped a few years ago, but I still cannot bring myself to throw it away. These are indispensable in my kitchen.

Moritsukebashi plating chopsticks

Moritsukebashi are technically a type of saibashi, but these chopsticks are especially for plating and arranging food to serve at the table. The bottom pair (28 cm) in the top photo is an example of bamboo moritsukebashi.

Wider ends with with a flat surface are useful to pick up or hold soft items. 
The fine tips enable you to precisely place cooked items or garnish. They provide full control over thinly sliced green onions or small beans, and larger pieces too.

I normally take care of plating with my regular cooking chopsticks, but I depend on this pair when appearance really matters.

Toribashi serving chopsticks

When food is served in a large bowl or on a plate, it is often accompanied by serving chopsticks. They are omitted when eating with close family or friends, or when the occasion is very casual. While toribashi also are mostly made of natural materials, they can be quite playful, and split green bamboo or hand-carved twiggy branches are sometimes seen.
I do not have dedicated pairs for serving and when necessary use regular eating chopsticks (but with a different look from individual chopsticks people are using, in order to prevent mix-ups). 

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