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Chopsticks with Thai Food: Yea or Nay?

Aug 6, 2013

I thought I was so cool. I've always prided myself on my ability to use chopsticks properly -- that includes NOT rubbing them together before eating with them. Amateurs. Here, in case you fall into that category:

Hoping to enjoy dinner (HA!), last night I ordered from my favorite local Thai place, Sala Thai. I decided to try the Pad Thai since I almost always get the Panang Curry. They didn't include chopsticks, as usual. Ugh. Why do I always have to request them? I thought as I begrudgingly grabbed a fork.

Today I was logging my calories from last night, and the pad thai I found in the database showed that I ate my entire day's calorie budget in one sitting. Horrified, I googled "Sala Thai Nutrition Information," hoping I'd only ingested half that amount. 

While I didn't find the nutrition info, I did find their business plan. Thinking some kind of information might be in there, I scanned it for "Calories: only 300!" when this caught my eye: 

A few things to note here:
  • When I was little, a Thai guy rented our basement and made us food all the time. I'm fairly certain he taught me how to use chopsticks. Was this also a concession to an American expectation that his culture uses them?!
  • It clearly states that chopsticks will be in the carryout bags. That has never happened. Hmph.
  • Still can't find nutritional info.
  • They liken their delivery service to Dominoes more than once. 
  • Oh wait, I just noticed this is in Detroit and not DC. It doesn't matter. I'm still confused.
Can someone please clear this up for me? For the record, I am in no way dissing Sala Thai except that I have to ask for chopsticks in my carryout. But now I feel really dumb asking for chopsticks in my carryout so I guess they were actually doing me a favor.


  1. My mom, who is Thai, always told me that they never ate with chopsticks. It was more hands and normal utensils rather than the wonderful two sticks. Perhaps that is why I am still not an expert to this day.

  2. When I was in Thailand, I don't think I saw any chopsticks. We were always given regular forks, knives, and spoons. The only place in Asia that I've actually seen chopsticks is China and Japan. Everywhere else either eats with utensils like us(Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia,)or they use their hands (Nepal, India, etc.) The exceptions to these rules might be in places with large Chinese immigrant populations, such as parts of Malaysia.

    1. Hmm, I may need to plan a trip to Thailand to see for myself. :)

  3. Yup, no chopsticks in Thailand. Or any southeastern Asian nation. Anyhoo I like eating with chopsticks with any type of food though because it slows me down. I have a nasty habit of eating quickly. I might bring my own to get Mexican soon and see what people say to me.

  4. Thais do not really use chopsticks often only occasionally with noodles or rice, and yes if you are in Bangkok you will look strange if you use them. Thais use a spoon and fork, but not like us westerners do. The fork is never to go into your mouth, you use it to push your food onto your spoon which is the only utensil you put in your mouth. This is just good Thai etiquette, if you don't do it, people probably won't think much about it because you are a foreigner. A good rule of thumb is, if the server provides chopsticks then feel free to use them, otherwise just stick to the spoon and fork.