You are here

How To Eat Chinese Food

foodiefreak's picture

How To Eat Chinese Food

How to eat Chinese food for a complete Chinese dining experience? Well, the unique Chinese cuisine has a set of eating etiquettes attaché to it.  Eating Chinese food is not limited to eating with chopsticks, there are many eating and serving etiquettes which one must adhere while eating Chinese food in China.


Sitting Arrangement

The guest of honor takes the highest seat or is seated first followed by others. The guest raises a toast to start eating and then everyone can start to eat. While dining Chinese at home, the eldest member of the family is seated first and after he/she says “let’s begin” everyone starts eating. It is considered rude to sit or eat before the elders start.

Serving Etiquettes

Restrict yourself to the dishes that are near your plate. Don’t try to reach out for food that is far away.  Serve yourself in small amount, it is bad manners to take huge quantity of your favorite food and gobble it like a horse. Do not make faces or show displeasure at dishes that you don’t like. When you are served something that you don’t like, just let it lie on the plate. There is no rule of finishing food that is served to you. Serving elders or others first is a polite gesture and this way you can forestall dishes that you don’t like or delicacies that you want to avoid. Do not use your eating chopstick for serving, its unhygienic.

Chinese Eating Etiquettes

Although it is mandatory to use chopsticks for eating, as foreigners you are allowed to eat with spoon or fork and knife. Do not make noise with spoon or chopsticks while eating and talk softly if required. Bend over your bowl of rice and eat, at the end you may pick up the bowl near your mouth and push the rice inside with the chopstick. Use hands or chopsticks for spitting bones or inedible parts and then keep it on the table. Don’t spit directly over the table. Don’t eat all the food served in your plate or bowl, it would mean you need more and they will be filled soon. Leave a small amount after you finish eating. It is acceptable to keep your hand over the bowl while being served by others.

Chopstick Manners

As non Chinese we find it interesting to use chopsticks. Be careful while using them as there are number of chopstick etiquettes one must remember. Never play around with the chopsticks. Rest them on the table while you are not using them. Don’t use them for pointing others, it’s insulting. Never place them vertically in a rice bowl, its inauspicious. Do not use chopsticks to skew food. If you are not an expert at using chopsticks, try to practice by reading this article on how to use chopsticks or ask for spoon, fork and knife.

Belching and Slurping

Unlike Western culture belching is not a taboo in Chinese dinning etiquettes. It’s an indication that the food was excellent and that the person enjoyed eating and is full.

By learning dinning manners through this how to eat Chinese food blog, one actually learns to dine with Chinese without offending them or their food so as to have an enjoyable eating experience.


Image courtesy:

Rate This

Your rating: None
Average: 3.8 (2 votes)
How To Eat Chinese Food