Are egg rolls, common in Asian restaurants, such as Chinese, Thai, or Vietnamese (at least in America), supposed to be eaten with chopsticks or hands?

  • Hands! Not really "supposed" but a roll is made for conveniently picking up by hand if you're eating just the rolls. If they're cut up and mixed in with rice noodles, then you'd use chopsticks. Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 4:46
  • In southern China, we eat spring rolls (the dish that egg rolls are based on) using chopsticks. In northern China, spring rolls refer to something much larger (like a burrito) so naturally you can't use chopsticks :-)
    – xuq01
    Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 19:07

2 Answers 2


It's a matter of personal preference when referring to restaurants in the United States. Some egg rolls are too large to be easily handled with chopsticks, and they can be eaten using your hands; smaller ones and similar preparations such as spring rolls can too, but you may find it preferable to use chopsticks. When choosing your own egg roll from a common platter or service station, it's generally considered polite to use a provided utensil.

Note again that this applies only to Asian-American cuisine and American cultural norms. Etiquette may differ in other countries; when in doubt, watch what those around you do and follow their lead.

  • 7
    Concur on country-specific norms. With Chinese/Japanese cuisine in general (not just egg rolls), I've been in countries where the reaction varies between "are chopsticks suitable?" (US), or "why are you using chopsticks, I thought only Chinese people did" (Malaysia), or "your chopsticks are found in the box in front of you" (Japan). And then in Thailand, they seem to mainly use a fork and spoon, at least for Thai cuisine.
    – Soron
    Commented May 13, 2018 at 6:24
  • +1 for "watch what those around you do and follow their lead". I would add that I've never seen anyone take offense or frown upon not using whatever utensil is preferred locally. Whatever the norm is, give it a try, switch back to what works for you if it doesn't work out for you, and don't be afraid to ask for your preferred utensils. They'll have them. Commented May 13, 2018 at 16:49

In Vietnam, we eat fried egg rolls with chopsticks. If the rolls are too big, the restaurant owner must have cut them in halves before serving. But restaurants are less likely to make big rolls. Restaurant rolls here are usually small enough to be used with chopsticks.

But spring rolls, which is soft, and some types of rolls that require to wrap yourselves at the table, you may use hands.

In a more formal etiquette, like you are treating a special guest, chopsticks are often used.

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