TYPES OF KNIVES

JAPANESE TRADITIONAL KNIVES

Japan is a traditional country, where hundreds of years of knowledge and experiences are passed from the master to the apprentice, from the teacher to the student. The traditional Japanese knives have originated from the Japanese swords. The manufacture techniques were improved and passed over the generations.

THE SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT BLADE

A perfect blade can slice or cut the ingredients effortlessly. In contrast, a knife whose cutting line is not good can smash the food, altering its texture and flavor. The Japanese traditional knives have a unique aspect by having single edged blade. This particularity allows a more precise cut – for example – cutting a fish fillet for sushi or sashimi and making it smooth and shiny. In Japanese cuisine, not only the taste but the visual aspect is very appreciated as well. Therefore, knives are extremely important.

 

Yanagiba – this knife normally has a single edge blade, which is long and thin, and it is used to slice and prepare delicate fish cuts. Yanagiba is the first knife that a sushiman buys.
Takohiki – Yanagiba knife version of the Kanto Province (Tokyo), with a narrower blade and a rectangular tip as a differential. Although the name refers to octopus (tako), this knife can also be used for fish cuts, as well like the yanagiba.
Fugubiki – for slicing the (fugu) baiacu, that are traditionally thinly sliced and served in painted plates, so that even the drawing of the dish can be seen. It can also be used for the fish preparation that requires more delicacy. Its shape is similar to yanagiba, but thinner and narrower.
Deba – it’s a thick and heavy knife, used for filleting and cutting fish bones and spines. It also has a single edge blade.
Mioroshideba – junction of the deba and yanagiba. Longer and thinner than deba which makes possible to fillet and even slice the fish.
Usuba – Professional Use – traditional knife with single edged blade for vegetables, very used in Japanese cuisine. Origin: Kanto Province (Tokyo). For cutting “thin leaves” of vegetables like turnips and carrots – precise cuts.
Usuba kamagata – Professional Use – traditional Japanese knife for vegetables. Origin: Kansai Province (Osaka). For cutting “thin leaves” of vegetables like turnips and carrots. Unlike the Tokyo version, this knife has a rounded tip that facilitates detailed work.
Sake giri – Professional Use – knife used to open salmon
Sushi giri – knife specially designed to cut futomaki sushi. The curved blade allows to cut without smashing the rice and the filling. The futomaki is cutted in 3 movements: with the tip open a cut at the top then pull and push the futomaki to cut and separate a slice.
Kiridashi – for cutting and sculpting vegetables and fruits
Menkiri – for cutting pasta, soba, etc.

JAPANESE KNIVES – WESTERN STYLE

 

Gyuto – Chef’s knife – is the most versatile knife for professional use. It can be used to cut meats, fish, vegetables, bread, etc.
Santoku – multipurpose knife – for cutting meats, fish, vegetables, etc. It is the best knife for general use at home.
Petit – it’s the smaller version of the chef’s knife. Used for delicate work and also for cutting, peeling fruits and vegetables.
Nakiri – knife for chopping vegetables. Its shape is similar to usuba knife, but with a thin and double edge blade.
Yo-deba – it’s a chef’s knife with a thicker blade, for cutting boned meats, semi-frozen foods, crabs, oysters, etc. It can also be used to clean chicken and fish.
Sujihiki – slicing knife with a long blade. It was originally designed to separate the nerves and muscles from the meat. It is also used to slice or cut blocks of meat. This knife can replace a yanagiba by cutting sashimi slices.
Honesuki – Japanese style boning knife designed to separate meat from bone. It can also be used to open and clean fish.
Boning knife – Western style boning knife – just like honesuki is used to separate flesh from bone.
Steak knife – knife designed to cut steaks.
Paring – with a short blade, ideal for peeling fruits and vegetables. It is also used for delicate work.
Bread – knife with teeth to cut breads.
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