🔪 Types of Japanese Kitchen Knives 🔪
Japanese knives are precision tools, very useful in the kitchen and sometimes essential. These are the traditional types:
Santoku in Japanese means three virtues or uses; it is not clear whether it refers to the ingredients - fish, meat, vegetables - or to the types of cuts for which it can be used - to chop, slice, cut into pieces - or to the fact that it can perform all the functions of the three traditional knives - deba , usuba and yanagiba.- It is the traditional Japanese form of a universal knife, similar to the western chef's knife. It is sharpened on both sides; light and easy to handle, it has had great success in kitchens all over the world, replacing the traditional chef's knives. It cannot be missing from the aspiring chef's basic kit.
Nakiri is Japanese for vegetable cutter . The shape of the Nakiri blade is specially designed for cutting vegetables. Compared to traditional Japanese knives it is thinner and easier to handle; thanks to the double-sharpened blade it does not move to one side during the cut, therefore it does not require continuous correction in the movement. Perfect for julienne and chiffonade cutting.
Despite its hatchet shape, this knife is not suitable for bone dissection.
Yanagiba is Japanese for willow leaf blade . The Yanagiba is traditionally used in Japan as a slicing knife. Its thin and long blade makes this knife particularly suitable for very thin cuts, typical of the preparation of Sushi and Sashimi. This knife guarantees an artistic, but above all clean and smooth cutting performance. By Western standards the blade is exceptionally long (even over 360cm), forged from a single grade of steel and is thin, sharpened on one side only, highly honed to reduce any friction and effort while cutting. In this way the length and shape of the blade allow a long and continuous cutting movement. In fact, Japanese cooks believe that excessive stress during cutting negatively affects the quality of the fish to be served. The correct cut involves resting the heel of the blade on the fish with the tip pointing upwards at nearly a 45 degree angle and then sliding the entire length downwards through the flesh.
Deba is Japanese for cutting blade . Holding it in your hand resembles a heavy knife similar to a cleaver! This stable and heavy knife has a strong and wide blade with a single cutting edge. It appears in Japanese kitchens in the Edo period. It is designed for cleaning and cutting fish: held with a hammer, it eliminates the head of the fish with a clean cut, while the sharpening on one side allows it to slide on the bones. It is forged with a single piece of steel and the curb of the blade is still incandescently inserted into the handle, ensuring extraordinary resistance over time. Today it is a very popular multipurpose knife.
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