Japanese knives were first made hundreds of years ago using ancient sword-smithing techniques passed on through generations of blacksmiths. Today, they're a favorite of both professional and beginner chefs around the world. With their beauty, expert craftsmanship, and durability, these striking knives are essential for anyone passionate about food preparation.
Before you purchase aJapanese knife, it's important to know what knife is used for what task. This will extend the longevity of your knives and simplify everything from chopping meat to mincing herbs.
TheSantoku knife is widely known as ageneral-purpose chef's knife, as it's versatile and similar in appearance to a Western-style chef's knife. Originally designed for home use it has quickly been adopted in a variety of professional and home settings. Here are a few notable characteristics of aSantoku knife.
Curved tip (also known as sheep’s foot due to the shape)
The thinness of the Santoku blade makes the knife very well-suited to easily cut thin slices. Additionally,Santoku knives offer great functionality and maneuverability, so they can be used for general cutting, dicing, and mincing.
When holding a Santoku knife, use your thumb and forefinger to lightly pinch the blade while having the rest of your fingers hold the handle. You can then cut using a drawing-back or forward sliding motion. The push and pull slicing techniques are effective and easier on your blade, though you can rock the knife gently when mincing herbs. Just avoid aggressive downward chopping that could dull the edge of the knife.
Nakiri knives are excellent for cutting all different kinds of vegetables, whether you're chopping, mincing, slicing, or dicing them. ANakiri knife can also be used to cut fruits. One feature that distinguishes the Nakiri from the Santoku is that you can use an up-and-down motion while using it, rather than the rocking or sliding technique. That said, similar to the Santoku, the thinness of the blade makes a push or pull slice extremely efficient.
Like theSantoku knife, theGyuto knife is similar to the Western chef's knife.Gyuto knives are versatile and can be identified by these characteristics:
You can use aGyuto knife to cut, chop, slice, and dice vegetables, fruits, meat, and fish. You can even use it to disjoint meat cuts. The Gyuto has a sharper tip that is normally more curved than the Santoku, making rock-cutting motions easier. You can use a variety of cutting techniques with the Gyuto, though you should avoid hard chopping and tough items like cartilage and bones.
Purchase handcraftedJapanese knives online
With Hasu-Seizo, you can purchaseJapanese knives that transform the way you prepare your meals. Our handcrafted artisan knives from the Sakai Takayuki as well as other blacksmiths across Japan are created by master craftsmen.
Our full selection ofHasu-Seizo knives includes the knives mentioned above, along with several other types made with precision from high-quality steel.
As a family-owned and operated business, we're passionate about introducing people to the wonders of a finely craftedJapanese knife. If you have any questions about our knives or need assistance placing an order, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 1 (425) 273-5362, or complete ouronline form.
Look for a unique gift for the chef in your life? We have gifts for all levels, from small kitchen accessories that you won't find at the local mall, to high quality sushi knives. We list out some extremely popular items such as our Japanese graters to our Damascus Nakiri knives.
So, you might be wondering what makes a Japanese knife the preferred tool of choice by some of the world’s top chefs. A good knife can make all the difference in the quality of your prep work. Japanese knives are lighter, thinner, harder and overall more balanced than other knives.
Whether you’re a newbie in the kitchen or a culinary pro, having the right tools for the job is essential. And if you’re looking to up your cooking game, you can’t go wrong purchasing a Japanese kitchen knife. Unlike standard cooking knives, a Japanese kitchen knife gives you unmatched precision for chopping and, when properly cared for, can last a lifetime.
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