In Japan, there are several types of kitchen knives which are chosen mainly according to their uses. Each type of knife corresponds to a specific type of use. Choosing one for a fine cordon-bleu is therefore never an easy task. So how to choose a Japanese kitchen knife for a cooking enthusiast? This article will guide you in your choices.
The particularities of a Japanese knife
To help you make your choice, it is first of all important to know what a Japanese knife is. A Japanese knife is best known for its high-quality, often very sturdy steel blades made of a stainless steel and carbon alloy. This ultra-resistant material allows it to be sharpened further, but longer once it is needed. When it comes to sharpness, Japanese knives are also known to be the sharpest in the world. They usually have a one-sided edge, but can also have straight cutting edges. The Japanese may also use a bevelled or asymmetrical edge to penetrate the food more gently in order to retain all the flavour.
Choosing the right blade and handle
A Japanese knife is therefore chosen according to 3 elements which are specific to them such as the shape of the blade, its composition and the shape and composition of the handle. For the shape of the blade, the choice is made according to the type of use of the knife. To cook a fish for example, one specific blade can be used to cut the head of the animal, another to remove the skin and the third to lift the fillets. As for the handle, which is also an indispensable part of the Japanese knife, it allows a better holding of the knife and a good balance. There are types of handles for both left-handed and right-handed people. You can also attach great importance to the wood used to make it, whether it is ebony, cedar, maple or other.
The different types of Japanese knives
There are several types of Japanese knives. The choice may vary according to the type of use. For cutting or slicing vegetables, for example, you can opt for the Usuba type knives, which are very popular with Japanese chefs, the Nakiri type, which allows you to make a variety of cuts, or the Santoku type, which is very versatile. To slice meat, it is better to use Santoku type knives, Deba which has a greater weight allowing you to easily cut fish heads, Honesuki which allows you to easily bone meat or Gyuto whose name literally means beef knife.