Sushi is one of the most famous Japanese dishes outside of Japan and there is a lot of attention to detail required when preparing it. There are many steps to making a correct sushi roll, from cutting vegetables, filleting fish, and then finally cutting the sushi roll. A Sushi knife is designed to be versatile and used in preparing sushi during many stages of the preparation process.
History of Sushi Knives
The manufacturing of sushi knives dates back as far as the 14th century, with many of the techniques dating as far back as 1000 years ago. In the 19th century, the modernization of Japan began and Samurai sword manufacturing became illegal. During this time, many sword craftsmen instead focused their attention and business to crafting sushi knives.
The manufacturing of sushi knives comes from hundreds of years of accumulated knowledge and experience passed down from master to apprentice. There are specific rules and procedures to follow and this is what makes sushi knives so unique.
Benefits of Sushi Knives
Preparing sushi is serious business and often the precision and cuts required demand a particular knife. The majority of sushi knives are manufactured with high-carbon steel, not stainless steel. Using a high-carbon steel means that the edge of the knife is much sharper. Unlike western style knives- sushi knives usually have a single bevelled edge. This means that only one side of the knife holds the cutting edge while the other is flat, ensuring that food will not stick to the knife.
Kinds of Sushi Knives
One of the most important requirements when preparing sushi is that the sliced meat is cut smoothly. The precision this requires comes from the Yanagiba knife. This knife has a long, very thin, single bevelled edge and is ideal when preparing sashimi and sushi.
The Deba knife is a small, curved knife that is closest to a meat cleaver. It is best used to remove the heads from and then fillet the fish, as well as cut through the bones and cartilage of the fish.
The Usuba knife has a thin, straight blade that is sharpened on the right side. This knife is ideal for cutting thin sheets of vegetables and peeling.
Santoku Knife: The Santoku knife is multifaceted and is used for fish, meat, and vegetables. The Santoku knife is a Western-styled knife and, albeit not traditional in Japan, is frequently used when preparing sushi and sashimi.
Now that you know a little more about Sushi and Sashimi knives, you can feel confident when purchasing them! It is important to remember that the quality of your knife will affect your final product greatly and that a cheap knife will not give you the same edge as one of a higher quality. When comparing Sushi and Sashimi knives, remember that ‘quality’ and ‘inexpensive’ do not belong in the same sentence!