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Sushi and sashimi knife

Sushi and Sashimi knife: Japanese are famous for making the very best chisels, wood planes, cutleries, and knives throughout the ages. There are Japanese knives for every occasion, a Deba knife for cutting through the bones and cartilage of a fish, the usuba knife for fine cut and peelings, or a thin Yanagida blade for thinly slicing sashimi. There is a famous adage, knives determine the taste of Japanese cuisine. This is perhaps true, Japanese knives are praised by the world’s top chefs for their razor-sharp, pin-point precise cutting. Indeed they do an incredible job in cooking.

Japanese dishes are well-known for their mouth-lingering tastes, especially when you think about Sushi, the taste of it will tug your heartstrings. One cannot accomplish the perfect taste of sushi unless everything is chopped and sliced precisely. Sashimi knives are primarily used by sushi chefs to thinly slice fish. . People generally get confused with the sushi and sashimi knife. This article will discuss more on the Best Sushi and Sashimi Knife, its types and features, and a buying guide to get your best sushi knife that will meet your needs. 

Sushi and Sashimi Knife – Is there any Difference?

One of the significant differences that make the Japanese knives different from Western-style knives is, the western style knives are two bevels whereas the Japanese-style knives are a single bevel(honed only on one side) However this makes the Japanese knife excel over the western class knives. The single hone makes the Japanese knives stay sharper and make precise cuts than double-edged knives. The classifications of the Japanese knives are based on how they are honed. A traditional sushi knife is honed on one side whereas a Japanese western-style sushi knife is honed on both sides. However, when the chefs make sushi, the most preferred choice is the traditional sushi knives.

The standard Japanese knife kit includes:

  • Yanagiba
  • Deba
  • Usuba

These knives are basically known as the traditional knives used during the preparation of sushi.

The Best Sushi & Sashimi Knife List

1. Yanagiba or Sashimi Knives

Sushi and sashimi knife

The long sharp Japanese Sashimi knife severs fibres in the flesh without pulling or stripping the skin. They perfectly slice up raw blocks of fish and fish fillets. Japan cannot imagine living without sushi and sashimi. In fact, it is regarded as a very serious business in many parts of Japan. The beauty of the thin blades of the Sashimi knives provides the ability to slice through the ingredients in long uninterrupted strokes. This obviously preserves its integrity and doesn’t make any compromises on the freshness. However this is not the case with other types of knives, they quite often damage the cell walls and the authentic taste of the cuisine is lost. Apparently the sashimi knives, one of the most essential knives in the traditional knife set of Japanese knives ensure the feel and taste of the food is maintained and leave the fish smooth, shiny, and fresh.

Notable features of Sashimi knife

  • Blades are known for their exceptional performance. The blades sail through the fibres in the flesh of the fish and ensure paper-thin slices of fish without tearing or pulling.
  • A perfect all-purpose knife for chopping and slicing both blocks of fish and fish fillets.
  • The handles are made of velvety black premium pakkawood which offers the best comfort to hold besides providing the perfect grip. The wood used in the handle makes the utensil exceptionally durable.

Must see: 4 Best Ceramic Knife Sharpener in 2021

2. Deba-Bocho Knives

Deba-Bocho Knives (<strong>Sushi and sashimi knife</strong>

Deba-Bocho knives are thick firm knives used as traditional knives in Japanese cooking especially during fish filleting. Perhaps a major component for gutting and filleting fish and also to removes the scales of the small fishes. The Deba knife is engineered with thick blades that provide extreme toughness to glide the knife along the fish bones to make precise cuts. They are used not only in cutting the fish heads and ribs but rather found efficient in poultry cutting as well.

Advantages of Deba Knives

  • The level of craftsmanship is exceptionally unique that improves the overall quality and the aesthetic beauty is enhanced. It has the perfect stainless steel blade and the presence of a compressed laminated wooden handle improves the overall appearance of the Deba knives.
  • Deba knives are the highest quality knives available at affordable prices.
  • These knives are traditionally used to clean and fillet whole fish, however, they are most commonly used by butchers for breaking down and dressing poultry and other meats with small bones. So they are considered excellent kitchen knives
  • The knife is impregnated with resin so it has an improved water-resistant property.

3. Usuba Knives

Sushi and sashimi knife

Usuba is a traditional Japanese knife specifically designed to cut vegetables. Japanese cuisines often give incredible importance to seasonal ingredients which are generally referred to as “shun”. This Shuns & Sushi knife is featured with thin blades that make it perfect for cutting vegetables. 

Moreover, the hand-hammered finish of the sides of the blade reduces the drag while cutting and prevent the food particles from getting stuck to the knife. Generally, food sticks to the knives during slicing and chopping, and stain the knives. This often makes the knives lose their shine and become dull. 

There are many terms used to describe Usuba knives, so let us discuss some of their terminologies

  • Usuba bocho – This is a wonderful knife to use. The handle is engineered to provide the best comfort to your hands. Like other sushi knives, Usuba bocho is a single bevelled knife, a perfect blessing for chefs who want to make wonders in traditional Japanese cuisine. As the name suggests, it has thin blades ideal for making precise cuts of vegetables. However extensive cutting is not recommended for this type of knife because the thinner blade design is often prone to chipping. 
  • Kamagata Usuba Bocho – Kyoto chefs regard Kamagata Usuba-Bocho as a much-valued possession because they are the most essential ones to do their work at the best. These knives have a pointed tip that allows them to make delicate works and carving the vegetables in a most decorative manner. Osaka is famous for preparing food with beautiful presentation and harmony. To achieve this, they need suitable cutleries, this leads to the innovation of Kamagata Usuba-Bocho. These knives are created with the painstaking efforts of the top blacksmith craftsmen of Japan. 
  • Nikiri Bocho – This is a very simple and versatile tool found very effective in Japanese culinary arts. The meaning of Nakiri is leaf cutter, the meaning perhaps provides you a clue what it is meant for. The flat blades of Nakiri Bocho knives make contact with the vegetables and make the perfect cut with each chop. It is a well-known fact that the Japanese prefer thin-cut vegetables. The reason why they love thin-cut vegetables is that they believe that, when vegetables are thinly sliced, the more surface area is exposed to the air enhancing its flavour.

Sushi Knife Buying Guide – Things to be considered

Buying a perfect sushi knife can be hard because the info you try to find is quite cumbersome, however, the Sushi Knife Review would definitely provide you with the broader retrospect to find your right choice

Before getting into much detail about the best sushi and sashimi knives, it is important to know how it is made.

How Japanese Knives are made?

Many people believe Japanese knives are the best in the world because Japanese knives and Japanese swords are made in a similar way. The way the iron and steel are blended characterize the best features of the Japanese knives. The softness of the iron makes the knife incredibly flexible and the hardness of the steel makes it mercilessly sharp. When both these metals are combined, the best qualities of iron and steel creates an extremely durable foundation to make the knife last long for many more years. 

The knife once combined with the sheets of both the metals undergoes strengthening of the blade. This is apparently done by hammering until the blades turn sharper. The craftsmen use the whetstone to sharpen the knives. Finally, after tempering and forging, the quality of the knife is determined.

However, in order to determine the Best Knife, the quality of steel plays a vital role.

The Best Steel for Sushi Knives

Most sushi knives are made up of high-quality carbon steel. People often think that these knives are made of stainless steel however this is not the fact, they are engineered with high carbon steel best for fish filleting. 

  1. 1095 Carbon steel – This is the most basic form of carbon steel and commonly used in the manufacturing of a plethora of kitchen knives. They are very easy to sharpen and holds long enough. 1095 carbon steel takes a fine edge though not 154cm or 440 c but just fine of an edge.
  2. D2 Tool Steel– Although this type of metal exists for ages, yet it became popular during World War II when there was a requirement for a plethora of weapons like swords and knives. When compared with other steels like s30V, you cannot find the slightest bit of rust with D2 steel. Perhaps they are good choices for knife blades especially when you use it as an everyday utility tool. Schrade SCH601TI Frame Lock Folding Knife is a really good example of a knife made of titanium coated D2 high carbon stainless steel knife which is indeed a tough knife with the strongest grip. It would not slip out even with the wettest hands.
  3. 420 HC- This is one of the classy steel mostly found with the hunter’s tools. Although it is not the hardest knife when compared to the previous two steel, but yet a great tool for constant hard use.  The only problem with this steel is, it doesn’t hold the razor edge for long. However, it is high-value edge retention in a knife and can be carried for self-protection.

Knife Blade certainly make the Difference

Something you need to look for in the knife blades is

  1. Hardness and Durability – Knives made from high-grade carbon steel are mercilessly sharp and extremely durable. The stain-resistant blades are easy to sharpen. Routine sharpening apparently prevents chipping and keeps the metal in the most prime condition. 
  2. Sharpness – The handmade and patterned blades are made of high quality, high carbon with a razor-sharp edge.
  3. Corrosion Resistance – When you compare among all varieties of steel, German steel is resistant to rust, discolouration, and corrosion. Non-stainless steel knives need regular maintenance to keep the rust at bay. However stainless steel knives are not often prone to rust, but when left neglected might result in losing the polish and turn rusty.

Where to buy the Best Sushi and Sashimi Knives?

If you don’t live in Japan, do not fret, there are plenty of online stores still offering the highest quality Shun Sushi Knife and Sashimi Knife.  So check out the online options and buy your Japan product now.

Closing Thoughts

If you want the sharpest Shun Sushi Knife, then obviously Yanagida with the high carbon steel is really a very good option. But ensure that it requires the right kind of maintenance to stay in tip-top condition. However when your expectation is straightforward and requires a low-maintenance knife, then stainless steel is the obvious choice.

Having a sharp Yanagiba or Deba in your hand can make your sushi or sashimi taste even better. Although the price of the knives is eye wateringly expensive, however, these knives never fail and make the biggest difference in presentation.  Without these knives, you can never cut an amazing looking piece of Sashimi or slice a unique piece of your most favourite tuna.

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