You can use the Santoku chef knife for every task in the kitchen. A lot of Japanese families cut their meat, fish and vegetables with the Santoku chef knife. Most of the time the chef knife is used for cutting vegetables because about 80% of a Japanese meal consists of vegetables.
The Nakiri is the Japanese chef knife that is specially made for cutting vegetables. Vegetables are an important part of the Japanese kitchen, the Nakiri is used on a daily basis by the Japanese homecook. The blade of the Japanese vegetable chef knife is thin, straight and sharp. A little bit of pressure is enough to make a smooth and clean cut.
Function of the chef knife
Every part of this chef knife has its own function:
- The upper part and the point at the end of the chef knife are used for precision work and decorative cutting.
- The middle part of the Nakiri chef knife is used for peeling and cutting.
- The part at the beginning of the chef knife is used to make a diagonally cut.
When a cut is made with a Western chef knife it is made from an diagonal angle to an horizontal angle. Because the Nakiri knife has got an straight blade the cut has to be made from an horizontal angle with respect to the cutting board. When the chef knife is placed on the vegetable the cut is made straight down to the far side of the cutting board. The weight and sharpness of the blade will make a smooth cut through the vegetable.
The Yanagiba is the knife that is used for filleting fish. This knife is perfect for the preparation of shashimi (the Japanese dish made of fresh raw fish that is cut in very thin slices). Because the knife is long and light it is easy to make thin and straight slices.
When you are cutting the fish it is important that the knife is pulled through the fish and not pushed. By using this technique the texture of the fish will be kept intact.
The wetstone from Nipponblades comes straight from Japan and is the stone to sharpen your Santoku, Nakiri and Yanagiba Nipponblades chef knives. The stone has two sides, one 1000 grit side (red) and one 3000 grit (yellow) sides. The higher the grit the finer the stone. A manual is included with the stone to explain how to sharpen your knife.