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If you are reading this article, you definitely have heard about Japanese knives: their quality, sharpness, and ultimate efficiency.
It is not the secret that Japanese knives are one of the most popular choices for chefs all over the world.
One question we receive often from our readers is about using Japanese knives in everyday cooking. Are they suited for a home kitchen and regular cooking? Together with Kitchennin.com, we tried to cover all the essential questions.
- Do I need a Japanese Knife?
- Which Japanese knife suites to me?
- How to keep Japanese knives in shape?
- Storing the knives
Do I Need a Japanese Knife?
One of the most common doubts and questions of people is, “Am I suited for this task?” Or, “Can I handle it?”. These questions often take place before buying a quality product that’s not cheap, like – knives.
If your answer to the question: “Do you like to cook?” Is “Yes!” then, you definitely need a Japanese knife.
We all want to cook with the best products, ones that are fresh and healthy. This makes our dishes tasty. The same thing goes for accessories and gadgets. We want to cook with the best available tools because they allow us to cook better and more importantly – with less effort.
Japanese knives are made of the best steel and are super sharp, have very comfortable handles, and are balanced perfectly. They make cutting effortless. When you cut, you cook!
Which Japanese Knife Suites to me?
There are several different knives, which have different goals. Depending on your task, you should choose different knives — the only thing we have to warn you is about different types of blades.
There are single bevel blades and double bevel blades. Without going deep into detail, keep in mind the double bevel blades are more comfortable to use and also, easier to sharpen.
The most well known Japanese knife is the Santoku. The santoku knife is versatile, and it is similar to a European chef’s knife with a double bevel blade. In other words, this is an everyday use knife that can handle a variety of tasks, such as cutting, slicing, and mincing.
It gained popularity because of its size (usually it is 7 inches), weight and form of the blade, which is designed for cutting in chop-like motions. The Santoku makes it easy to perform many tasks, but some of them could be made better with other knives.
A Gyuto is heavier than a Santoku knife, and this is the reason why it is less popular. However, in terms of using it at home, it is more useful.
It is a classic chef knife which is perfect for everyday home-usage. A Gyuto can perform the same tasks as a Santoku but also, works better with meat, poultry, and fish.
The blade is double bevel and is stronger than Santoku.
This knife is made specially to slice fruits and vegetables. The blade is so thin and sharp that it is almost impossible to break the slices with it.
This knife is excellent for tap chopping and push-and-pull cutting. But it can’t deal with cutting meat or fish.
This is the last knife with a double bevel blade on our list.
In case you need to cut meat or fish with strong bones, you will be glad to have a Deba knife on hand.
This knife has two distinctive features — a wide spine and a heavy blade. The weight is used to cut, and the wide spine makes it easier to use your second hand to provide extra power for cutting something solid.
Yanagi and Takohiki Knives
These two knives are made for fish lovers. Both are similar to a samurai sword and great for a pulling cutting motion.
It works great for slicing raw fish and preparing seafood. The long blade is made for cutting fish in one motion and allows you to arrange it on the plate without touching it with your hands.
This knife will end your collection of Japanese knives and will cover the last popular task of boning. If you cook meat a lot, this knife will be your best friend.
Opposite to popular European boning knives, which have flexible blades, Honesuki doesn’t have flexibility at all. The knife is strong, sharp and its pointed tip allows you to ride the edge along with bones in an effortless way.
How Do You Keep Japanese Knives in Shape?
Now that we have all the necessary knives to cover the main tasks in the kitchen, we have to know how to keep and maintain them properly. For the most part, you would treat Japanese knives just like any other high-quality knives.
The most important task in the maintenance of Japanese knives is sharpening and honing. As we mentioned before, double bevel blades are easier to sharpen.
You need a wet stone for sharpening and it would be a good idea to watch a video on Youtube so you use it the right way. Single bevel blades can be still sharped and honed at home, but they require more practice and patience, because of the specific angle of the edge.
If your knife has a wooden handle, we recommend that you treat it with mineral oil every few months.
Storing the Knives
To prolong the life of your blades always store knives separate from other kitchen tools. The best options are a magnet on the wall or a knife block.
Also keep in mind that knives are dangerous for kids, so you should never keep them where they can take them easily
I hope you got the idea that Japanese knives are perfect for anyone who likes to cook. They are efficient and don’t require any hard maintenance.
To start off, you don’t need to buy all these different types of knives, I would suggest just a few from Kyoku Knives.
- Japanese Chef Knife – Samurai Series
- Japanese Utility Knife – Daimyo Series
- 4-Piece Japanese Serrated Steak Knife Set – Samurai Series
Long ago, the samurai were banned from carrying swords so swordsmiths started focusing their skills on cutlery. Kyoku Knives not only look great but they perform better than you can imagine.
To test out these knives, I made a 35 Minute Easy Ravioli Dinner Recipe that has a fair about of chopping involved. Mincing, chopping, and slicing vegetables gave me a pretty good idea of how these knives perform. Needless to say, I was impressed.
35 Minute Easy Ravioli Dinner Recipe
35 Minute Easy Ravioli Dinner
Four cheese ravioli topped with creamy asparagus and mushrooms. It's an easy pasta dinner recipe for any occasion!
- 20 oz fresh four-cheese ravioli
- 3 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1/2 lb baby bella mushrooms trimmed and quartered
- 1/2 lb white mushrooms trimmed and quartered
- 1 lb asparagus trimmed and sliced thin
- 2 shallots finely chopped
- 1/2 cup white cooking wine
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 3 tbsp chives chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook ravioli according to package directions.
Using a large skillet, heat 1.5 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook mushrooms for about 5 minutes, stirring and flipping occasionally. Set aside.
Add asparagus to the skillet and remaining olive oil. Toss for about 3 minutes or until tender. Set aside with mushrooms.
Reduce heat to medium. Season the shallots and add them to the skillet. Stir for about 3 minutes or until translucent.
Add wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in sour cream and toss with vegetables.
Spoon mixture on top of the ravioli and garnish with chives. Enjoy!
If you are in the market for some amazing Japanese Knives, check out Kyoko on Amazon today
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Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.