There are many types of Japanese knives, the variety of Japanese cuisine is also reflected in the Japanese kitchen knives. The Japanese cuisine offers a wonderful taste and a great presentation. This is only possible with a very sharp knives that can cut the food with precision and delicacy.
The Japanese knives are well know for their quality, meticulous workmanship create quality knives, each knife has a special shape and every shape has a special purpose. We divided the Japanese kitchen knives in two groups:
Western Style: the design and the blades are more similar to European or American knives and normally are bevelled in both sides.
Japanese Style: they are designed with the rules of Japanese cuisine and normally are bevelled on one side for right-handers or left-handers.
1. Western Style
Santoku: the Santoku is a general purpose knife. It is for meat, fish and vegetables. Santoku means “ three virtudes” or “three uses” a reference to the three cutting tasks the knife performs well: slicing, dicing, and mincing. The Santoku blade is wide and normally the length is between 165 - 190 mm.
Gyuto: the Gyuto knife is the most similar to the Chef's knife. It is very versatile for slicing, filleting and it is suitable for fish and meat.
Petty: the Petty knife is smaller than Gyuto or Santoku knife. Normally is used for peeling, paring, boning and carving for fruits, vegetables, etc. It is also used for delicate work. Many professional chefs or home cooks use it as a complement of the Gyuto or Santoku knife.
2. Japanese style
Yanagiba (also known as Sashimi): the Yanagiba is a long and slender knife used mainly to prepare sashimi and slice fish and seafood. The shape of the blade is like a Katana (Japanese sword) and it needs a very little pressure to obtain a precision cuts. It has a long blade to cut a fish block only in one direction (pulling)
Deba: the Deba knife was originally from Sakai during the Edo period. The Deba is normally used for cleaning, slicing fish and chopping tasks. One of the most important things is his wide spine, this increase the stability and allows to cut thin bones. It is also used for filleting fish.
Usuba: the Usuba knife is mainly used in vegetables. Is the traditional vegetable knife for professional Japanese chef. The Usuba knife is sharpened only on one side and his blade is thin (Usuba means " thin blade"), this blade allows you cutting through firm vegetables without them cracking. It is used for extremely delicate cutting techniques, paper-thin vertical sclicing.
Nakiri: the Nakiri knife is similar to the Usuba knife, but it is sharpened on both sides.