Heading out to buy your very first sushi knife can be a bit of an ordeal if you’re not up to speed with what’s on offer. What few seem to realise is that Japanese sushi knives go so much further than the generic hunks of metal you’ll see in most general stores that call themselves sushi knives, though aren’t in any way fit for the job.
For example, chances are you’ll be presented with both sushi knives and sashimi knives, which to some extent serve very different purposes. When making sushi, there’s a heck of lot of slicing and cutting to be done by way of the fish, the vegetables and finally the roll itself. A sashimi knife is designed to be the best possible tool for slicing fish with precision – a sushi knife on the other hand is an all-purpose sushi tool.
The very best and most authentic Japanese sushi knives feature a cutting edge that’s only sharpened on one side. This means there’s only a single beveled edge running along the blade and the other side remains flat, which ensures that the food being sliced doesn’t stick to the knife.
Interestingly, authentic sushi knives are also made from high-carbon steel and not the stainless steel or ceramic often used in modern interpretations. The reason being that while the steel blade is susceptible to rust, it is able to remain significantly sharper for longer and thus perform better.
There’s even a long-standing rumour that a quality Japanese sushi knife will always be made for right-handed use, as this is apparently the better approach for cutting fish. By contrast, shellfish can supposedly be tackled better with a left-handed approach.
Types of Sushi Knives
You won’t see the full range of Japanese sushi knives on offer in any bog standard knife store, but track down the real deal and you won’t regret it. Here’s a quick overview of the main varieties you’ll come across to help you understand what you’re looking at:
This traditional Japanese sushi knife features a deep and pointed blade – one of the most popular sushi knives of all for professional sushi masters. The blade must also feature a single bezel, while the overall length of the knife will be somewhere around the 13-inch mark.
Similar in most respects to the yanagiba, the takobiki presents a couple of minor differences which include a thinner overall design and a blunt tip as opposed to a sharp point.
Both edges of the usuba sushi knife are sharpened and the edge of the blade is distinctly straight – a great knife for precision cutting and slicing.
The smallest of all the genuine Japanese sushi knives you’ll come across is the kodeba, which tends to be used as the professional tool of choice for preparing shellfish.
With a blade length ranging from around five to eight inches, the deba is a particularly robust and rugged sushi knife that’s excellent for handling and preparing tough ingredients, not to mention getting through the shells and bones of various ingredients.
Ordering Sushi Online
There’s no doubt that preparing your own sushi is a rewarding exercise; but there are lots of people across London who love sushi but lack the time or the expertise to prepare the Japanese delicacy properly. That’s where YouMeSushi comes in! We’re passionate about delivering fresh, hand-made sushi to sushi-lovers all over central London. Order your sushi online today!