Japanese knives, as well as the cuts they make, are admired for their beautiful and precise nature. Their blades are usually slim and sensitive and are prone to break if you don’t take proper care of them— not suitable for the sloppy chef. They make for thin, detailed cuts and lovely presentation; those you would find in a restaurant with five-star sushi.
Vincent Lau, the only knife sharpener in Korin, a Japanese knife shop in Lower Manhattan, thinks the reason Japanese knives are becoming more and more popular worldwide is essentially because they are central to Japanese cuisine: enhancing and preserving the ingredients and enhancing the flavor of the dish.
Why Do I Need a Japanese Knife Set?
Chefs around the world prefer Japanese knives for their long, compact edges, meticulous craftsmanship, and lightweight.
Traditionally, the right side of Japanese knives has one bevel. Besides the years of practice it takes to be a Sashimi master, Japanese chefs use these sharp blades to produce perfectly plated Sashimi fish. Although it is easy to find Japanese knives with single bevels, nowadays manufacturers are also producing double-beveled knives to encourage more mass use, much like the German-made knives that are popular.
Chefs use Japanese knives in their kitchens for many different reasons. They have different angles as well as their versatility and lightweight when compared to German knives. Such angles provide the accuracy required in the preparation of Sashimi but also allows chefs to make straight cuts in general.
How Should I Use Japanese Chef Knife Set?
Japanese knives have an incredibly sharp edge that, depending on the use of the knife, appears to stay sharp for longer periods of time. Japanese knives are anywhere in the range of 60-70 on the Rockwell scale, which is used to evaluate metal hardness, which is why the knife remains sharper for longer. By contrast, German knives fall on the Rockwell scale in the mid-50s, which makes the steel softer, but is also one of the reasons for thicker German knives. This then allows the regular use of German knives to fade quicker.
Unlike German knives that are heavier and more durable, Japanese knives should not be used for difficult kitchen activities, such as breaking up chicken bones. The knives’ versatility allows cooking and presentation to be precise, but it also means that the blade is easier to chip.
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