Preparing homemade Sushi is a regular activity that any great fan of Sushi would want to try. However, your preparation can be hardly possible without using the best Sushi knife. In fact, your vision of restaurant quality Sushi will gradually become a challenge and a distant dream. Creating tasty sushi on your own is very possible. You only need to take your time and learn the proper techniques on how to go about it and put them into practice. In spite of all that, you also need a few essential tools; to make the preparation more successful.
What Is A Sushi Knife?
Some of the unique features of the Sushi knife are that they have a single beveled edge and are sharpened on only one side leaving the other side flat. The sharpened side acts as the cutting edge while the flat edge is designed to prevent food from easily sticking to the knife blade when prepping Sushi. Thus, prepping Sushi becomes a whole lot easier.
Sushi knives have very unique handles which, traditionally, were designed with a D cross-sectional area. The design was crucial in handling the knives and was intended to make it more comfortable for anyone using the knife for a longer time. The Sushi knife handles are made of various types of wood. Often, many traditional knives have a bone cap at the top. Sushi knives have another unique feature which is the Tang. There are full tang and half tang varieties of these kinds of knives. In full tang, the entire length of the handle is covered whereas in half tang the whole length is not covered.
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Types of Sushi Knives
There are various kinds of Sushi knives, and there are really only a few that are commonly found in the modern kitchen.
Santoku: this is a type of knife that has actually has gained popularity recently. It is a great option to a chef’s knife since it can be used for many purposes which include the preparation of meat, vegetables, and fish.
Yanagiba: The Yanagiba can be considered as the standard knife when it comes to the preparation of Sushi. It is ideal for cutting Sashimi and Sushi rolls.
Deba: The Deba closely resembles a meat cleaver. Which is a resemblance to a meat cleaver, it can be used to cut through bones and cartilage of fish too.
Usuba: this is the knife to consider for the preparation of vegetables. It is also great for many other prepping tasks like peeling, chopping, and cutting.
Many kinds of these knives used in the Sushi industry but they are rare and are not really needed for most purposes. Therefore, the above knives are essential especially when it comes to the preparation of Sushi from scratch.
The difference between Sushi and Sashimi knives
One major difference between a sushi knife and a sashimi knife is that a sushi knife is multifaceted for doing many tasks, i.e., cutting many things while the sashimi knife is only meant for cutting fish. Considering the various steps involved in making a sushi roll which are cutting vegetables, cutting fish as well as cutting the roll itself, a sushi knife can handle all of them while a sashimi knife can only be used to cut fish.
Many sushi knives are made of high-carbon steel and not stainless steel. However, tools made of carbon steel rust easily but are capable of attaining a much sharper edge.
Another unique feature of sushi and sashimi knives is that they have a single beveled edge. These knives are sharpened on one side; which acts as the cutting edge leaving the other side flat. The flat side is designed in that manner to prevent food from sticking to the knife. Although there are both right and left-handed knives, it is said that most sushi knives are right-handed because they cut fish better, while left-handed knives are better for use in cutting shellfish. However, left-handed knives are usually custom made and are therefore very expensive.
Another unique feature of the knives is the handle. Traditionally, the handle was designed with a “D” cross-section. The main reason for this design was to make the knife easy-to-use and make it more comfortable when handling even when used for very extended periods of time. Moreover, the handles are made of various types of wood and usually have a bone cap towards the top.
The last but not least unique feature of the sushi and sashimi knives is the Tang. The tang is the metallic portion of the handle that runs down the length. Full tang knives and half tang knives exist. Full tang covers the entire length of the handle whereas half tang does not.
Reviews of the Best Sushi Knives You Can Buy Online
Global Yanagi Sashimi – Sushi Knife
The Global Sushi knife was developed to slice Sushi and handle the other sushi oriented kitchen tasks. The Yanagi sashimi knife is the Japanese equivalent of a western utility knife. The Yanagi is used for creating garnishes, cutting Sushi rolls and filleting fish and can also be used for every day slicing and dicing. This is one of the best slicing knives. It works great at slicing large pieces of fish for Sushi. In addition to that, it can also be doubled up and used to carve roasts and turkey. The 12-inch Yanagi Sashimi knife is made to the highest standards just like all the other global kitchen knives. The difference between these knives and regular knives from the West is that they are very sharp. Global knives are crafted from Cromova 18 stainless steel which gives them the perfect combination of chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium hence maximizing the knife edge retention and making the knife more resistant to stains.
Sekizo Yanagiba Sashimi Knife
- Blade Length: 8-1/8 in & Overall Length: 14...
This is one of the most affordable knives which also offer outstanding performance. This knife should be one of your best options that is if you are looking for a cheaper knife. The Sekizo Yanagiba Sashimi Knife was first made in Japan. The knife offers adequate performance and greatly outdoes other knives which range at the same price. In fact, you will find a number of sushi knives within this price range, but none of them will exceed the SekizoYanagiba Sashimi Knife. The blade of the SekizoYanagiba knife measures approximately 8 inches, and the knife is approximately 14 inches long. Its sharp blade best suites the slicing of raw fish by providing a slick and easy cut. The handle is made of wood. The wooden handle which allows for a comfortable grip when using the SekizoYanagiba knife and you can use it for long periods without getting irritated. This is absolutely the best sushi knife of all time. However, like most quality knives, the SekizoYanagiba knife should be handled with a lot of care (maintenance) so that it can always offer its outstanding performance. One of the things you should do to achieve this is to sharpen the knife regularly using only a whetstone. The SekizoYanagiba knife should also be washed using a dishwashing liquid before use; for the best performance. Another significant thing to do is that you should thoroughly dry the knife before use in order to prevent it from rusting. In summary, the SekizoYanagima knife is an excellent multi-purpose knife that will make your cutting process significantly easier and faster. The knife is mandatory if you want to raise your cooking game without going against your budget.
Russell 10-Inch Sashimi Knife
The Sushi knife blade is made from high-quality stainless steel. The steel makes it possible to sharpen the sushi knife easily. The Russel 10-inch Sashimi knife has a genuine wooden handle that makes it very comfortable to handle even when using it for long periods.
This knife offers excellent performance, and the price will easily suit your budget. Its performance is worth the price and the same as you would get from any other top-shelf professional grade Sushi knife. However, good care and maintenance are vital if you want to this knife to serve you for a longer period. When you open the packaging, you may think that this is a different knife because it is attractive and feels like many of the higher priced alternatives.
The Russel 10-Inh Sashimi knife is a great option if you are buying your first Sushi knife a budget and if you don’t want to overspend.
Yoshihiro Shiroko Kasumi Yanagi Sashimi Knife
- KNIFE CAN BE OXIDIZED WITHOUT PROPER CARE*...
- Forged from Japanese White High Carbon Steel #2...
- 10.5 inch (270mm) single edged blade with a...
The Yoshihiro Shiroko Kasumi Yanagi Sashimi knife blade is specially designed with a very beautiful pattern called “Kasumi.” This design is achieved by infusing white steel with iron. These knives are designed with a traditional Japanese style called “Shitan.” The knife has a Rosewood handle which is fixed with a Water Buffalo horn bolster. It comes with a protective traditional wooden sheath called “Saya” which greatly helps to protect the knife from physical damages and adds to its appearance when not in use.
The knife is a bit expensive and would perfectly fit anyone with a bigger budget who wants a truly exceptional high-quality traditional style Sushi knife. This is a knife that you would obviously not like to lack in your kitchen.
The History of Sushi Knives
The Sushi knives were first handcrafted in the 14th century using the techniques that were used to handcraft swords more than 1000 years ago. Early in the 19th century, during the modernization of Japan, carrying Samurai swords had become illegal and this made the majority of sword artisans turn their business towards crafting sushi knives. This led to a decline in the crafting of Samurai swords as Sushi knife-crafting became the business of the time.
In Japan, the sushi knife-crafting technique has been passed down from master to apprentice, just like all other forms of art. They have put into place specific rules, procedures, and secrets of the trade and can only be passed on through personal exposure.
Sakai city, in Japan, is the only one world-renowned city for their metal work. Sakai city has been known for their metal work since 500 A.D. after one of the Japan’s emperors died and decreed to have a temple built and named after him.
After the temple was complete, many blacksmiths settled around Sakai city permanently. The blacksmiths’ settlement in Sakai made it possible for the metal work to develop and substantially advance as crafting became the primary economic activity in the area. Hence, Sakai became very famous for its metalwork activities.
Even to this day, Sakai city is still widely known for their high-quality metal work of producing Sushi knives, swords, and riffles; which had been introduced by Portuguese.
What To Consider Before Buying
Before purchasing any single bevel Sushi knife, there are few things that you need to consider. This is especially when you are doing so online, and you have not yet seen the knife in person.
- Reputable vendor – You should buy a Sushi knife from a trusted vendor. You should take your time to know the best dealer before purchasing one, or you get conned which will later cost you a lot. A trusted vendor will sell you a high-quality Sushi knife, and you will not have to look out for another.
- Make sure it is straight – If you are buying the knife in person, have a careful look on the knife from heel to the tip; making sure that the blade road is perfectly straight and not bent. A bent single bevel knife is very hectic and makes it hard to cut even the thin slices that it is supposed to. You can notice a bent knife when cutting food or when sharpening it. A trusted vendor will always check whether the Sushi knife they are selling is perfect before selling out.
- Initial sharpening – if you have never sharpened this kind of knife before, then you need to let the vendor do it for you. These knives need a first initial sharpening since they are shipped from the manufacturer ready to be used; the edge is a personal thing for a chef. Each chef sharpens a knife according to how he/she wants. My recommendation is that you either buy from Korin or Japanese Knife Imports, i.e., if you are in the United States. This is because both vendors will handle the first initial sharpening knife for you! After the first sharpening, then the other subsequent sharpening becomes much easier, and you can do it alone.
- Machi – Machi is a gap next to the handle and is a prevalent feature in Japanese knives. At first sight, you may think that the handle is improperly seated, but that’s not the case. The main purpose of this Machi is to make handles easier to remove and replace. For the knives with Machi, their given length is usually measured from the tip to the Machi, unlike other knives whose length is measured from heel to tip.
- Get ready for the Carbon steel – carbon steel is often very prone to rusting. Cheaper knives are made of carbon steel. As a result, single bevel stainless that is not made of steel is more rare, expensive, and difficult to use and sharpen. Often, you may consider going for the one with carbon steel because it is much cheaper. However, with carbon steel, you will have to be more careful with your knife by taking measures to prevent it from rusting. Rusting can be prevented by cleaning and drying the knife well.
Which Knife Should I Buy?
The kind of knife you need entirely depends on what you want to do with the knife i.e. where and how you want to use it. For example, either for home or restaurant use. The restaurant knife should be much better than the one for home use. Generally, the Yanagiba knife is the standard type of knife that you will need for a start. However, you may consider getting better Sushi and Sashimi knives as you advance in making sushi. Some of those knives include Deba and Usuba, which would serve you better. However, you should invest in a top quality knife if you’re ready to start making a restaurant quality sushi and other Japanese food at home.