Cooking with the Santoku

Cooking with the Santoku

Posted by Kiri Dolman on

As the most commonly used knife in Japanese homes, there is certainly something to be said for the Japanese Santoku knife. With its name translating into “three virtues” or “strengths”, this can be referred to its great versatility to be used for meat, fish and vegetables, or for its ability to mince, dice and chop. To demonstrate just how efficient and versatile this “all-rounder” Japanese knife is, we bring you Shannon’s chilli con carne recipe, which involves all three mincing, dicing and chopping techniques. The Santoku stands well equipped to take on these tasks to prepare this delicious dish that can be enjoyed with rice, in tacos or in nachos!

Knife maker and Koi Knives co-owner, Shannon Dolman, has been making this popular Mexican dish for years! A family favourite, it can also be made without chilli for those who aren’t a fan of spicy food, or extra chilli for those who like it hot! Shannon has also taken this recipe away on his camping trips across the Simpson Desert and prepared it over hot coals in the camp oven. Everyone was happy campers with the rich sauce and blend of spices warming up hungry tummies at the end of the day and being a flavour sensation! We hope you enjoy it just as much 😊


Shannon’s Chilli Con Carne
Serves 6


  • 2 tbs Olive oil
  • 3 Onions
  • 4-5 Cloves of Garlic
  • 500g Beef Mince
  • 1 tin Black Beans
  • 3 Carrots
  • 2 Tins tomatoes
  • 1 tbs Tomato paste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Kecap Manis
  • 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tbs Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 Chillies (to taste)
  • 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 lime leaves
  • 1 bunch Coriander
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 Spring onions
  • Rice
  • Sour cream (to serve)


  • 1 Tomato
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 corn cob
  • ½ red capsicum
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 lettuce leaves shredded



  1. Begin by DICING your onions and MINCING your garlic.

     2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions and garlic and sauté.

     3. Add the mince meat, stirring regularly, until browned.

       4. Meanwhile, CHOP the carrots into thin sticks and then DICE them into             5mm cubes. Add these to the pot once meat has browned.

        5. Next DICE the stalks of the coriander stalks and add these to the meat                mixture.

     6. Add spices, thinly sliced lime leaves and DICED chillies.

     7. Then add the kecap manis, tomato paste and balsamic vinegar.

     8. Next add the beans, tinned tomatoes and stock.

     9. Once bubbling, reduced heat and simmer on low for about 1.5 hours.

    10. Season to taste.

To make Salsa

  1. Place cob of corn under the grill under cooked and charred.
  2. DICE tomato and capsicum into 10mm squares and place in a bowl.
  3. Finely DICE red onion and add to the bowl, along with shredded lettuce and lime juice.
  4. Once cooled, add corn kernels from the cob and add to salsa.
  5. Season to taste.

Serve Chilli Con Carne with cooked rice and salsa, and garnish with CHOPPED coriander leaves and spring onion, and dollops of sour cream. We also made cornbread muffins by RecipeTin Eats to accompany our Sunday night dinner. They were perfect for soaking up all the sauces and juices that were too delicious to leave behind!

If you haven't seen them already, check out other recipes on our blog such as Beef Ragu made with the Kiritsuke Knife, or Teriyaki Chicken Thighs made with the Gyuto Knife.

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