A Simple Guide to the Sujihiki Knife: The Slicer
Sujihiki literally translates to “flesh slicer”. It is a Japanese slicing knife that has a thinner blade and a sharper edge than its Western equivalents.
Sujihiki knives have a long blade that is best suited for thinly carving raw or cooked meat. You can use it to slice away the terrines and pates. These knives can also slice fish. In the Japanese knife tradition, there are specialized knives such as the Yanagi that are used for slicing a Sashimi or filleting fish. Yet there are some chefs that prefer to use the Sujihiki for this purpose.
The Sujihiki is, thus, a versatile slicer. You can use it to slice raw meats, fish, roasts, turkey, and any other protein. These knives are built with extended blade lengths for slicing off the flesh with a single stroke. This means you don’t have to slice back and forth like in a sawing motion. It gives you the clean and neat cuts almost effortlessly. The blades also have a smaller surface area and will not stick to the meat you are cutting. Sujihiki knives will come in handy when you want to cut some clean brisket slices. You can also use them when you need to cut ultra-thin meat slices such as in Carpaccio. Overall, these knives make cutting meat a complete breeze.
Their long and narrow blades can trim away the fat and sinew from your meat before cooking. Use them to slice your meat or boneless fish or for filleting or skinning your fish. With just one drawing motion from the heel to tip, you will get a clean and effortless cut. They make you're cooking a complete joy.
The blades of the Sujihiki knives are narrow and with an acute edge which allows you to cut your ingredients without any strenuous effort. Depending on your budget and workspace, it is generally recommended to go for the longer blades.
If you have mastered your cutting technique and you combine this with the sharpness of the knife and its acute blade angle, you will be able to achieve very clean cuts on the flesh without any cellular damage to the protein. This is invaluable in dishes where you have to eat the fish raw as the clean cuts preserve the texture and the flavor of the fish - a finish that can only be achieved with a Japanese knife like the Sujihiki or Yanagiba.
You will find Sujihiki knives being widely used in filleting, trimming as well as slicing fish. They work superbly where you need to achieve very fine cuts on either the meat or fish.
If you have a passion for making fish delicacies such as Sushi or Sashimi, it would be more prudent to purchase a fish slicing knife such as the Yanagi. The Yanagi is a traditional Japanese knife that is bevel-edged and which has been specially designed for cutting fish. Some chefs regard the Sujihiki knife as a sort of the Western equivalent of the Yanagi as both have the same blade profiles.
Sujihiki knives are made by a number of craftsmen and manufacturers from across the world. While the blade profiles from the disparate manufacturers are largely the same, there will be some differences in the type of steel used, the length of the blade as well as the type and design of the knife handle.
Some Sujihiki knives are made from stainless steel while others are crafted from carbon steel or Damascus steel. Material preferences for these knives generally vary from one manufacturer to another. Some prefer stainless steel slicers while others will go for Damascus steel and other carbon steels.
Premium Damascus steel Sujihiki knives are beautifully patterned and add a snazzy look to your cutlery. Some chefs prefer Damascus patterned steel as they add some style, personality and allows them to express their individuality and some ‘soul’ into their craft. Invariably, these beautifully handcrafted and pattered Japanese knives will cost you more than the ordinary-looking stainless-steel knives. Patterned Damascus steel chef knives are made by various bladesmiths and workshops both in Japan as well as outside Japan. One of the best places to shop for some cool and high-quality Japanese chef knives is at Koi Knives where you can find beautiful Sujihiki knives made from patterned Damascus steel and which have beautiful-looking Australian wood handles available in different colors and designs.
Prices for Sujihiki knives vary widely depending on the manufacturer, the type of material used, the length of the blade as well as the quality of the handles. Some handles are crafted from wood while others are made from composite materials.
Typical blade lengths for Sujihiki knives vary from 210mm to 270mm. Some go to lengths of up to 360mm. The most common blade lengths for the Sujihiki knives are 240mm, 270mm, and 300mm. However, you can still find blades outside the 240mm to 300mm size range.
Important Facts About Sujihiki Knives
- They are designed for use in slicing boneless protein, including meat and fish.
- They are relatively short knives with lengths varying from 210mm to 360mm
- They can be made from stainless steel or patterned Damascus steel. They have a mono-steel construction type.
- The Sujihiki knife has a similar blade profile as the Yanagi knife. The blades have a long, graceful, and narrow profile with acute edge angles.
- A bevel-edged design.