A good chef and a nice knife are excellent companions in the kitchen when performing essential tasks like cutting meat and fish. These two make the main, favourite and most expensive foodstuffs in a hotel or home menu, requiring careful handling. It's, therefore, paramount to produce a concise and clean cut using a well-sharpened and quality knife.
One such knife that has withstood all known tests comes by the name of the Sujihiki Knife. The Sujihiki is a Japanese name translating to "fresh slicer" and with further meaning that "it's sharp, perfect, and effective enough to get shown off to friends". In a simple form, the knife's name refers to what it got made for i.e. fish and meat slicing.
The Origin of the Sujihiki Knife
The Sujihiki Knife's has its origins in Japan. That’s where its “carving and slicing counterpart or version” got invented. It combined the design of the single-beveled Japanese Yanagiba blade, mainly used for thin slicing, and the Western carving knife. Further addition of a second beveling got fitted to the cutting edge. That led to a design of an all-purpose slicer that works like a large petty/kitchen or a chef's knife.
The Japanese version featured a thin and long blade plus a narrow heel height with surface area minimization to make single draw thin slices. The knife got ideally structured to reduce the drag and friction, making the food fall away easily on slicing. The knife used decorative finishing like the Damascus cladding, the unpolished and rough kurouchi look, the hammered tsuchime finishing, or the fluting alongside the blade.
The Sujihiki knife, similar to the Japanese one, gets used in the Western and Southern countries. It features a blade with mid-range flex and has lightweight. It gets sharpened using a 50/50 grind to give it equal beveling on both sides. It has a needle-esque shape making it get under and cleaned of unwanted meats easily. The long blade makes the knife easily glide through large meat portions with one stroke.
The Purpose of the Sujihiki Knife
The sujihiki comes with a graceful, long, narrow blade purposely made to trim away fat and sinew from your meat. It will fine slice boneless fish, meat, and carry out fish skinning and filleting. Its long blade allows for cutting using a single draw motion, starting from the heel to the tip. The blades narrowness and the acute edge angle features are suitable in reducing the effort required while cutting through large ingredients.
For dishes like raw fish, avoiding cellular damage during the cutting gets essential in preserving the texture and flavor of the fish. The Sujihiki features combining the blades acute angle, sharp edge, and cutting techniques makes it perfect for that kind of texture and flavor preservation. It's a good knife as a kitchen addition and makes a big statement for you as a chef or a home cook.
The Sujihiki come in several styles to satisfy the needs of every cook. The following are some of the types.
The Fujimoto Nashiji 240mm Sujihiki got specially built for home and professional cooks.
The Moritaka Ishime 300mm Sujihiki that's ideal for BBQ competitions and professional cooking.
Haruyuki Mugi 240mm Sujihiki for your home use or gifts
Masashi Kuroshu Sujihiki 270mm to make a fashion statement with its beauty. The best part about it is its Damascus pattern with a kurouch finish, making it look like swirling stars in outer space.
The Typical Length of the Sujihiki Knife Blade
The Sujihiki knife features a long and thin blade that uses a single draw to make nice slices and thin ones. That perfect performance also gets an added boost from the knife's minimized surface area and narrow heel height.
The knife’s blade length ranges from 210-360mm. Most models like the ones mentioned above have blades measuring 240mm, 270mm, and 300mm.
According to YUMMIEST FOOD, the slicing knife needs a longer blade compared to other knives. A long blade covers the cutting surface of food ingredients like meat. It also allows straight cuts at the same time providing proper control.
The Typical Measurement of the Sujihiki Knife Spine
As we have learnt above, different chefs and cooks will prefer certain Sujihiki Knife styles. The Sujihiki comes in differing styles and thicknesses for everyone’s comfort. Some of the models feature laser-thin, while others have thicker spine width. Most experienced professional chefs prefer the laser thin models for their flexibility. If you're a beginner, you should try heavier and thicker models with better control.
For the laser-thin models, the width commonly starts at 2.0mm. The thicker models can even range up to 3.0mm but not beyond that as they can cause slice damage to your meat.
What to not use the Sujihiki Knife for?
The Sujihiki got perfectly made to handle your boneless meat cutting tasks. However, it's essential to note that that you can't use it to cut boned meat. Although sometimes used to slice and chop vegetables, it can't work as well as the chef's knife for general-kitchen tasks.
The knife comes narrower and doesn't offer you enough blade flats for lifting dices to a bowl. It's doesn't also have the comfort of a chef's knife when used to chop or push-cut kitchen foods.
What is the Sujihiki Knife Best at?
If your cooking involves trimming, filleting, or slicing meat, the Sujihiki becomes your best kitchen companion. The knife is best at slicing meat or terrines and excellently preserves their freshness integrity. It can even slice and curve large roasts, fish, and other meats that need thin slicing.
The Sujihiki narrow, long, and graceful blade trim away fat and sinew from meat to produce fine slices nicely. Its blades length gives it an advantage of cutting the meat using a single draw motion. The blade edge's acute angle and narrowness ensure the cutting effort required for food ingredients gets reduced.
Which Restaurant in the World will you find the Sujihiki Knife?
You will find the Sujihiki knife playing an essential role in the success of the Sushi Restaurant. You get surprised when you come to learn that the number of Sushi Restaurants in the United States alone stands at more than 4000. Why is Sushi so popular?
The foods served at Sushi get prepared using Japanese styles and consist of vinegared rice that's specially prepared and combined with various ingredients like seafood, vegetables, and tropical fruits.
At every Sushi restaurant, you will notice the cook holding a long, pointy, and narrow knife with most likely an octagonal wooden handle. You will also see the cook wiping the blade carefully after confidently slicing the meat and vegetables. Your thoughts make you conclude that the cook knows his business. And do you know what?The cook holds a Sujihiki Knife!