THE SUPER SLICER KNOWN AS THE SUJIHIKI AND WHY IT DESERVES A PLACE IN THE KITCHEN
Sujihiki translates to ‘flesh slicer’ it is a double bevelled knife, the Sujihiki knife is the Western variant of the Japanese kitchen knife (the Yanagiba) that is used for slicing boneless protein. It is a long and narrow double-bevel knife with a short height that enables them to effortlessly slice through fish and meat with as little friction as possible. The design enables these knives to cut paper-thin slices of meat with just a single stroke. The narrow blade and sharp edge help to reduce the effort needed to cut through ingredients.
THE PURPOSE OF THE KNIFE
The Sujihiki is one beautiful and versatile knife. Its double-edged feature makes it an all-purpose slicer that can be used professionally and domestically.
This knife is used mainly for filleting and skinning fish, for slicing meat and boneless meat. It can also be used to cut vegetables.
The narrow blade of this knife ensures that it slices through meat and fish smoothly, preserving the integrity of each ingredient’s freshness. This is particularly important for meals where fish is eaten raw. The knife profile also allows thin slices to be cut in a single draw and prevents drag as each slice falls away as it is sliced.
DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS AND APPLICATIONS
The Sujihiki knife is one with a bevel on both sides of its edge, this feature makes the knife suitable for both left-handed and right-handed individuals. It is also long and narrow, with a spine that terminates in a pointed tip.
The knife blade is usually 210mm - 360mm long with an acceptable spine width of 2-3mm. The ones with shorter blades are believed to be easier to use and control than longer blades, the shorter blades also cut through meat with a lot less reduced friction.
This knife is a slicer. The Sujihiki is a long and narrow knife and while it works well on boneless meat, it is not suited for bony meat. This knife is best used as a slicer rather than a heavy-duty kitchen knife or as a general-purpose chef’s knife.
The Sujihiki is not an all-purpose knife so it will certainly not be the primary blade in your kitchen’s arsenal. Use it more as a specialized slicer, the knife you use when you need to slice and carve your boneless meat and fish.
Because they are narrower, Sujihiki also does not offer you sufficient flats to let you lift your dice into a mise bowl. They also feel awkward when used in chopping or push-cutting motion. This is just another good reason not to use a Sujihiki for any other purpose other than slicing and carving. Some chefs still use it as a chef’s knife anyway, but you can be sure you will come face-to-face with these limitations when it is used that way.
WHAT TO NOT USE THE SUJIHIKI KNIFE FOR
This knife is ideal for removing sinew and fat from meat, filleting, and skinning fish and delicately slicing through boneless meat and fish as it will preserve the structure and taste of the meat, especially for those meant for sushi or sashimi.
Using the Sujihiki to cut through other ingredients that are not meat or fish might cause the blade to be very dull. It shouldn’t be used to cut the bones and hard food items. If most of what you do is cutting, boning, and filleting fish of various sizes, you will require the Deba knife rather than the Sujihiki knife. For processing meat including bones, a Gyuto or Bunka will be more essential than a Sujihiki which works best on boneless meat.
WHERE YOU’D FIND A SUJIHIKI?
Found in sushi and sashimi restaurants and used in preparing foods that are to be eaten raw, as it preserves the original flavour the texture and the food.
However, if you mostly slice fish such as Sashimi or Sushi, you’d be better off with a Deba knife or a Yanagiba, a traditional-style single-bevel Japanese kitchen knife that is built precisely for cutting fish.