Are Japanese Carving Knives As Good As The Western Ones?

Sujikihi knives

The Sujihiki or Subihiki – as some also call them – is the Japanese version of the slicing Western knives. Sujihiki knives are also used for carving.

A carving knife is much thinner than a chef’s knife (particularly at the spine) and has a sharper edge than Western versions, enabling it to carve thinner, more precise slices. The long blade of a Sujihiki is ideal for thinly carving cooked and raw meats, as well as slicing terrines and patés.

The Sujihiki is a double edge slicing knife with a long narrow blade that smoothly slices through meat or vegetables and preserves the integrity of each ingredient’s freshness. The Sujihiki slicer can carve and fabricate large roasts and other meats and fish and can be used for thinly slicing other ingredients such as cucumbers or smoked salmon.

Some Sushi chefs prefer to use a Sujihiki instead of a Yanagi to slice Sashimi or fillet fish.

Sujihiki’s commonly ranges between 240mm and 300mm. In case of Western carving knives, sizes range from 200 mm and 380 mm (8 and 15 inches) and are used to slice thin cuts of meat, including poultry, roasts, hams, and other large cooked meats.

How to choose a Sujihiki knife

Cooks should choose the length appropriate to their needs based on the product the knife will be used on and the available space in the kitchen. Logically, more length is preferred because it ensures that slices can be completed without resorting to sawing through the protein which can diminish the quality of the final product. While the double bevel sujihiki is ideal for most Western applications, users who intend to use the knife exclusively for raw fish and who desire the most traditional sushi experience should consider whether a yanagiba is for them.

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