Why I said why you need at least one Santoku Kitchen Knife in your household? I had been cooking for many friends and at friend’s houses. They like the food I love to cook for them! But one thing that I do not really like to do is cook at my American friends houses. My American friend’s don’t usually have very good knives.
Sometimes I just volunteer to cook at their house when I am there. We go grocery shopping and come back home. I am ready for cooking and realize that they don’t have good knives or even a Good Cutting Board like Totally Bamboo 3-Piece Bamboo Cutting Board Set. Bamboo is harder than wood and more sanitary as it doesn’t absorb and collect bacteria. And Plese, Please, Please!!! do not cut anything on your plate or hard surface. Do not use grass cutting board!!!
They usually have a Chef’s knife, also known as a French knife. Those knives are not suitable to use for Japanese cooking. Well, some Japanese person would say it is perfectly fine but I don’t like to use it for my Japanese cooking.
If you want a great knife, I recommend Santoku kitchen knife. You may have heard of a knife name Santoku kitchen knife. Santoku translates from Japanese to – “developed knife. San means three the number and Toku means benevolence. That means you can have three times benevolence. Because this knife is good benevolent for meat, fish and vegetables (three). Also these are very popular knives in a Japanese household.
Vegetables are big ingredients for Japanese cooking because Japanese people eat so many vegetables. Also, they cut them very small. Cutting small is important for Japnese cooking.
Japanese use chopsticks, not knives and forks. You can not really cut anything using chopsticks. I think Japanese cooking is prepared to eat in a one bite size so you don’t need to cut on the plate (actually you can not cut it). So if you were a chef, you have to prepare to cut a certain way for people who can eat the food easily.
I usually recommend my friends Japanese or German brand knives. Those two countries are very famous for knives. Both have very good knives traditionaly. Also Santoku is coming from Japan but German company make this type – Santoku kitchen knife now.
You can choose whatever you like, but I will put my two brand recomendation here. Shun Classic 7-Inch Santoku Hollow Ground Knife is very good brand, it sounds like Japanese and it is Japanese name however this is a German brand. My Chef friend has a whole set and she loves it very much.
Global is Japanese brand and I have this one for my own Global G48 7-Inch Hollow-Ground Santoku I like this one because it is light weight and is made of one piece of metal. No wooden handles to worry about. It is very easy to clean and stylish also.
If you would buy a second knife, I recommend Henckels Twin Cermax – 5″ Petty/Utility Asian Knife.
Petty knives are the Japanese version of a paring knife. They typically are thin without a bolster on the blade and are very light. This is very good for pastry cooking or fruits. It is great as a peeling, paring, boning and carving knife for vegetables, fruits, herbs and other delicate work. It will also take on some of the slicing and dicing jobs of a large chef knife. Also, it is small and light – very handy!
Anyway, I recommend having Santoku and Petty knives when you start cooking Japanese. If you try it, you maybe surprised that you are enjoying cutting many things on the board!