Wednesday, January 30, 2013
ON JAPANESE KNIVES- VISUAL APPEAL
Most restaurants offer culinary treasures and fine delicacies from Japan, suddenly seems to be the city’s staple, cooked in both contemporary and traditional styles…thanks to these wonderful Knives!!
Renowned for its elegant presentation, Japanese cuisine elevates the enjoyment level on the table and raises the appreciation from those who eat it. The Japanese are known for making some of the world's best knives and not just the Samurai sword. Their cuisine relies heavily on intricate knife skills from cuts of sashimi, to the artistic fruit and vegetable carving. A willing hand, a creative mind to work the knife is all it takes to get that whimsical charm to your food. Interestingly not all Japanese knives are the same however the central core of any good Japanese knife is hard steel that is both tough and easily able to be sharpened to a keen edge. These knives are supposed to glide right through food as one is slicing it. On a traditional vein these knives are of two kinds based on the forging methods. ‘Honyaki’ are made from true forged high carbon steel. ‘Kasumi’ are made through forging high carbon steel and soft iron together.
CITY CHEFS USE JAPANESE KNIVES FOR BETTER PERFORMANCE
As a matter of fact, most sushi chefs love single bevel knives (Yanagi Ba) owing to have to sharpen their knives daily. With a single bevel knife, they can easily achieve the same razor-sharp edge day after day. “It was originally believed that a blade angled only on one side cuts better and makes cleaner cuts, though requiring more skill in its use than a blade with a double-bevelled edge. Usually, the right hand side of the blade is angled, as most people use the knife with their right hand, with ratios ranging from 70–30 for the average chef’s knife, to 90–10 for professional sushi chef knives; left-handed models are rare and must be specially ordered and custom made”, shares Keisuke Uno, Japanese Master Chef at The Claridges, Surajkund. “We use Santoku style knives here. As a chef, I feel, they are an edge better than the regular AP French knives. This blade design allows a more acute angle on the cutting edge that makes the knife ideal for precision cutting and thin slicing. The Deba knives (cleavers) are also often used in our kitchen and its angular look makes it easier to use”, adds Chef Nimish Bhatia, The Lalit New Delhi. Proud owner of a Japanese hand- made high carbon steel knife Chef Sabyasachi Gorai says, “Some Chefs prefer Kyocera ceramic knives as they are made of an advanced, high-tech ceramic called zirconia, which is second in hardness only to diamond. The best part about these ceramic knives is that they don’t bend, corrode or require constant re-sharpening, and are easy to maintain, apart from being extremely light and good looking”. Chef Bakshish Dean, corporate chef liteBite food shares “I love my Sakai Takayuki, 17 layers Damascus knife which my wife gifted me on my birthday, this gorgeous black topped knife is hand made and the steel is incredibly rich in Carbon and Tungsten. This blade can take and hold a scary sharp edge even through heavy use. Yet it is easy to re sharpen and has a good rust resistance for a high carbon knife”.
A good knife should be foraged from high-quality, high carbon, no stain steel and never be made of stainless steel, should be nicely balanced with a good heft to it and always be stored in the cover it came with, or on a wall mounted magnetic strip.
MUST HAVE KNIVES IN A HOME KITCHEN
Chef’s knife- With a 6 to 12 inch blade and 1-1/2 inches deep to the widest point. This All-purpose knife is great for chopping, slicing, dicing and mincing.
Paring knife- Owing to its size i.e. 3-4 inches long and about ¾ inches deep it feels like a part of your hand and is brilliant for peeling , coring, trimming etc.
Serrated Bread knife- 9 inch is long enough and makes perfect for cutting soft produce apart from just crusty breads and cakes.
Published in HT City.