Besides improving your speed and efficiency in the kitchen, what does the world-class sharpness of a Japanese kitchen knife do to elevate your cooking experience? We know all about Japan’s best kitchen knives – we’ve been introducing their features to you here on the OrientalSouls blog now for a while. (If you are new, now is your chance to catch up!)
I can talk about the history and legendary craftsmanship going into Japan’s best knives all day – but you’d probably be better off just knowing what’s in it for you, right? Well, today I’m here to explain what it is about the best Japanese kitchen knives that can truly revolutionize your culinary experience.
Changing the ‘Steaks:’ Top 3 Benefits of a Japanese Knife
For beef skewers, stir-fry, or oven roasted beef tips, a quality Japanese kitchen knife will elevate your dish to professional levels by amplifying flavour, by protecting the fresh textures of your ingredients, and by giving your meal that visual appeal sure to earn plenty of likes on Instragram.
Benefit #1: Locking in the Flavour
A clean, straight cut through your meat is the first and most important step to ensuring that you cook it evenly, properly, and deliciously. The only way to insure that your beef (or fish, or vegetables!) are cut and not torn, ripped, or otherwise pulled apart is to have a durable, long, and sharp edge on your kitchen knife. Japanese knives are made with this as priority number one! From the gyuto chef’s knife all the way down to the deadly accurate petty knife, Japanese knife makers are today applying samurai sword traditions to kitchen technologies to ensure that the fibres of your ingredients are sliced not smashed, bashed, or shredded apart.
A clean cut exposes less surface area by not opening up spaces between the fibres of your ingredients. Less surface area means less exposure to air and oxidation, and fewer opportunities for the juices and flavours to escape while heating. That’s why a clean, single pull cut is the make-or-break step in the crafting of a memorable meal.
This goes for chops as well – and for that, Japanese knife makers have cultivated the multipurpose santoku knife into the modern age. Take a look.
Benefit #2: Freshness in Every Bite
Benefit #2 is closely related to #1. Freshness in texture is another benefit of a clean cut. A dull or improperly handled knife will tear the food, opening up space in-between its fibres where the flavour can escape, as we discussed. But another side effect of this is the opening up of spaces where moisture can escape and the heat and stress of your range, oven, or grill can unevenly attack only certain parts of otherwise carefully prepared ingredients! Talk about a waste … your vegetables might end up a mishmash of hard, underdone bits right alongside soggy, overdone ones – or worse: parts of your carefully selected and sliced meat could quickly get out of hand, parts of its overcooking in minutes while others staying raw as can be. All these inconsistencies add up to a collection of consistencies that will challenge not only your fork but also your teeth!
Freshness and texture go hand-in-hand with a delicious meal, so why sacrifice such an important part of your meal prep by using a lame-cutting hardware store kitchen knife when a hand-crafted Japanese knife can guarantee you clean cuts each and every time? Seems like a no brainer to me.
Tip #3: A Delicious Meal Worth of Everyone’s ‘Likes’
The third and final bonus of introducing a razor sharp and rock hard Japanese kitchen knife to your repertoire is the clean, precise, pinpoint accuracy your slices will achieve. In terms of flavour, this is great for the reasons listed above. In terms of professional looks and tasty ‘appeal,’ it all starts and ends with a clean crisp cut. Sharp edges and appealing contrasts, with a good cut your ingredients can come together like a well-done bouquet of flowers – each aspect capable of shining all on its own and, when placed together, enticing your guests with mouth watering imagery.
Just think of the Instragram possibilities!
How to Enjoy the Benefits of Japan’s Best Knives Anywhere in the World
Knowing what we do about the benefits of these traditional crafted Japanese knives – the unmatched cutting ability which locks in flavour and juices; that they make cooking evenly and carefully all the more easier; and that they produce dishes with the professional look of a high-end, downtown restaurant – you must be wondering how you can introduce a game-changing Japanese knife to your kitchen?
Well, you are in luck because the masters over at Toshu-Giken in Saitama Prefecture Japan have been crafting some of the country’s best kitchen knives for exactly this purpose – and all done entirely by hand and all in very small batches. With the cut of your steak in mind, Toshu knifemakers apply their trademark razor sharp edge with their edo-togi grind method. (Learn more about Toshu Knives with our exclusive blog coverage: LINK)
Drawing on centuries of swordmaking tradition, Toshu knifemakers have been at work in the country’s most famous sushi shops and Kobe steakhouses for decades. Today, they are exploding onto the global scene with their traditionally forged, ultra hard, and super sharp steel blades. As their second generation Toshu master and head knifemaker explains the trademark edge of their knives guarantees you get that perfect cut each and every time. Locking in flavour, retaining the freshness and good texture of your ingredients, and giving your dishes that added visual appeal is their goal. Toshu knives are now available worldwide via our inline shop!
Bringing home a world-class Toshu kitchen knife will take your diced meat and vegetable dishes to new heights – propelling you to neighbourhood fame and making your kitchen the envy of even your most distant cousins.
Author - Jay
In my spare time I enjoy watching baseball, tasting local cuisine, and exploring by road and rail. Having lived in several cities around the world, I have an appreciation for local as well as international histories and cultures. Excited by cultural and social exchange, it is my hope that this blog will help promote an interest in Japanese traditional wares and practises by introducing you to their history and meanings.