If you love sushi, you’ll most probably want to make some at home. The key to making some excellent sushi and sashimi is having all the right tools beforehand. One of the kitchen tools that you must invest in is a good sushi knife.
The best sushi knife is the Yoshihiro Shiroko high carbon steel knife. It’s light and has an ergonomic design for comfortable use and optimal performance. However, we also have options for the budget, beginner’s, ceramic blade, and knife set pick. They all have different features that make them stand out.
Choosing a sushi knife from all the available options is a challenging task. This article highlights five of the best knives that you can use. We’ll also cover the different techniques you can use to cut sushi without it falling apart, and offer a few tips to help with your sushi preparation.
Our Favorite: Yoshihiro Shiroko High Carbon Steel Chef Knife
Japanese knives are some of the best knives in the market, and Yoshihiro is easily one of the most respected brands. The carefully-crafted blades by Japanese artisans are ideal for both amateurs and professionals, which makes this choice our top pick for the best sushi knives.
At 10.5″ (26.67 cm), this beautifully crafted knife spots a Shitan rosewood handle. The D-shaped wooden handle is lightweight, which makes the knife light and easy to use. The knife comes with a 9.5″ (24.13 cm) blade made of stainless steel in a rosewood sheath to keep the blade in perfect condition. The knife is balanced and fit for comfort.
The handcrafted knife featured different Japanese traditional techniques. The Shinogi technique offers an entirely flat grind on the front side of the blade. The Urasuki technique gives the knife a concave grind, while the Uraoshi technique provides the knife with a flat rim on the back. The Urasuki and Shinogi techniques ensure the least damage to sushi’s surface, maintaining the texture and taste.
The different techniques used on the knife make it both aesthetically pleasing and works to improve its functionality. The long slicing blade was specifically designed to slice thin pieces for sushi and sashimi. The thin edge allows chefs to cut through sushi ingredients in long uninterrupted strokes that help preserve its freshness.
Even the best tools require good maintenance practices so that they can retain their excellent shape. The Yoshihiro knife’s sharp edge requires attention and care. If you want to sharpen and hone it, you should use water whetstones only. The knife can only be hand washed and dried. If you’re using acidic ingredients, be sure to clean it immediately after. The carbon steel blade can quickly oxidize, and you should keep it dry and oil regularly to prevent this from happening.
Getting an authentic sushi knife on a budget can be a considerable challenge. Often, buying a sushi knife is an investment, and if you’re only getting started with preparing sushi at home, you’ll probably want a tool that lets you practice without breaking the bank.
The Happy Sales Japanese Sushi knife is one of the cheapest options available. If you’re looking for an affordable but still quality chef’s knife, this should be your best option.
Despite the affordable price tag, the Happy Sales sashimi sushi knife comes with all the impressive features. You get a long and slender blade that cuts through fish and rice rolls without much damage. It’s made in the typical Japanese style that features a single-bevel blade and a D-shaped wood handle. This ergonomic design ensures the knife remains comfortable in the hand while in use.
The molybdenum steel blade doesn’t rust easily. It is sharp with good edge retention and is easy to resharpen.
Although this knife won’t last long, it’s an excellent choice for anyone who’s looking to practice their sushi cuts. You get the option of preparing sushi without the risk of damaging an expensive knife.
Besides the standard quality, a significant downside is that the handle is not varnished. Besides, the blade doesn’t come in a protective sheath, which would help extend the knife’s longevity.
Beginner’s Pick: Wusthof Classic 6-inch Prep Knife
If you aren’t experienced with making sushi rolls, you’ll want a knife that allows you to practice without committing to an expensive option. The Wusthof classic knife is an ideal choice for anyone who wants to start preparing sushi and sashimi at home.
The knife features a 9-inch high carbon stainless steel. The blade is easy to control but still large enough to perform the necessary tasks. Besides, the single-beveled design ensures the knife is easy-going enough for novices. A few customers find the blade thick and short. However, it is just ideal for people who want to learn.
Although it is a fit for beginners, the Wusthof brand’s strong German reputation gives this knife recognition. These knives are well known for their sturdiness and performance. It is neither heavy nor light, which facilitates easy slicing of sushi rolls.
The knife comes with a bamboo sheath that helps secure the blade even when it is not used. You may have to spend quite some time cleaning and polishing the blade to ensure its longevity. However, it’s worth knowing that the Precision Edge Technology helps ensure that the blade is sharper and lasts twice as long.
Best Ceramic Blade: Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Sashimi Knife
Most sushi chefs prefer high carbon steel Japanese knives. However, if you’re looking for something a bit more convenient, ceramic blades should be your go-to option. However, finding a knife with a ceramic blade that works excellent for sushi rolls is an uphill task.
The Kyocera Advanced sashimi knife is our pick for the best knife with a ceramic blade. The blade is distinctively etched with the traditional Japanese Damascus pattern. It is attached to a Pakka wood handle designed with three stainless steel rivets.
You don’t need to worry about having to resharpen the blades every so often. The ceramic blades are ultra-sharp and will maintain this 15x longer than stainless steel blades. The blades are light and easy to clean. Besides, unlike steel blades, ceramic blades are rust-resistant, won’t react with acids, and will not brown the food you’re preparing.
An excellent feature of this knife is that it is well-balanced. Therefore, it will remain firmly in place as you slice through sushi rolls, avoiding excess damage. Its stability also ensures that you can use the knife for other food such as fruits and vegetables. You should avoid using the knife on frozen and other hard foods.
You may be inclined to stainless knives when it comes to sushi and sashimi. However, if you’d like to try out something different, this ceramic knife is an ideal choice.
Best Knife Set: Kamikoto Kanpeki Knife Set
Every chef is usually proud of the knife collection. Whether you are only getting started or are looking to add to your existing collection, you should consider getting this knife set from Kamikoto. The set comes with three different knives in a presentation box.
The set includes a slicing knife, a vegetable knife, and a utility knife. All three of them are balanced and have their weights well-distributed. This way, you get optimal performance whenever you use the knives.
The slicing knife, which is what you will use for your sushi, is 8.5 inches. Like the other two knives, it is tapered on one side. The other end is hollow ground. The blades feature a subtle luster finish that makes them aesthetically pleasing.
Sushi knife sets are hard to come by, and you’ll hardly find a collection that includes sushi knives only. That said, your best bet in collecting sushi knives is to buy them individually. They’ll cost you more, but it’ll be worth the effort. This way, you’re assured of getting long-lasting knives that will serve you for some time.
Although this knife set from Kamikoto does not contain sushi knives only, it’s an excellent start for a new chef who’s looking to build their collection. The well-balanced knives are great for use in the kitchen for other foods besides sushi.
Best sashimi knife: Sashimi Sushi Knife 10 Inch
This knife comes with a long blade of 10 inches (25.4 cm) that’s perfect for sashimi and cutting fish fillet, and slicing sushi. The stainless steel is very sharp and is attached to a wooden handle. The knife is long and narrow. Its asymmetrical design allows you to slice through an entire fish in only two movements.
To ensure optimal performance, the blade is very sharp and is made of quality stainless steel. The knife is well-balanced, and the non-slip handle is an excellent addition. It ensures that the knife remains firm in your grip when using it.
The knife comes nicely packed, and each blade has a serial number that you can use to confirm its validity. The edge allows you to separate cuts effortlessly in only one movement. The knife is ideal for raw fish, but you can use it to cut various other kitchen ingredients.
This knife is simple yet elegant, which also makes it an excellent gift idea for a chef. They will love having this addition to their kitchen.
For most users, this knife is an excellent bargain. You get an affordable knife that offers some of the best quality features. Although the knife comes in a presentation box, you’ll have to buy a sheath separately to help maintain the blade’s sharpness for longer.
How Do You Cut Sushi Without It Falling Apart?
So, you’ve prepared your sushi rolls, and everything looks perfect. Don’t start celebrating yet; you aren’t done with the task at hand. The next significant challenge is cutting through the rolls without the sushi falling apart.
If you’re always stuck at this point, don’t worry because many people usually are. In this section, we will look at how you can slice through your sushi without disintegrating everything. Be sure to check out the helpful tips we’ll leave as well.
Traditional sushi chefs use two main ways to slice their sushi into rolls. The first one involves placing the sushi on a chopping board and moistening the blade. After cutting the sushi roll into two, place the halves together and slice them further into four pieces. This cutting trick is especially ideal for traditional maki rolls that have Nori on the outside.
If you’re slicing inside-out rolls, your best bet would be to place the sushi in plastic wrap. The wrap keeps the toppings in place and the rice from falling apart, so you can slice the rolls much easier.
Although these two methods work for just about any type of sushi, making clean cuts will depend on the kind of sushi and how sharp your knife is. Here are some methods you can use to ensure you make a clean cut for your sushi.
Push and Pull Method
The instruction for this method is in its name. To make a clean cut of every sushi roll, you need to push and pull. Place the sushi roll on a chopping board and moisten the blade of a sharp single-beveled knife. Using this method, you should be able to slice the sushi in two strokes. The first one should push the knife slightly forward until it is about halfway through the roll. The second stroke should have you pull the knife backward to achieve a clean cut.
One Pull Method
This method will require that you have an extremely sharp blade. From the name, you’ll only need one stroke to slice through the sushi rolls.
To avoid having the toppings spillover, wrap the sushi in a plastic film, and use a bamboo mat to shape it up once more. Angle the knife so that you’re still pulling it but with minimal movement. Use one forward, pulling stroke to slice the sushi into as many pieces as you want.
Double Push Method
This style is quite similar to the push and pull method. The technique used in cutting the sushi roll is similar. However, instead of using one push stroke, you’ll need to push the blade twice downwards. Be sure to move the knife slightly forward every time so that you get away with a clean cut.
Tips to Ensure You Have Clean Sushi Cuts
Getting the perfect sushi cuts goes beyond the knife you use. If you’re looking to make a clean cut each time you’re making sushi, here are a few tips to help you start.
- Use the right sushi rice. The rice used in sushi is one of the essential ingredients. Besides giving sushi its taste, the rice plays a vital role in determining how your cuts will turn out. If you’re not sure what rice to use, Japanese short-grain rice is the best option. It’s sticky and therefore helps to hold the roll together.
- Ensure you have the right ratio of vinegar to sugar in your rice. If you add too much vinegar, that may be a recipe for disaster.
- Make tight and compact sushi rolls. Rolling the perfect sushi rolls is an art you need to master. Ensure the ingredients are even and tight and that the roll is compact enough to hold everything together.
- Apply a thin layer of the ingredients over the bottom three-quarters of the nori. The idea here is to avoid overfilling the roll since that will prevent it from holding together well. Leave an empty section of the nori, this part is where the roll will properly seal together.
- Always ensure your Japanese knife is sharp. You cannot use a regular kitchen knife to slice your sushi since all the ingredients will be spilling over. Always use an exceptionally sharpened sushi knife, so you have a clean cut.
- Moisten the blade. The rice used to make the sushi is the stick. The seasoning, which is made of vinegar and sugar, only makes it even more challenging. Moistening the blade helps ensure the rice doesn’t stick to it. A wet knife will pass through the sushi rolls much more comfortably, and you should wet the blade after each knife to retain the consistency.
- Seal the Nori properly before cutting. When making your sushi rolls, you must ensure the Nori is well settled first. Dampen it on the sides to ensure it settles appropriately, making it easier for you to cut through.
One of the crucial tools you need when making sushi at home is a sushi knife. Although there are different options available, choosing one can be challenging. It’s even worse when you don’t know what to look for.
Our list combines some of the best sushi knives you can get. Our best pick is the Yoshihiro Shiroko High Carbon Steel knife. However, our article also highlights a budget pick, the best ceramic blade knife, the best knife set, and a beginner’s pick. Therefore, you should be able to find a knife that works for you, regardless of your preferences.
- Amazon: Yoshihiro Shiroko High Carbon Steel Kasumi Yanagi Sushi Sashimi Chef Knife
- Amazon: Happy Sales HSSR400 Japanese Long Sashimi Sushi Knife
- Amazon: Wusthof Classic 6-Inch Prep Knife
- Amazon: Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Sashimi Knife
- Amazon: Kamikoto Kanpeki Knife Set
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