Whether you are building your first sushi roll, preparing for that incredible first slice of fish, or you are a long-time sushi and sashimi creator – you need the right knife to get the right slice. Even the amateur at home, recreating their favorite sushi and sashimi, needs a decent knife. The best sushi knife is key to creating a roll worthy of serving to friends and family.
The right blade guarantees clean, professional cuts on each sushi roll, slice of sashimi, or beautifully assembled nigiri. And, say goodbye to rolls sticking to your blade, mangled ingredients, and squashed rolls. Before we jump into three of our favorite sushi blades; there are a few things to cover about the qualities to look for in the best sushi knife!
If you are looking to purchase your first knife but keep getting lost in Japanese knife terminology we are going to break down some of the key features that differentiate sushi and sashimi knives.
When you are cutting through a sushi roll, you are not just slicing meat. You’ll also encounter delicious vegetables, fish, rice, and any combination of sauces and avocados. Therefore, any sushi knife is going to be made to cut all those different options. Creating sashimi is a different process and a good sashimi knife will be made specifically to cut fine pieces of fish.
So, what really separates a Japanese sushi knife from the others in your knife block? There are a few things; the edge of the sushi knife,the handle, and the materials comprising the blade.
A good, perhaps basic, sushi blade is going to be made out of high-carbon steel. High carbon steel will take a very, very sharp edge. Other blade materials, like VG-10, add qualities like corrosion resistance and increased edge retention. Finding the best sushi knife for your budget may require compromises, but remember that it all boils down to the blade… or more specifically its razor sharp edge.
The incredibly sharp edge of a Japanese knife is created through a beveled grind. The single edge is a unique characteristic of the knife, and the other edge will be a flat grind. The purpose of this design is actually quite simple, after the sharp edge has sliced through your freshly rolled sushi the finished product cleanly separates from the blade. You definitely don’t want ingredients sticking to your knife’s blade. No one wants deconstructed sushi.
While the blade is incredibly important; it’s not the only aspect to consider in your knife search. The handles are also unique. The handle comes in multiple types of wood, each with unique qualities and price points. Beneath the handle you’ll find the knife’s tang, a reinforcing length of metal (from the blade) inside the handle. You can choose between a full or a half tang in your knife. Full means that the metal extends all the way to the butt of the handle, while half tang means that only half of the handle is supported.