Do you dread cutting your large quantity of veggies because it is time-consuming and comes out in shreds? Well, you need one of these two Japanese knives in your kitchen. Cutting vegetables is a snap with the use of any of these knives. They are constructed to perform this task effortlessly. Knowing which knife to use during food prep is crucial.
Most traditional Japanese dishes require precision cutting of thinly sliced ingredients. To an untrained eye, nakiri and usuba are similar. Because they both originated from Japan and have a similar function, which is to slice. They are slightly identical but have certain benefits over each other. They are built differently in terms of design, weight, handling, maintenance, and even price.
This article will give an overview of their functions, coupled with the similarities and differences between nakiri and usuba knives.
An Overview Of Nakiri Knife And Usuba Knife
Here is a brief description of a Nakiri knife and an Usuba knife.
Nakiri is a Japanese word that is translated as a vegetable knife. Nakiri is a kitchen knife that is primarily for cutting veggies. It has thinner blades that are lightweight, easy to use, and maintain. Nakiri allows you to chop your veggies all the way down to the chopping board without pushing. This type of knife is mostly used at home.
The squared shape of the nakiri blade makes it sturdy and firm. Even the wide tip cut through large ingredients with precision. The average length of most nakiri is 7-inch, but there are other available lengths. Nakiri is an ideal choice for all kinds of veggies dishes such as salad, soups, sashimi.
Nakiri is a double bevel; it is hand sharpened on both sides of the blade, making it easier to get a straight clean cut at once. It is suitable for ambidextrous use.
Nakiri is ideal for daily usage because of its lightweight. Nakiri allows for thrust cutting.
Usuba is a Japanese kitchen knife, also referred to as usuba bocho, which literally means a Japanese thin blade. The thinner blade is for cutting green vegetables. Professional chefs and experts mostly use it.
Usuba is one of the most common knives in sushi joints. The blade of usuba has a straight edge that allows you to cut your veggies without pulling. Usuba is a single bevel; it is sharpened on one side, which provides you with thin slices of veggies and better cut.
Usuba is a conventional Japanese version of a vegetable knife with only one side of the blade sharpened. It is often designed for a particular hand type, either left or right. Handling an usuba knife requires more skill. You might need a lot of patience and practice to get precise cuts without shreds.
This is the first type of knife, a new trainee in culinary school will have to learn. It is sharpened on the left side, for left-handed users, and on the right for right-handed users. Usuba is ideal for finesse vegetable cuts and offers an exceptional cutting performance.
Let’s look at the similarities between a Nakiri knife and an Usuba knife.
They are both Japanese kitchen knives used by trained chefs and home cooks to accomplish specific food prep tasks. They are shaped for slicing vegetables with durable handles that are made of natural wood.
One distinguished quality of both a nakiri knife and an usuba knife is their fineness. They are made from durable, high-quality materials. They both have the same blade profile except for the edge angle. Their blades are straight, wide, and flat.
The blade’s long length, which ranges from 8 to 12, is an ideal length for slicing vegetables. The thin, flat blades are extra sharp and glide through delicate and thick vegetables without ruining them. The blades’ straight edge ensures you get a uniform, clean, fine cut of foods or thinly sliced veggies. They cut through all sizes of veggies with accuracy and ease. It allows you to cut paper-thin slices with less pressure and ensure precise cutting.
Nakiri is the western version of Usuba. The former is a double bevel, that is, it is sharpened on each side of the blade, and the latter is a single bevel. Usuba is more pricey than nakiri. It is mostly found in professional kitchens and restaurants.
Nakiri is majorly used at home because of its versatility and price point.
The cutting edge of both knives differs. Usuba is tapered asymmetrically to the cutting edge on one side, and Nakiri is tapered symmetrically to the cutting edge per side. Usuba is useful for decorative cutting. It is the best knife for cutting the vegetables used in sashimi and sushi.
Usuba is an ideal option for commercial use; it is pricey and heavyweight with delicate edges and skilled maintenance. Nakiri is easy to maintain and is best suited for learners and home cooks. It is less expensive and lightweight with a stronger edge. Because usuba is single-edged, it is thicker and heavier than nakiri. The thick blades are hard to sharpen and will require the use of an expert.
The heavyweight of usuba is responsible for the fine cuts because it requires patience and deliberate effort when handling. Nakiri is more versatile than usuba. The lightweight of a nakiri makes it the best option for all hand sizes, including those with arthritis hands.
Usuba is not for ambidextrous use. There are options for left-handed users and right-handed users.
When you use the proper knife for your food prep task, you will get optimal results. Before buying a vegetable knife, be sure of your strength to avoid getting one you cannot handle. Whether you buy a nakiri knife or an usuba knife is determined by your need for one and your preference. Usuba is your best pick if you prefer to use heavy blades. But If you prefer using lighter knives, then nakiri will be a better choice for you.
Slicing your veggies into thin slices with little to no effort is achievable with the use of either nakiri of usuba.