Yanagiba and Sujihiki are two different types of Japanese kitchen knives, but they look and function in the same way to an inexperienced eye. Japanese knives are renowned for their premium quality, beautiful design, and sharp edges. These two great knives are no exception. They are designed with long, thin blades that offer accuracy when slicing.
You will need one of these knives if you love to cook sashimi or own a sushi joint. These two knives are the best types of knives for your favorite Japanese fish dish. The blade profile minimizes tear and drag. Offering a free release of your foods when you cut.
However, the type of sushi you cook often will determine which of these knives you will settle for. They are both slicers and are the best tools for slicing your fish and meat.
Without further ado, here is an overview of both yanagiba and sujihiki.
Yanagiba literally means a willow leaf blade because of its design and shape. It is also known as a sashimi knife. Most sushi and sashimi cooks love to utilize this knife because of its length.
The long blades glide through your meat and fish in one cut without tearing or shredding. A sharp yanagiba provides you with a smooth, clean-cut without applying pressure. You experience no friction when slicing. Your sushi and sashimi appear more presentable when served.
A yanagiba is an expensive Japanese kitchen knife used by professional cooks for slicing your fish and meat. It is often used by butchers and in sushi restaurants or joints. Most of the yanagiba knives are fabricated from high carbon stainless steel, making the blade resistant to chipping, pitting, and corrosion.
Yanaigba is hand-sharpened on only one side. They are single bevel with different hand options for the users. There are left-handed options and right-handed options designed with the user’s interest at heart. It is utilized in trimming fillets and sinews.
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Sujihiki is literally translated as flesh slicer. They are sharpened equally on both sides. It is a lightweight knife that is suitable for all hand sizes. Sujihiki is perfect for cutting thin slices of fish or meat. It has thinner blades that stay sharp but require extra care.
A sujihiki is similar to a western carver and is perfect for deboning smaller bones from your meat. It also has a long, slender blade that offers an ultra-clean cut when used in slicing beef, fish, and other kinds of seafood sans drag. A sujihiki knife is highly flexible and extra sharp. It is an ideal choice for both hand users because it is a symmetrical grind. Your ingredients don’t stick to the surface.
Although a sujihiki knife is relatively identical to a yanagiba knife, the edges are shaped differently. It is a double bevel knife with a thinner spine. Both sides of the blade are sharpened just like a western knife.
Sujihiki is an excellent carving knife. Suited for slicing cooked and uncooked meat and fish. The symmetrical blade helps you cut your ingredients effectively.
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Yanagiba Vs Sujihiki
The most valuable tool for sushi and a sashimi chef is one of these Japanese kitchen knives with a sharp pointed tip. Sujihiki and yanaigba differ in terms of material, structure, and design. Yanaigba is a typical sashimi knife. It is specifically designed for slicing the raw meats and fish used in making sushi and sashimi. Sujihiki is a carver and also a slicer for various Japanese fish dishes.
The significant difference between yanagiba and sujihiki is that the former is Japanese-styled and western-styled. Sujihiki is a European version of yanagiba. The length of these knives ranges from 10 to 12-inch.
One distinctive feature between a Japanese knife and a western knife is the edge angle of the knife. Most western knives are double bevel, and a traditional Japanese knife is a single level. A double bevel knife is a perfect choice for slicing through thicker ingredients and large veggies. A single bevel knife offers a uniform and consistent thin cut.
Yanagiba is mostly used by proficient sushi and sashimi cooks because it offers accuracy and precision. It is only useful if you make any of these Japanese fish dishes such as crudo, maki rolls, ceviche, sushi roll, and sashimi. The pointed tip allows you to give your ingredients a fine cut. The wooden handles are designed to offer control and comfort. Yanagida is a single bevel with a delicate edge. It requires more dexterity to handle and also extra care and maintenance.
Sujihiki can be used for other food prep tasks aside from slicing fish. It is a more versatile option. Sujihiki is a double bevel with a stronger edge. A great option for carving meats and deboning fishes. It offers exceptional cutting performance and is ideal for ambidextrous use. Require an average honing skill.
Yanagiba is heavyweight and harder than sujihiki, and the slightly curved shape creates a nonstick surface on the blade. It has two primary functions, which are to slice and trim. Unlike yanagiba, sujihiki is easier to use without much skill and easy to maintain.
Although sujihiki is not shaped in a concave form, it is more flexible than yanagiba. It is used for carving, trimming, cutting, and slicing.
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How To Maintain
Here are a few tips on how to maintain your sujihiki knife and your yanagiba knife.
Never use a dishwasher to clean the blades. There is always a high tendency of your blade pitting if you wash them in a dishwasher. So, by all means, avoid using a dishwasher. But instead use a damp towel with a mild cleaning agent to clean. Ensures the cutting surface is made of wood and not steel. Avoid using the knives to cut frozen foods. The frozen state of your meat and fishes are responsible for the dulling of these knives. Sharpen the knives with a quality whetstone when it gets blunt.
These are special kitchen knives for preparing Japanese fish dishes. They are designed to offer precision and accuracy, which is what a sashimi dish requires. The long blade eases the movement around fillets. If you prepare more of Japanese meals, a yanagiba knife is the best choice for you. And if you are more into western dishes, sujihiki is an excellent option for you.