Japanese knives have a wide range of cutting styles and techniques, each suited to specific types of food and cutting tasks. In addition, they are typically made with harder and thinner blades than Western-style knives, allowing for greater cutting sharpness and precision.
What is push cut, and what are other cut styles?
Push cut is a cutting technique where the knife blade is pushed straight down through the food being cut rather than being pulled or rocked back and forth. This technique is commonly used with Japanese knives, known for their thin, sharp blades and precise cutting abilities.
Other common cut styles in Japanese knives include:
Pull cut (Hiki)
This is the opposite of a push cut, where the blade is pulled back towards the user to make the cut. This technique is commonly used with the Japanese-style Yanagiba knife, a long, thin blade for slicing raw fish for sushi or sashimi.
Slice cut (Kiriotoshi)
This involves moving the blade in a slicing motion through the food, using a back-and-forth or rocking motion. This technique is commonly used with the Japanese-style Nakiri knife, a vegetable knife that can be used to make thin, even slices of vegetables or meat.
This involves using a chopping motion to cut through harder or denser foods, such as bone or tough root vegetables. This technique is commonly used with the Japanese-style Deba knife, a heavy-duty knife used for filleting fish or cutting through bones.
Circular cut (Marugiri)
A circular cut is a cutting technique used with the Japanese-style Usuba knife, a vegetable knife with a straight blade. The circular motion is used to make precise and even cuts on vegetables or fruits.
This is a circular cutting motion used with a Japanese-style deba knife, typically used for filleting fish. The Hirauchi cut involves a rolling motion of the blade along the fish to create a clean and even cut.
Diagonal cut (Sakimaru Takohiki)
A diagonal cut involves slicing at a diagonal angle through the food, which can help to create larger slices or portions. This technique is commonly used with the Japanese-style Takohiki knife, a long, thin blade for slicing fish or other delicate foods.
Japanese Cut Styles on Foods
A slice cut (Kiriotoshi) or circular cut (Marugiri) with a Japanese-style nakiri knife can be very effective. A slice cut involves moving the blade in a slicing motion through the vegetable, using a back-and-forth or rocking motion. In contrast, a circular cut involves using a circular motion to make precise, even cuts on vegetables or fruits.
A pull cut (Hiki) with a Japanese-style Ujihiki or Yanagiba knife is typically used for slicing raw or cooked meat. A pull cut involves pulling the blade back towards the user to make the cut, which can help to create thin, even slices of meat.
When slicing raw fish for sushi or sashimi, a pull cut with a Japanese-style Yanagiba knife is commonly used. The thin, sharp blade of the Yanagiba allows for precise, clean cuts through the fish, essential for creating beautiful and delicious sushi or sashimi.
A slice cut with a Japanese-style nakiri knife and a circular cut with an Usuba knife can be effective. The Usuba knife has a straight blade that can be used to create precisely, even cuts on fruits and vegetables.
Hard vegetables and bone
A chop cut with a Japanese-style Deba knife can be effective when cutting through harder vegetables or bone. The Deba knife has a thick, heavy blade designed for filleting fish and cutting through bone.
Each cutting technique is suited to different types of food and tasks, and mastering them can get the most value out of your Japanese knife. By learning these cutting techniques, you can achieve precise and efficient cuts in their food, resulting in beautiful and delicious dishes.