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Yanagiba Knife: Do You Need One?

by Alison Lurie
Yanagiba Knife Do You Need One

Yanagiba knives epitomise exquisite Japanese craftsmanship. It features a single-bevel blade and cuts accurately, but its size and elegance make it a pleasure to use.

Honestly, if you ever get the opportunity to buy a yanagiba knife, seize it and observe the outcome. Aside from cutting raw fish, sushi, and sashimi, you may also use it to make precise and tiny cuts.

The blade’s size and shape will allow you to cut with the least number of strokes and pressure. As a result, you may easily avoid any stress or cell damage on the sliced surface. 

Read on to understand more about this unique knife style and how it is used to prepare sushi.

Preparing Sushi

Have you ever been to a Sushi restaurant where you could see the chefs in action? This is the knife they use most of the time.

A Yanagiba is the quintessential “single bevel knife” primarily used for sushi preparation.

This is a fancy knife that has only one side sharpened. It has a very distinct bevel grind line that runs from the handle to the spine just below the tip, referred to as a “Shinogi”. The concave back of the knife is known as the “Urasuki”.

Cutting through tough food with a yanagiba might yield poor results. On the other hand, a large, juicy, delectable hunk of fish will provide an entirely different slicing experience. Yanagiba’s edge is exceedingly thin and sharp, and you may even feel the blade bite into the flesh.

As you continue to drag the knife through the fish, you’ll see the blade pulling slightly to the left. This eliminates friction between the fish and the knife. Your lovely slice will be far less stressed and is less likely to be torn or damaged. 

This makes the blade non-stick and protects the fish’s texture and quality, thus making it an excellent sushi or sashimi knife.

Types of Yanagiba Knives

Yanagiba knife being the traditional sushi knife, has some other variants also, listed as follows:

  • Fuguhiki Knife

This is a pointed-tip version of the yanagiba knife that is broad, flexible, and thinner. You may use it while doing the finest slicing of the fish flesh. 

  • Kensai Knife

The Kensai yanagiba knife has an angled point. It is notorious for its difficulty of use, which is why executive chefs have typically employed it.

  • Takohiki Knife

This knife, also known as “octopus cutter,” is shaped suitably for thick and dense flesh. It has a shorter, thinner blade than a yanagiba with a blunt, square point. Its square blade tip helps transfer sliced fish or vegetables between spaces.

  • Sakimaru Knife

This is a hybrid of the yanagiba and takohiki knives. Additionally, it features a circular point resembling that of a katana which also be used to trim and cut fish.

The yanagiba and its variants are the most iconic Japanese knives. You may term them the most critical single-bevel blades for creating the finest and tastiest sushi slices.

Wrapping Up

Yanagiba knives are generally used to fillet boneless fish for sashimi sushi. Additionally, they are excellent for knife work on medium-sized or smaller fish. It’s worth noting that because this is a single-bevelled knife, only one side of the blade needs to be sharpened.

If you want to buy a yanagiba knife, know that it often has a blade length of 210mm, 270mm, or 330mm. Once you purchase this unique set of knives, preparing sushi or any delectable seafood for that matter will be a great experience.

Author Bio:

Alison Lurie is a farmer of words in the field of creativity. She is an experienced independent content writer with a demonstrated history of working in the writing and editing industry. She is a multi-niche content chef who loves cooking new things.

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