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Santoku

Nakiri

Add A Santoku Knife to Your Kitchen

When you're looking for a new way to switch up your kitchen prep, try a santoku knife. This blade is a basic in Eastern cutlery and is making a splash in Western kitchens, thanks to its extra sharp edge, utilitarian profile and ease of handling. With unique variations in blade or grip style between collections, shopping for your santoku becomes a personalized experience that enhances your cooking. Discover how this Asian knife can work for you.

What Is A Santoku Knife?

A santoku is Asia's version of the chef's knife. Highly functional and versatile, you can use yours as an everyday tool for chopping, slicing, dicing and more. Explore how the differences in Eastern and Western cutlery make a santoku knife a must-have for the novice or serious home chef.

  • The first noticeable variation between a chef's knife and a santoku is the sheep's foot profile. This shape varies from the typical spear tip.
  • The absence of the tip allows slicing in a single downward cut, instead of the rocking method used with a knife tip.
  • This is a faster, more efficient way to prepare food. You may have to practice the cutting motion a few times to get the hang of it, but once you do, chopping becomes rapid-fire and precise. Almost everyone gets it almost right away.
  • A santoku knife is single beveled as opposed to a chef's knife, which is usually double beveled. The beveling refers to the subtle angling at the edge of the knife's blade.
  • Santokus sharpen to 15 degrees instead of 30 degrees like a chef's or most other Western knives.
  • This single-bevel sharpness allows the creation of exceptionally thin slices of food, a signature of Asian and other dishes.

When To Use Your Santoku

The name santoku translates as three virtues or uses. The uses are chopping, dicing and mincing, although many people use their santoku for slicing. This truly is an everyday knife.

  • Use yours to create very thin slices of food. Since it can be sharpened up to 15 degrees, the fineness of your cuts benefits.
  • Seafood preparations, like sushi, sashimi or other thin slices, take on a professional mouthfeel when cut with a high-quality santoku.
  • Experiment with cucumber or other vegetable garnishes. Some home chefs use a paring knife or fruit knife, but your santoku can still handle some of this work.
  • Mincing meat or herbs is quick and thorough with a sharp knife that chops with an up-and-down motion.

Sharpening Your Santoku Knife Set

To sharpen your santoku, use a whetstone. Wet this finely ground stone with water and run the beveled side of the blade rapidly and gently over the stone at about 10 degrees for a perfect edge every time.

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