Yu Kurosaki R2 (SG2) Hammered SHIZUKU WA RS8P Series

Yu Kurosaki R2 (SG2) Hammered SHIZUKU WA RS8P Series

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The beauty of crafting delicate pieces of culinary art can only be seen with the heart, not only through the eyes. Well, tasting subtle, yet exotic flavors of your favorite mouth-watering sushi pieces may be the best way to describe happiness, but sometimes, opening your heart to understand the components of your favorite dish will make you see through the cute Caviar crystals, ordinary-looking seaweed, and the vivid orange-colored Salmon slices.

Understanding a Japanese dish might seem like a complicated game of guessing; however, a huge fan of Japanese cuisine will learn to love their favorite dishes a little more as they open their hearts to understanding what makes these dishes so special and extraordinary.

Through this perspective, a huge crowd of Japanese food lovers and diners are gradually becoming more interested in the process of Japanese food making. Why is sushi so popular?

Why is everyone swooning over sashimi than the fast-food king, burgers?

Apart from its healthier ingredient choices and also offering an option to be vegetarian-friendly, sushi and sashimi dishes are becoming the healthier versions of the famed fast foods, with their names on top of the list of the ‘most-searched’ and the ‘most-enjoyable’ convenient dishes. Despite its convenience, most diners are fond of their ‘intricacy’ and ‘delicacy’ expressed through the fine selection of premium quality ingredients, the artsy aesthetics, and the placement of culinary components in a plate.

Japanese food isn’t just any ordinary convenient food, but quite the opposite – an intricate cuisine which expresses the authenticity of Japanese traditions through subtle slices of fresh, caught-from-sea fish, hand-formed and cooked Japanese rice, as well as the exotic combinations of flavors that melt the hearts of diners. With this being the specialty Japanese food holds, the mastery of the skills required to craft them remain somewhat a mischievous task and a mystery to many cordon bleus.

The art of crafting delicious Japanese food like sushi and sashimi rely upon the mastery of the Japanese blades. Similar to that of a Samurai’s sword, a Japanese knife is also a culinary expert’s companion, leading all cooking processes to its next stages with ease. Slicing, cutting, and chopping may sound like ordinary skills any house-wife can perform as she cooks her favorite fried rice; however, the three ordinary cutting skills earlier mentioned are different to that of the typical ones when it comes to Japanese food. With this being a highly essential part of Japanese food which also led to the introduction of delicate dishes like sushi and sashimi, the production of Japanese knives has become an interesting topic among culinary professionals in the food industry. As Japan is home to a wide selection of knife brands, Yu Kurosaki is no doubt making its way to the top of the charts.

Yu Kurosaki is a famous blacksmith and also a famous Japanese knife brand that makes finest quality blades equipped with excellent steel hardness, great edge retention, amazing rust resistance, and most of all – beautifully unique blade designs. Known for the continuous makings of new Japanese knife series and models, Yu Kurosaki is famed for original knives forged through the traditional Japanese techniques. Among the best models, ‘Yu Kurosaki R2 (SG2) Hammered SHIZUKU WA RS8P’ knife series is made out of the Super Gold 2 Micro Carbide Powder stainless steel – which guarantees extreme hardness. The unique handle is also expressed through the octagonal-shaped Rosewood with White Packer wood ferrule, further establishing its fine beauty alongside durability and long-lasting feature.

For knife collectors, this series of knife is among one of the stunning models to collect, while various knife types are available as follows: Santoku, Gyuto, Bunka, Nakiri, Sujihiki, and Chef’s Petty knife.

Sakai Takayuki GINGA ZA-18 69-Layer Damascus 165 mm Nakiri Knife

Sakai Takayuki GINGA ZA-18 69-Layer Damascus 165 mm Nakiri Knife

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Regarded as one of the finest culinary tools, Japanese knives earn its honor and respect from worldwide professionals in the culinary world. As Japanese food is greatly known for its unique application of traditions in its intricate food preparation processes, diners and gourmets are in awe of the beautiful complexities it portrays. The expression of a wide range of emotions, feelings, and thoughts can be poured into fine works of culinary arts in the world of Japanese food – be it the plain-looking Ebi sushi with no vivid hues of bright orange like that of Salmon sushi, yet delicacy, simplicity, and plain flavors of cooked shrimp wins the hearts of diners from different parts of the globe.

The addition to plain cooked shrimp topped on rice includes the popular slight dabs of spicy Wasabi paste to add up to the spice and little dips of Japan’s traditional sushi sauce. As these complex processes make Japanese cuisine one of the world’s most intricate foods to prepare, the value of these hand-crafted dishes is indescribable, and can only be measured when tasted. With all the respect Japanese cuisine carries on its shoulders, it is highly important to master the skills of the blade.

Unlike just any ordinary knife, a Japanese knife is also referred to a ‘Hocho’ in Japanese. Japanese knives have a world-renowned reputation for excellence, efficiency, quality, and their artisanal craftsmanship in which explains why Japanese chefs look for the finest blades to master their techniques, and knife collectors dream to have them in their possession. If Japanese knives are similar to that of the general kitchen knives with nothing special, professionals wouldn’t be looking passionately for top-quality knife brands even if it requires them to go through hassles of pre-orders and pre-reservations. Quality Japanese knife makes a difference in cooking – be it the chops or cuts of simple ingredients, the materials and techniques used to forge Japanese specialty knives are distinct compared to the general knives.

Finding just the right Japanese knife for a specific task might take time and appears to be daunting. However, once you find the right brand and know what you need the knife for, then you’re all set to own one.

The Not-So Simple Vegetable Knife

Japan is home to culinary tools and quality kitchen equipment for its long history influences the making of crafts ages ago. Since Japan’s Nara era, Japanese knives were used for ceremonies and rituals, also known as “Hocho-shikis”. In the present time, Japanese knives are well adapted in becoming one of the world’s most efficient culinary tools – a great selection for the crafting of intricate dishes like sushi. Japan’s traditional Samurai swords, otherwise known as “Katanas”, are known to be strong blueprints for the adaptation into culinary blades or knives still in use today.

One of the best quality knife brands in Japan is ‘Sakai Takayuki’. Sakai forges countless numbers of fine-quality culinary blades, of which most are for multi-purpose use and those intended for sashimi. However, Sakai Takayuki’s vegetable knives or Nakiri knives are also famous for material quality, grip comfort, balance, and efficiency.

Among the Nakiri knife models, Sakai Takayuki GINGA ZA-18 69-Layer Damascus 165 mm Nakiri Knife is an extremely sharp knife that performs perfect tasks cutting, chopping, and slicing vegetables in accordance to our needs. The eye-catching mirror-finish Damascus version of the blade is crafted out of a 69-layer Damascus stainless steel with a core made up of ZA-18 Alloy. Sakai Takayuki GINGA ZA-18 69-Layer Damascus 165 mm Nakiri Knife also equips extreme hardness of around 61-63 HRC, has high edge retention, has a light center balance when gripped, and owns the finest quality handle materials perfect for professional use.

Japanese Knife Techniques for "Shoshinsha"

Japanese Knife Techniques for “Shoshinsha”

In Japanese, we call someone who is a beginner or a novice ‘Shoshinsha’. And of course, every one of us has gone through that stage of being a starter at something, specifically at a technique or a skill in which requires the grasp of concepts, practice, and strong-willed dedication to succeed. Whatever skill it is, beginners or ‘shoshinsha’ will have to master the required techniques in order to reach the definite goal of becoming a professional – being good at something with great confidence.

When it comes to Japanese cuisine, the important skills required not only revolves around the ability to season the veggies, marinate the meat, or cook the authentic Japanese rice, but also the mastery of cutting skills. Japanese knives are known to be designed specifically for the making of sashimi dishes – one of the first authentic Japanese dishes that emerged in both the East and the West. Japanese food requires dedication – strong passion and understanding of every little detail each ingredient or process holds. The use of a specialized Japanese knife to slice, cut, and chop fine ingredients to create wonderfully hand-crafted delicacies is therefore highly essential and involves a great deal of concentration.

To correctly use a knife, especially if you’re a ‘shoshisha’ as they call novices in Japan, there are some tips and tricks that would serve as the awesome hacks you could use to appropriately hold a Japanese knife of your own and prepare the dishes efficiently without any worries. You may not be able to hold a knife professionally or perform the master-style slicing techniques featuring the swift blade motions like top-ranked Japanese chefs, but practice makes perfect. Now, we will now be looking into the basics, including some Japanese knife usage techniques to help out all beginners and novices out there.

Basic Preparation and Safety Tips

For beginners, find easy vegetables to practice the simple chops and cuts – cucumber, spring onions, or celery. It is recommended to position the cutting mat around 3 centimeters away from the counter’s edge for safety. However, once you are done using the knife, place it on the side of the cutting mat that is opposite of you and make sure the side with a sharp blade faces outwards away from you, the user.

Positioning

Ensure that you are positioned away from the counter for around 5 centimeters and not more; face your hips towards the counter and make an angle of 45 degrees to the counter or the cutting mat. This way, your hands and fingers would be positioned away from the cutting mat and will prevent the extinction of your knuckles resulting from accident knuckle-chop offs. Stand tall facing towards the cutting mat with your left foot pointing towards the counter. On the opposite, position your right foot a little bit to the right, ensuring that it makes a 45-degree angle.

Holding the knife

Although people have different preferences when it comes to holding a pen or a pencil, holding a Japanese knife needs a decent positioning, a good grip and a healthy hand gesture that will allow the sashimi pieces to be cut cleanly without wriggly lines and edges. The most typical way to hold a multi-purpose Japanese knife is to hold the knife in a way where your index finger’s knuckle would touch a side of the blade. Your thumb must be facing outwards to the sharp end of the blade, while the rest of the fingers follow the grip. If you are not familiar with that position, you can also adjust the position of your index finger, laying it on the spine of the blade to allow more control at the tip (it is a great position for delicate slicing).