Japanese Chef Knives – The Nakiriadmin
Japanese Chef Knives - The Nakiri
Most of us know there’s a Japanese chef knife for just about everything: knives for meat and knives for fish. Meanwhile, the Western-style chef’s knife or Japanese Gyuto knife quite literally do everything. You’ve got great options when it comes to Japanese knives in Australia.
But did you know there’s a knife just for cutting vegetables, too? In Japanese cooking, that blade is the Nakiri knife. You might think that any blade will do to cut veggies, but that isn’t true. For anyone interested in finding the right tools to hone their culinary skills, you will want to know about more Nakiri knives, Australia, and other markets offer.
What Exactly Is It?
If you speak Japanese, you will know that Nakiri means ‘vegetable cutter’ or ‘leaf cutter.’ This kind of culinary blade has the specific purpose of cutting vegetables, and it won’t be much good chopping anything else. It has a high, flat blade with a straight edge, a square tip and a blade measuring around 160mm.
Nakiri knives are small and light, which makes them ideal for the task of cutting vegetables.
The Origins And History
Before the Second World War, this blade was one of — if not the most — popular knives in Japan. Back then, meat-eating was growing in popularity as new food cultures entered Japan, and people became wealthier. However, people primarily ate vegetarian dishes at this time. The main ingredients were more widely available and more affordable.
Given this context, the Nakiri knife was an immensely popular tool, regularly used by people at home and chefs in the kitchen. Naturally, as meat-eating became more widespread after the Second World War, the use of and demand for the Nakiri knife decreased. However, this background forever established the Nakiri blade as one of the classic Japanese knives.
The Nakiri Knife Today
Just as culinary habits and diets evolved after the Second World War, so are they changing today. Vegan and vegetarian diets are growing in popularity for ethical and health reasons, and as people recognize the meat industry’s impact on the environment.
Where the Nakiri knife had started becoming less prevalent, that trend is beginning to reverse. For chefs and home cooks alike, you may find yourself turning to Japanese knives in Australia more and more in the future.
Using a Nakiri
Chopping with a Nakiri is not like using other knives, like a Gyuto for instance, where you can rock the blade.
Instead, to chop using a Nakiri requires vertical chopping. There is no rocking motion, just cutting the vegetables up and down. The design of the blade means that this style of chopping has several obvious advantages, particularly for cutting vegetables.
Straight chopping allows for quicker cutting compared with rocking, which can waste a lot of energy. Chopping vertically is generally more efficient. You don’t always cut entirely through a vegetable when using the rocking motion, which forces you to go back and chop again.
Another clear benefit for aesthetes and recipe purists is that it enables you to chop more consistently. This effect has obvious stylistic benefits if all your veg is consistent. It also makes cooking easier. Vegetables will cook at different speeds if they are not cut consistently.
It can take a little while to get used to straight chopping, and you may want to practice slowly at the start. But, it is well worth mastering, and you will see the obvious benefits to your cooking in no time when you master this skill. Why not consider transforming your cooking today with Nakiri knives in Australia?