Knives that professional Japanese chefs mainly use in their kitchen are…
A petty knife and a sujihiki knife.
Or a petty knife and a gyuto knife.
1. They are multi purpose and useful
Let’s say you are a professional chef.
You need to do preparations at the beginning of the day.
You will start with larger knives like gyuto for this work.
Because you need to deal with larger ingredients first.
Then during your operation, you use smaller knives like a petty knife.
If a petty knife can do the job, you use the petty knife,
But when you feel it doesn’t have enough length,
You use gyuto or a sujihiki knife.
2. If you want to know about knives for a traditional Japanese restaurant, it is a different story
15 years ago, I had a friend who worked at a traditional Japanese restaurant.
His name was Minoru. We were futsal friends and every weekend,
We played futsal (mini soccer) at a gym in our neighborhood.
One day, I asked him to show me his kitchen knives.
At his house, he showed me a lot of knives…
I will talk about petty knives, sujihiki knives, gyuto knives, and other Japanese knives.
3. Sanji from One Piece says…
“A knife is the soul of a cook. An outsider doesn’t deserve to touch a cook’s knife.”
4. Petty knives are actually a smaller version of the gyuto knife
It is the equivalent of a paring knife in a Western kitchen,
But petty knives can do a lot of things on their own.
The word “petty” comes from the French word “petite”.
“Pettie” means attractively small and dainty.
Master Yoda says…
5. “Size matters not.”
You can only use a petty knife to cook almost everything.
It is especially for precise work.
This is because the blade of a petty knife is thin and flexible compared to other types of knives.
You don’t get tired using a petty knife because it is lightweight.
The shape of petty knives is very similar to gyuto knives.
While the length of a gyuto knife blade is 7 to 10 ½ inches(18 to 27 cm)…
6. The length of a petty knife blade is 3 to 6 inches(8 to 15 cm)
If you have a large hand, I recommend picking the blade size of 5 to 6 inches (13.5 to 15 cm)
And if you have a small hand, you should pick a blade size of under 5 inches (13.5 cm)
7. Sujihiki knife is very useful
This is a Japanese slicer knife.
Originally it was designed for trimming a large meat block.
The shape of the sujihiki knife looks like a narrow gyuto knife.
Besides trimming meat, people use it when they slice roast beef, ham, and sashimi.
But a sujihiki knife can do more work than just that.
8. You can use a sujihiki knife as a main kitchen aid
Actually, sujihiki knives are very useful all-rounded knives.
It can be an alternative to a gyuto knife.
And even better.
The width of the blade is narrow, so you can do precise work easier.
They are lightweight compared to a gyuto knife.
So your hand won’t get tired easily.
9. The ideal length of sujihiki knife is 8- 9.5 inches(21-24cm)
Because this length is easier to use, cuts well, and easy to sharpen.
For home cooking, an 8-inch sujihiki knife will be perfect for you.
10. There is a kiritsuke version of sujihiki knife
The shape of the tip is sharp, so it makes it easier to do precise work.
And this knife looks cool because it looks like a katana sword.
11. Gyuto is another all-rounded knife
A Gyuto knife is the Japanese interpretation of a chef’s knife.
It has a pointier tip compared to a santoku knife.
When you use this knife, you usually move it back or forward to cut.
When you slice onions it comes in handy too.
9.5 inches(24 cm) is standard for a professional kitchen
Longer side of gyuto knives are especially good at cutting meat.
Because it can cut more by one swift movement.
12. Sole knife is useful in the kitchen too
A sole knife is very sharp and it is good at preparation of meat, fish, and veggies.
Originally, it was designed for sole fish.
Actually, a sole knife is perfect for slicing fruits too.
This type of knife has a soft and thin blade,
So you can use this flexibility for slicing soft fruits.
13. I recommend getting an 8 inch(21cm) length for a sole knife
The disadvantages of a sole knife is that sharpness doesn’t last long.
This is because the metal is softer than a regular knife.
You need to sharpen it frequently.
14 Salmon knife can slice roast beef too
It is really thin and sharp, and it has anti-stick indentation on the blade.
So it is perfect for slicing a soft and delicate ingredients,
Like fish for carpaccio, smoked salmon, and roast beef.
This kind of knife is very long, so you can slice the ingredients in one move.
This is good because the cross section of the food will look smooth and clean.
15. Thin sliced cheese by a cheese knife tastes better
A Cheese knife has a hole in the blade.
When you cut soft cheese, the holes prevent the cheese from sticking to the blade
This kind of knife is actually good at cutting sandwiches too.
16. Scissors are useful for opening plastic bags
It will come in handy when there is work that doesn’t require your kitchen knives.
17. Deba knives are for cleaning fish
The edge close to the heel of a deba knife is thick, so you can cut the fish head off.
And the edge close to the tip is thin and sharp, so you can easily filet fish meat.
18. Yanagiba Knives are for slicing sushi and sashimi
It has a long and narrow blade, and when you use it, you slice the fish meat with one move.
Because of that, you can make a beautiful cross section.
It is fresh because you can avoid crushing small cells of the fish meat.