(And why this knife gives you an unfair advantage over other cooks)
They say the best kitchen knife is often the biggest, yet most people are more comfortable with a smaller knife than a chef's knife. This is why the Japanese Santoku knife seems to be an excellent choice for anyone who likes to cook with pleasure and simplicity.
A Santoku yes, but for what use?
The Santoku is a bit like the European chef's knife for Japanese cooks. Its name ( santoku-bōchō) can be translated as "three virtues" or "three uses",
Some say the three virtues refer to slicing, chopping and chopping, while others say it means you can use it equally well for cutting meat, vegetables and fish.
It is a multi-purpose and versatile knife.
So perfect for any task in the kitchen.
Santoku knife or chef's knife?
The European chef's knife as we know it and the Santoku knife have a lot in common. They are both the most versatile and widely used chef's knives.
One of the advantages of the Santoku knife is that it is designed to be a comfortable size and also suitable for all cooks, whether they are home amateurs or professionals . It's big enough to handle most tasks, but it's also small enough to comfortably fit hands of all sizes and not intimidate the less experienced.
It also allows you to cut with finesse and lightness. Many professional cooks often prefer to use a Santoku because it is a light, versatile and very pleasant knife to use .
Japanese style and spirit
As an essential kitchen knife in Japanese cuisine, it is a must-have for any Japanese knife lover.
With a blade that can measure 10 to 20 cm, it is also distinguished from a chef's knife by the end of its blade, which is curved and often provided with cells (but not necessarily) allowing food to come off easily, not to not stick to the blade and reduce resistance when cutting . This makes it possible in particular to cut raw fish very finely, as well as mushrooms and fruit.
How to use a Santoku knife?
Thanks to the excellent cutting edge and the shape of the Santoku, you will be able to cut all kinds of vegetables very easily and very quickly , with back and forth movements from top to bottom to slice, Japanese style.
And as it has a fairly wide blade surface, it will also be a quality ally for easily cutting meat, raw fish and for lifting fillets by simply moving back and forth.
To chop the fine herbs, you will also need to make a natural pendulum movement.
Yes, but the price?
You can find Santoku of different prices and of different qualities, depending on the kind of steel that makes up the blade, the nature of the handle or the work done by the blacksmiths or manufacturers.
A Santoku knife generally costs a little less than a chef's knife (for equal quality), although this is not a hard and fast rule.
To get a very broad idea of prices, know that you can find Japanese santoku knives from around thirty euros. But at this price you will have to expect low-end (this does not mean that it will be a bad knife, far from it, but it will be less efficient and will certainly last less well over time).
To have knives with much better cutting performance and more solid it will be necessary count Between 50€ and 100€. It's perfect for amateurs or professionals who are starting to invest in their range of knives.
Between 100€ and 300€ the knives will have a much harder and sharper blade and will be of excellent quality and will serve you for very long years (if they are well maintained of course).
Over 300€ you enter the range of high-end kitchen knives. Santoku that will serve you for several generations.
So if we sum up
Having good utensils in your kitchen is essential for all cooks, whether professional or amateur. This is especially true when it comes to knives, the favorite utensil of chefs.
Pleasant to use and efficient, the Santoku is an essential knife in every kitchen . He is :
- Extremely versatile (it's perfect for meats, ideal for slicing vegetables and raw fish like a chef)
- Simple to use and effective (smaller and lighter than a chef's knife, very thin blade which ensures a precise and incredibly easy cut)
- Elegant and efficient (traditional shape and 100% Japanese style of cut)
- Suitable for everyone (whether you are an experienced chef or a novice you will enjoy the pleasure of simple and effortless quality cutting)
- Accessible to all budgets, it is a wise choice if you want to avoid investing in many knives.
So here you are with some valuable information that will help you choose which knife you need to accompany you in your kitchen. Especially if you are looking for a multi-purpose knife and you are not particularly comfortable with large knives.
Don't worry, we quickly get used to the pleasure of cutting with a Santoku: you can try it, you'll quickly take a liking to it!