Japanese Kitchen Knives: Essential Techniques and Recipes

Japanese Kitchen Knives: Essential Techniques and Recipes


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Sales of Japanese kitchen knives are booming in the U.S. But how many people have the skills to use these superbly-crafted tools to full advantage? Now, internationally renowned chef Hiromitsu Nozaki shares his expertise and insights in a book that will help anyone who owns a Japanese knife to maximize its performance.

In Japanese Kitchen Knives, Nozaki teaches the reader how to use usuba, deba and yanagiba, the three main traditional Japanese knives. He explains many essential techniques, such as the importance of understanding blade angle and point of force, and illustrates these lessons by working with ingredients familiar to western readers, like carrots and rainbow trout. Color photos and Nozaki’s commentary further clarify the process, and the pictures are taken from the chef’s perspective for easier understanding (most other books take photos from the reverse perspective). Each technique is accompanied by recipes that require its use, and all recipes are very simple, using easy-to-acquire ingredients. Other sections include a look at artisanal Japanese knife — making and information on sharpening, storing and identifying the variety of Japanese knives. Specialty knives are shown on location, from the unique unagi eel knife in an unagi specialty restaurant to the colossal tuna filleting knife in Tsukiji fish market.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781568364902
Publisher: Kodansha USA
Publication date: 01/25/2013
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 597,235
Product dimensions: 7.70(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

HIROMITSU NOZAKI was classically trained in several Japanese restaurants before becoming the executive chef of Tokuyama in 1980, and Waketokuyama, in Tokyo in 1989. Known for his culinary skills and deep knowledge of food, he catered for the Japanese athletes of the 2004 Olympics in Athens. He has published over forty cookbooks, ranging from simple home cooking and baby food recipes to textbooks for apprentices, traditional Japanese recipes, and scientific new approaches to Japanese cuisine. Waketokuyama was awarded one star in the Michelin guide Tokyo 2008.

KATE KLIPPENSTEEN writes on food, film, and travel as well as comparative culture for Japanese and US publications. She is the author of Cool Tools: Cooking Utensils from the Japanese Kitchen, published in 2006 by Kodansha International. Klippensteen has lived in Tokyo since 1986.

YASUO KONISHI has journeyed to more than one hundred countries over his career for a wide number of publications, including Esquire Japan. His work has appeared in a number of food-related books published in Japan, including Cool Tools.

Table of Contents

Foreword 6

Getting Started: Cutting Posture / Knife Anatomy / Knife Control 14

The Three Main Knives 21

The Usuba

Katsuramuki Rotary Peeling 26

Daikon and Smoked Salmon Rolls 29

Ken Needle Cut 30

Dashi 34

Needle-cut Vegetable Salad with Sesame Dressing 34

Cabbage and Beef Shabu-shabu Salad 36

Sasagaki Whittling 38

Sautéed Asparagus, Celery and Bell Peppers 40

Chasen-giri Tea-whisk cut 42

Simmered Eggplant and Chicken Breast 43

Jabara-giri Serpent's Belly Cut 44

Vinegared Cucumber with Chicken Tenderloin 47

Kazari-giri Decorative Vegetable Carving 48

Vegetable Canapés 51

The Deba

Mizuarai 55

Dividing the head 60

Braised Tai Sea Bream Head with Turnips 62

Sanmai Oroshi/Three-piece Filleting (Part 1) 64

Grilled Tai Sea Bream with Scallions 70

Sanmai Oroshi Three-piece Filleting (Part 2) 72

Vinegared Mackerel 76

Daimyo Oroshi Straight Filleting 78

Grilled Cheddar Sardines 80

Hiraki Butterflying 82

Grilled Semi-dried Rainbow Trout 84

Gomai Oroshi Five-piece Filleting 86

Deep-fried Hirame Nuggets 92

Preparing Crab 94

Crab and Arugula with Shell-flavored Vinegar 98

The Yanagiba

Skinning 103

Sashimi 106

Sogizukuri Slicing 110

Hirazukuri Slicing 112

Yaezukuri Doubled Cut 116

Usuzukuri Slicing 114

Matsukasa-giri Pine-cone Cut/Kanoko-giri Spotred-fawn Cut/Naruto-giri Spiral Cut 118

A Knife for Every Function 122

Maintenance and More: Sharpening / Daily Maintenance / Purchasing / Materials / Fish Anatomy / Movement of the Blade 134

Glossary 151

Afterword 154

Index 156

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