Japanese chefs are called itamae or hochonin, derived from mana-ita (cutting board) and hocho (knife).
The cutting board and the knife together are the most essential elements in Japanese cooking.
Although plastic cutting boards are becoming more frequently used in homes, wooden cutting boards produce the finest cuts. The elasticity of the wood works gently with your hands and the knife, making it less likely to chip the knife.
The main woods used for cutting boards include paulownia, cypress, and ginkgo among others.
At home, stainless steel knives are frequently used, but carbon steel knives excel in their hardness and sharpness. Japanese knives are known worldwide for their superior craftsmanship.
Regularly sharpening your knife with a whetstone is crucial, since no good meal will be served with a dull knife. Having good tools also means maintaining them well.
VARIOUS TYPES OF KNIVES
One of the most common sashimi knives. Known for extra sharpness.
Thick-bladed knife used to gut and fillet fish. Sturdy enough to easily slice fish bones.
Used for cutting vegetables. This knife’s back edge tip is squared. Its cutting edge is think and angled from both sides, which is called ryoba.
A Western knife widely used all over the world. It’s useful for cutting meat.
An all-purpose knife. The name santoku refers to handling the three types of food — meat, fish and vegetables.