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Looking for advice on picking up my first Sujihiki - Page 4

post #91 of 190

I think they look beautiful.  And there's no color clash.  Black goes with everything.

 

I also saw that farther away from my computer screen, they looked darker.  I'm not sure if that's just an artifact of the pixels, or that might hold true in real life -- in addition to the more forgiving light, no doubt, in your kitchen.

 

post #92 of 190
Thread Starter 
so decided to go with the new gyuto handle (the one not attached) with the old petty handle (as attached)

looking forward to getting them

should receive the 61hrc ashi 210mm petty at around the same time - just got word that was shipping too...
post #93 of 190

Relax my friend.  They'll look so much better.

 

BDL

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post #94 of 190
Thread Starter 

just got pictures of the knives ready to be sent. should leave japan on monday, so hopefully get them around back end of next week...

 

here are the pics i was sent:

 

IMG_2316.JPG

 

IMG_2317.JPG

post #95 of 190

Those are gorgeous.  I love that you can really see the wood grain.  Sorry it's not as dark as you originally wanted, but I'm hoping you're happier than you might have been had you gotten what you envisioned.  We'll see once they arrive.  I like.

post #96 of 190
Thread Starter 

thanks BDL and Wagstaff

 

yeah, i think i might actually prefer them to all black...

 

will have to wait and see once they arrive...

 

now i'm wondering what the ebony on the ashi will look like?

post #97 of 190
Thread Starter 

ok, so the ashi 210mm 61HRC petty arrived today!

 

and it looks really nice!

 

its hard to tell from the pictures, but the ebony handle is about halfway between the full black on my 270mm suji, and the brown/black grain on my 240mm gyuto

 

i'm very happy with this!

 

some pictures...

 

IMG_2887.JPG

 

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IMG_2889.JPG

 

IMG_2890.JPG

 

IMG_2891.JPG

post #98 of 190

Bella bellisima.

 

BDL

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post #99 of 190

Wow, she's a beaut all right!  How does she cut?cool.gif

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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post #100 of 190
Thread Starter 

okay, so i attempted to shoot some video of my first time using this new knife

 

i don't really have too much in the house right now food wise - just some bacon and bread for breakfast and some steak and potatoes for dinner. so i decided to slice some shallots that i can save for later for the steak (flash fry steak in pan, move pan to oven to bake steak, remove steak, fry shallots in same pan, tea spoon of flour, shot of port to deglaze, reduce port by about half, couple of home-made veal stock ice cubes from the freezer, reduce, bit of butter, salt and pepper to taste, sieve and serve over steak)

 

shot it with my iphone. here's what i fashioned together as a tripod:

 

IMG_2898.JPG

 

yup. kitchen roll holder and blue tack. classy huh?

 

okay, so here's 2 video's. the 1st one is my first ever attempt to use this knife. it's also the first time i have ever attempted to video myself doing anything. 

 

it took me a while to peel the shallots, so i did a 2nd video where the shallots are pre-peeled, so more chopping less waiting. if you're finding the 1st video boring then maybe just try to watch the 2nd video...

 

 

 

any and all advice on any part of my technique would be gratefully appreciated!! i'm just a home cook with zero training.

 

here's a pic the end result:

 

IMG_2899.JPG

 

and a quick-n-rough iphone pic of how my knife rack is developing. left a bit of space on there for the wa-handle konosuke gyuto and petty which are inbound...

 

IMG_2900.JPG

post #101 of 190

You're holding the knife much tighter than you need to for a blade that sharp.  Relax.

 

Most (but not all good cooks) keep their fingers off the spine for chopping (which includes cutting shallot slices), preferring the pinch grip or the "Asian" variant (pinching the handle instead of the blade).  Read Getting a Grip on a Good Pinch and try out the techniques there until you're comfortable with them -- at least a month.  You can always go back.

 

As it stands, you're carving the shallot, not chopping it.  The knife should go down through it with more of a "push cut" or even a "rock chop" action.  If you want to push cut, hold the knife with the edge parallel to the board (as you already are) and "push" it straight down through the food.  It will make an annoying "tap, tap, tap" as you cut, which will let you know if the edge is parallel or not.  Incomplete cuts mean "not parallel," also.

 

Better still, try a slightly more tip down position.  Instead of pulling the knife towards you, try pushing it forward.  That uses the belly of the knife to great advantage.  Read Guillotine and Glide - The Classic French Action, and give those techniques a shot as well. 

 

With a little practice the soft pinch and French action will have you ready for a brigade in a high-end kitchen in no time.

 

Good use of your offhand "claw."  Well done on that, sir. 

 

Overall, your current technique is naive and could be more efficient and comfortable.  But try to remember the whole idea is to have fun cooking -- don't let the pursuit of technique become a chore.  If you're happy with how yours works for you, I'm ecstatic.  Blunt as hell, but ecstatic.

 

BDL

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post #102 of 190

My technique is primitive at best so take with a grain of salt here.

 

I think you're not squared up very well, either.  Right foot back a bit so you're not coming across your body.  It'll help relax both the grip and the arm, and keep your knife straighter when you're having to cut something a bit more difficult than shallots.

 

I love that knife, btw.  I have one like it, only with a less pretty handle, and it turns out, less pretty ferrule probably (just because yours has more white/light marbling in the black of your ferrule). I've been using it too much -- like for some tasks better served by other things, I'm learning slowly -- because I like it so much. 

 

BTW, how do you think the new ebony handles look on your mag-strip, next to the yo handled knives? I think they look great in the iphone pic.  Really great. (And they'll probably get darker over time whether you want them to by then or not).

post #103 of 190
Thread Starter 

ok... so i tried to change my grip to make it a bit more loose... and i lost the forefinger thing although i got that from this youtube clip: http://youtu.be/2YKRnv0aq-8 

 

and i tried to back my right foot off as per wagstaff

 

first off i tried the "push cut" or "rock chop" action that BDL suggested. it's the first time i've ever tried this. was just starting to get confident when i took a wafer thin slice off of one of my knuckles. kinda lost my confidence a bit after that. anyhoo, here's the vid. if you don't mind i'd love for you to let me know whats good and whats bad here:

 

 

next up i tried the other thing that you BDL suggested - using the belly of the knife to chop. i'm used to doing this with a gyuto. but i found this quite strange with the petty. there's so little body that i find it hard to rock it. watching the vid back i'm more chopping than pushing it forwards....

 

post #104 of 190

Don't worry about chopping.  Heck, you want to chop.  You're already going about twice as fast as you were when you slicing and it's the first day you're trying it.  You can come over the top a little more with your right hand if you want, but if you're not worried about your knuckles, neither am I.

 

I think you've got almost enough forward action considering you're working with a petty.  You want to end up with what works best for you, and a pinch is looking pretty good.  The right amount of "rock" and "slide" you end up using with a particular knife will find you eventually.  But for the time being, exaggerate them just to make sure that at least some becomes intuitive.

 

Instead of resetting your claw on a shallot, roll it a quarter turn and keep going.  You'll waste a little more, but the work will go substantially faster.   

 

So far, you're looking a lot better than you did in your first videos. 

 

 

BDL

 

 

 

 


Edited by boar_d_laze - 11/6/11 at 7:18am
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post #105 of 190

Beautiful ashi, Ruscal! Indeed your cutting technique has room for improvement. Don't worry, practise helps but certainly learning from real pro's.

You may enjoy a few videos on YouTube posted by Saltydog55252.

He's a restaurant owner and a working chef, a very experienced user of Japanese knives. He even made a video where he shows his work collection.

 

But, first things first, take a look at this video titled "Strokes for new folks";  http://www.youtube.com/user/Saltydog55252#p/u/15/Rx1U-bja3i8

Here's his "Working knife inventory";  http://www.youtube.com/user/Saltydog55252#p/u/18/V1iuBFvQS0g

 

He's also a regular poster under the name "Idiotking" on the kitchenknife section of this forum; http://knifeforums.com/forums/showforum.php?fid/26/

post #106 of 190

Chris Belgium wrote:

practise helps but certainly learning from real pro's.

[Sic]

 

"Real pros," presumably as opposed to surreal pros...

digital,art,digital,painting,funny,illustration,surreal-0bc32deabd72be5035939f83f9500bbd_m.jpg

 

eek.gif

 

I have to ask, "So Chris, taking everything you've learned from Salty's videos and the free-floating advice on the Knife Forum, how would you describe the best way to thin-slice a shallot using an 210mm suji/petty?"

 

BDL

 ______________________________________

 

Not your old BDL.  Oh no.  The New and Improved BDL aka the Rene Magritte of Knife Advice


Edited by boar_d_laze - 11/6/11 at 11:45am
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post #107 of 190

In the 2nd video you started with a pinch grip on the blade but eventully moved your grip back to the handle. You may find that with softer foods it might not make much of a difference but with harder foods (potatos, etc.) you will have less control... I'd suggest to keep the pinch on the blade especially on the longer knives.

 

Also be careful when using the knife as a board scrapper or clearing the knife of the cut food. Both of those scenarios allows the potential (from experience) to nick your left hand.

post #108 of 190

"Sic", Boar??? And yes, I do know what it means, imagine that.

When I say someone is a "real pro" I mean he is accepted by many people as a really good pro and that he has earned his status mostly by "leading by example".

Surrealistic would be more, eh.., like preparing tiny brussels sprouts with a 300mm suji, yes, that's surrealistic. How's the saddleburr healing?

 

Back on topic, Ruscal, I have a Kanetsugu Saiun 210mm slicer from JCK that I frequently use for all kinds of tasks. Cutting onions etc., is best done when you put the onion near the lowest edge of the board, cut with the heal section of the knife and let the handle hang over the board. Works perfectly!

 

I stopped "chopping" onions like in Salty's video since I took a cooking class past year. The chef showed me how to keep the tip of the knife at all times on the board, without any pressure. Then when going through the onion, make a forward cutting movement while gently pushing the heal downward, all done while the tip of the knife remains on the board. No more banging of the knife on the board and certainly smoother cutting, even with a 210 mm slicer, handle hanging overboard. Of course, the shape of the blade is important in doing this. A little more "curve" in the tip section of the knife is not such a bad thing for doing jobs like this.

 

Kanetsugu Saiun 210mm slicer; http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/Saiun%20Damascus%20Series.html

 

post #109 of 190

Burr under the saddle?  No. The wind from beneath my tail.

 

Chris, I'm still trying to figure out the reason for posting the link to Salty's video, since you, an acknowledged non-pro are recommending a completely different technique than he illustrated or uses.  Got any "real pro" examples?  Salty's a great guy, isn't he?

 

I didn't chop the Brussels sprouts with my 12" suji, I just trimmed them.  I've used that suji for far stupider things; and if I were still cooking professionally I'd still be doing dumb things and otherwise messing around with knives.  Surreal or just an innocent lad having fun?  We report, you deride. 

 

But at any rate, I don't recommend that people incorporate my more egregious improvisations.  I stay pretty conservative with instructing.

 

Speaking of which... In my experience, handle off the back of the board is often a way of preventing banging the knuckles on the board; which in turn usually means the back fingers are rotated too far under the handle.  That is, the grip is too "strong," which itself, is often a product of working with dull knives (although I know you keep yours sharp).  Depending on the height of the knife at the heel, sometimes you can get away with a "soft" pinch as I described in Getting a Grip.  When you're chopping with a very low rise knife it's better (for many) to hold the blade with a "come over the top" pinch;  that is, thumb and forefinger in an ordinary pinch on the blade, but holding the handle with finger tips instead of wrapping them under the knife.  Of course, cooking is entirely pragmatic, so whatever works for you is perfectly fine.

 

Hope this helps,

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 11/7/11 at 9:36am
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post #110 of 190
Thread Starter 

DELIVERY!

 

Pics below

 

IMG_2911.JPG

 

IMG_2913.JPG

 

IMG_2914.JPG

 

IMG_2922.JPG

 

IMG_2915.JPG

 

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one thing which looked a bit weird to me was the place where the knife enters the handle... looks like someones squeezed some kind of resin in there... took some pics below - can you see what i mean? is this normal?

 

IMG_2916.JPG

 

IMG_2918.JPG

 

IMG_2921.JPG

post #111 of 190

Looks like someone squeezed some resin back there because someone did.  It keeps moisture from getting inside the handle and causing the handle to loosen and/or rusting the tang.

 

Beautiful knives.  Use them in the best of health.

 

BDL

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post #112 of 190
Thread Starter 

at home with their pals

 

Photo%2008-11-2011%2021%2037%2010.jpg

 

Photo%2008-11-2011%2021%2049%2024.jpg

post #113 of 190
So what do you think of the ebony now? The Ashi looks like it came from the same slab as the Konosukes in that pic...
!looks great!
post #114 of 190
Thread Starter 

thanks guys. yeah, gotta say - i'm really happy with them

 

now i've just gotta learn to use them properly....! :)

 

oh... and try to stop buying new knives for a while... this is really not a cheap hobby...

post #115 of 190

That glue is a frightful site- send me the knife for immediate disposal!biggrin.gif

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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post #116 of 190
Thread Starter 

this_guy_seems_legit_lets_trust_him.jpg

post #117 of 190

Very nice quartet in their ebony outfit. Good thinking to have them executed uniformly that way.

I need to ask, Ruskal, don't you feel a strong hesitation to use those beauties? Very nice pieces!

post #118 of 190
Thread Starter 

thanks chris

 

hesitation to use them? heck yeah. i was hungry last night and then remembered i had a mango. no way i'd use these knives to cut something with a stone inside.

 

for a while at least i'm only gonna use them to chop super safe stuff. potato, carrots, cucumber - that kinda world.

 

the western handled ones are becoming more like "tool" knives now...

 

 

post #119 of 190

Okay, you win this round...but we'll revisit this again in a week or two when I have my Nubatama Ryu-Ba!wink.gif

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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post #120 of 190
Thread Starter 

what is a Nubatama Ryu-Ba?!?

 

i've not heard of the company or the knife!!

 

pics please!! :)

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