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Need advice finding my first Yanagi knife

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

hey guys n gals

 

i wanna get a Yanagi knife and learn to cut my own sushi

 

but i know nothing about Yanagi's

 

and especially i know nothing about what steel to go for. i'm sure it will need to be a carbon knife, and i've only ever had stainless knives, so i also need to learn how to look after this type of steel as well.

 

would probably lean towards a masamoto or a konosuke, but open to anything.

 

i'm thinking probably either a 240mm or a 270mm. i have a western handled 240mm suji which i love, but i know the blades are shorter on Wa handles cause they measure from the top of the handle to the tip of the blade rather than the length of the blade, so a 270mm wa is probably closer blade length wise to a 240mm western handle.

 

does anyone have any advice on brands and steels to go for?

 

if anyone has any good video links to share as well i would love to see them! just been staring at this video on youtube with a guy making nigiri - its pretty slow but really hypnotic.... http://youtu.be/_ZwwKOzpt2I

post #2 of 11

Whats your knowledge ofJapanese knives, probubly single bevels, sharpening and maintenience? I would either go with something extremely cheap, you can find yanigiba,s on amazon for under $20 and maybe a stone set 1000-6000, and practice your "sushi skills" as well as your sharpening skills, or go for something with stronger steel, vg-10, sg-2, Aogami, something with a high carbon content and a high HRC 60+ and have it professionally sharpened and maintain it with a ceramic honing rod. With knives come sharpening... and if your yanigiba isnt very sharp, your "sashimi" will simply be shredded fish. I suggest 270mm or longer. What is your price range?

 

 

                        Grahapes

post #3 of 11
Good traditional single bevel knives are hard to produce, hard to open, relatively easy in maintenance and delicate in use. No board contact allowed. Expect about at least $400 or forget about it. These are extremely specialised blades.
Think rather about a good, asymmetric carbon sujihiki. You may have a Fujiwara FKH 270mm for some $75.
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benuser View Post

Good traditional single bevel knives are hard to produce, hard to open, relatively easy in maintenance and delicate in use. No board contact allowed. Expect about at least $400 or forget about it. These are extremely specialised blades.
Think rather about a good, asymmetric carbon sujihiki. You may have a Fujiwara FKH 270mm for some $75.

board contact is totally fine for single bevel knives... even usuba.  It just requires a bit more skill to use effectively.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

my sharpening skills are ok, so i'm not too worried about that side of things.

 

plus i'm figuring a Yanagi would be easier to sharpen than the thin stainless knives i currently have - am i wrong about that?

 

there's such a strong bevel on one side of a Yanagi that don't you just make that bevel flat on the stone when you're sharpening? does that make sense? with my gyuto, petty and suji, i'm basically having to guess what angle i'm sharpening at, but i was figuring with a Yanagi that the angle is already set and i just use that as the guide..?

 

i'm figuring i probably need to get a carbon Yanagi, and i've never owned a carbon knife before - everything i have so far is stainless. can anyone give me advice on what i need to do differently with a carbon knife? i guess i still clean it with soap and water, but instead of letting it dry on its own i should dry it with a dry cloth, right? is there anything i need to do? and is there anything special you need to do to it before using it if its been a couple of months since i last picked it up?

post #6 of 11
post #7 of 11

If you're serious about doing fish prep like a sushi man:

 

  • A yanagiba doesn't mean much without a deba.  While you've got the desire you may not quite have grasped the concepts yet;

  • Assuming you're not already a total fish maven, learn to buy, break and cut fish before buying any new hardware;

  • If you know what you're doing you can do a perfectly good job with ordinary, western style knives -- as long as they're sharp;

  • Sharp, sharp, sharp;

  • Since you already have some decent blades, traditional Japanese knives knives are the last part of the raw fish equation; and

  • Bad surprise!  Unless you live in an area of great (and helpful) fish markets, the second two are easier than the first.

 

With all due respect for Benuser, I suggest staying away from Fujiwara FKH.

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 1/14/13 at 5:29pm
post #8 of 11

 

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
@benuser
i already have a suji. i'm looking to do nigiri & sashimi cuts, so i think i need the weight of a yanagiba

@bdl
i dont think i can realistically learn to be a sushi chef. theres way more to learn than would be possible in my spare time. and honestly i'm not super keen on learning to break down fish from scratch. my favourite sushi is tuna, and its really unlikely i'm ever gonna buy a whole tuna... what i'm going for here is to be able to do a few small things well. i live in london, uk, so we have some good fish markets and very good fish mongers here. i just wanna be able to buy a decent sized filet and break that down into sushi so i think a yanagiba is all i need.

@jbroida
those videos are great! totally get the sharpening thing now - it was a bit more complicated than i thought it might have been. but to be honest, it still looks like it would be easier to do than sharpening a suji. will check out your youtube and see if there are any vids on using a yanagiba - the maintenance needed to avoid it staining or rusting between cuts (other than sharpening) is the next bit i need some info on.

does anyone have any recommends for a decent entry level 270mm yanagiba?
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
@jbroida - i found the perfect video on your channel! thanks so much for making this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tza5pymb5yg&sns=em
post #11 of 11
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