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Best Knife for filleting whole fish.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

 

 I've recently been promoted to the fish station at my job. So, I feel it's only best to purchase new knives. LOL. Any excuse to purchase new ones. Anyways, I have a Shun Classic Gokujo Fillet. I enjoy this knife but I do think I'll need a longer and more heavy duty knife when it comes to filleting larger fish. I know for the most part knives are different for different people. It's all about the feel and how it works for yourself. I would just like to hear everyone's personal suggestions and what you guys use... Also, please keep in mind I am left handed. Some knives don't work well for me, unfortunately, without special order. 

 

Look forward to reading all the responses. 

post #2 of 17

I have a Fujiwara FKM 270mm Sujihiki that works well for filleting large salmon and other large fish like sea bass. It works good but I was thinking a 300mm would work better for some of the really big boys. Maybe even bigger than a 300mm if I could find one that's not $500. 

 

But even then, I'm able to make extremely good cuts with the FKM. My fish portions always looks 10x better than any of the other chefs at my job. Mainly, because I care, but the FKM is able to take a really sharp edge. Better than my buddies Global Yanagiba.  It has an omnidextrous handle, so that'd be good for you but you'd have to re-profile it to have a left handed edge because it's ground to 70/30 on the right.  

post #3 of 17

Please note that there are two versions of Fujiwara FKM Sujihiki, they are pictured http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/5405-Suji?p=87331&viewfull=1#post87331

 

The one sold by chefknivestogo is a dual bevel version that is like a normal meat slicer while the one sold by japanesechefsknife is a single side wide bevel version that resembles a yanagiba.

Here are some closeups of the japanesechefsknife single bevel version http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/1361-Need-help-sharpening-a-Fujiwara

 

Alex

post #4 of 17
In addition only: JCK carries both. See from post nr, 36:

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/10825-Tojiro-DP/page4
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benuser View Post

In addition only: JCK carries both. See from post nr, 36:

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/10825-Tojiro-DP/page4

Oh, I didn't notice that, thank you for pointing this.

 

Alex

post #6 of 17

At the restaurant I'm at the sous who does several large fish a day uses a Misono UX10 240 mm suji. He used it when working for Morimoto for several years instead of a deba.

post #7 of 17

The Misono UX10 Santoku is a fine knife. Here is a picture and a link:

http://amzn.to/12y6err


It is not really as thin as the ones you guys are suggesting, but it's a fine knife all around. I guess it's a matter of preference

post #8 of 17

You use that to fillet fish?

post #9 of 17

Superceded...


Edited by boar_d_laze - 4/27/13 at 5:11pm
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post #10 of 17

When I was 'prenti, forty years ago, I was taught to fillet medium and small fish with something like this Forschner Wide Fillet:

The one I used in the restaurant was carbon and got lost when I moved back to Los Angeles from Northern California in 1975.  I bought the same stainless Forschner you see here, and still use it for all sorts of utility stuff, like opening packages, cheese, pies, etc., but almost never for prepping and never for fish.  

 

I was converted to Japanese style fish prep many years in the nineties, which means using the same knife to cut off heads and tails as for filleting, then switching to something more delicate for portioning.  So stiff and tough is the order of the day for filleting.  Dave, the sushi man who taught me used a couple of rugged chef/gyuto profiles because they were cheaper and more versatile than debas.  Because that's how he taught me, because I honor him, and because I'm left-handed, I do the same.  

 

Accordingly, I'll use a TI carbon "Nogent" 7" chef's for smaller fish, or a 10" K-Sab au carbone for the big boys.  My wife isn't much of a fish eater, so we seldom do larger animals.  Next time one happens, I'll consider the Richmond Ultimatum which has knocked my 10" Sab out of ordinary use. 

 

And from right to left, in the same order mentioned above, here they are:

Note that all of these knives are relatively heavy, and made from very tough alloys. I wouldn't consider using anything as light as my Konosuke gyuto (or suji). 

 

There are a lot of really good Asian fish markets in the SGV, and almost all of the guys who work in them use butcher profile knives for cutting big fish.  You see the same profile on videos of guys on Japanese fishing boats.  If I did a lot of fish, I'd seriously consider investing in an Old Hickory.  Stiff, gets sharp, and has a shape you can lean on. 

 

Of course you'll want to sand down and oil the handle, and perhaps crown the spine.  But what do you expect for $15?

 

If you want to avoid ragged fish flesh, it's more important to approach the filleting with sharpness, speed and confidence than with perfect technique.  Breaking fish is one of the few skills in which taking your time is a drawback.   A heavy, stiff knife you don't have to worry about is a big plus.  I can see skinning and portioning fish which has already been taken off the bone with a suji, but not actual filleting.  At least not with my knives, you don't.  

 

If it seems like I'm laying down the law... No.  There a lot of ways to break a fish, and any method or equipment which work for anyone else makes me clamtastically happy.      

 

BDL

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post #11 of 17

 

MBK-110 - Professional Series 10¾" Chef's Knife

 

For salmon and the likes, I predominately use a slicer like the one in the image, except that mine is 14" and the one in the picture is a 10". For some other fish, tuna being an example, I generally use my chef's knife.

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post #12 of 17

Also don't discard a Yo Deba. Heavy duty knife that can take a super edge.

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post #13 of 17

Chef Layne,

 

You use the slicer for actually filleting or for slicing?  If you fillet, do you use it for cutting off the heads and tails, or is that something you do before?
 

BDL

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post #14 of 17
Also don't discard a Yo Deba. Heavy duty knife that can take a super edge.

Just me, but I hate yo-deba.  As far as I'm concerned they don't do anything knives which are substantially less costly and less chip-prone do as well or better.  Of course, there are plenty who know at least as much as I do who feel differently.   

 

BDL

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post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

Chef Layne,

 

You use the slicer for actually filleting or for slicing?  If you fillet, do you use it for cutting off the heads and tails, or is that something you do before?
 

BDL

When I filet a salmon, I don't cut off the head and the tail. I go in behind the gills, find the backbone and then let it ride.

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post #16 of 17

Layne,

 

Thanks for explaining.  FWIW, I take the head and gills together before filleting.

 

Rich

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post #17 of 17

For the whole 95 to 100 pound Alaskan halibut I get in  a machete is good.  for small fish a flexible semi curved 8 inch blade or a ground down  slicer.

CHEFED
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