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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fish that is. Just a couple of post over the years have mentioned this subject, and very vaguely at that. I have some idea what precision work here is from the Japanese side of things, but no idea what this represents in Western cooking. Can any here clarify?
 

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OK that seems logical to me here. Any fish in particular where this would particularly matter? In the 2 posts where it was mentioned the individuals seemed rather obsessed, in particular about finding the perfect knife, but again no specific details about the actual cutting.
 

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Fully agree with Pat Pat here - precision work or also known as filleting (at least that is how we call it) means to remove usable material from unusable / alternate use material (i.e. filleting a fish to maximize the yield of flesh and minimize waste).

In terms of which knife to use for that - any knife you are comfortable and efficient with :)
 

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OK thanks guys, I think that establishes it. I'll now be doing a little research on the difference in technique between the typical skinny and relatively flexy Western fillet knife and the thick, wide, heavy Deba used in Japan for the same task.
 

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Having worked on Halibut, Salmon, Dover Sole, swordfish, Ahi and the like, precision filet work is all about the knife. It is an extension of ones hand and the right fit is necessary to filet correctly. Some Chef's use long slicing knives to skin salmon, some use a very thin and long boning knife when working on removing meat from the bone. The knife is as subjective to boning as food is to the palette.
 

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That's an interestingly specific array of knives and tasks. When you have the time sometime it would be neat if you would explain the reasons for each application.
For big round fish, I find anything but the chef's knife to be too small and flimsy to do a good job.

For big flat fish, I lift the fillet up as I cut underneath, and only the narrow blade and curve profile of the boning knife allow me to get the job done cleanly.

For small round fish, I fillet them with a similar movement as the big flat fish and the deba's curve and size is just perfect.

For small flat fish, I cut underneath the fillet without lifting it up, and the flexibility of the fillet knife lets me do that easily without damaging the flesh.

The main reason for such varied use of different knives, though, is that I have so many knives and I want to find some use for them all. LOL.
 
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