Nakiri Knife Use Tips and Tricks for Perfect Kitchen Skills
Do you know anything about Nakiri Knife Use? The Nakiri knife is a traditional Japanese knife used in the preparation of vegetables. Its unique shape and size make it perfect for slicing through softer foods like onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and potatoes.
Its blade is also known as a vegetable cleaver or produce cutter. The Nakiri knives are traditionally rectangular with a pointed tip that is angled to match the curvature made by cutting into an onion.
Especially, There is no need for sharpening these types of knives because they do not have any serrations or teeth; some Nakiris may include rivets near the handle and at the heel to aid with cutting.
Be sure not to use this knife on more problematic substances such as frozen meat or bone-in fish fillets to maintain your sharp edge. If you are looking for a more versatile kitchen tool, check out the article on choosing the best chef’s knife!
1. What is a Nakiri knife?
A Nakiri knife is a Japanese blade knife, Nakiri knife purpose is for slicing vegetables. In the West, this type of knife can be hard to find in stores that often offer knives with blades designed to cut meat and bone. However, if you’re looking for a great gift idea, or want to improve your cooking skills, consider purchasing one of these knives as they have many benefits over other types.
At first glance, you might think ‘a knife with no point’. But that’s an oversimplification; while Nakiri knives are certainly less pointed than, say, a chef’s knife or paring knife, they do have points. Nakiris are inspired by Japanese vegetable cutting culture to produce quick and efficient kitchen knives with straightforward shapes that make them easy to use.
Nakiri is like a Shun chef’s knife, but thinner and has a straight edge rather than curved. The small size of the Nakiri makes it highly efficient for things like chopping small vegetables. In addition, the blade on the Nakiri doesn’t curve much, which provides its own set of advantages as well.
This lack of curvature makes rock up and down on the cutting board easier, which means less wrist action. It is said to keep your cuts more even (which may translate into efficiency!), plus make your knife last longer.
They are incredibly thick compared to most other kitchen knives, with the knife’s spine typically being about twice as thick as a chef’s knife. It makes them very sturdy and able to withstand some severe chopping motion without bending or breaking! The mass also helps with the rocking motion mentioned above.
The main difference between a Nakiri and other Japanese knives are two-sided while others, such as santokus and debas, have single bevels (or double but in favor of one side).
2. Why should you invest in one?
- Premium quality at the affordable cost
In terms of price, Nakiris can vary quite a bit. You can get one for $15, but they tend to be smaller and with shaky handles. The excellent stuff starts at around $40 (or more), but the best ones come in near $100.
- Flat blade for thin and clean cuts
The main advantage that a Nakiri has over other western knives is its huge flat surface area. This makes it ideal for chopping and slicing precisely, with the ability to powerfully rock through even vegetables without too much difficulty. In addition to this, the nakiri also possesses some very useful bolsters at either end of the blade – one at the handle (increasing control), and one where the spine meets the blade (increasing rigidity).
- Simple & long design for handles delicate veggies
The nakiri is a very simple knife. It has no bolster and a rather uncomplicated design. They are also extremely thin for their size, making them incredibly suitable for cutting tasks with less effort than many other knives.
- Sharp edge
A good Nakiri should have an incredibly sharp edge right out of the box. It should also be easy to sharpen and can hold an edge for a long time.
- Safety feature
The broad blade protects your knuckles well from hitting while cutting things.
The size of the knife is also something that shouldn’t be ignored. Nakiris are typically smaller than French chef’s knives but larger than petty or paring knives. It makes them versatile as they can handle most cutting tasks, from slicing vegetables to dicing meat.
3. How to use a Nakiri knife
Like most Japanese knives, the Nakiri is designed primarily to be used on push cuts. This means that you use it by pushing the knife straight down into a cutting board (or whatever food item you are prepping) rather than pulling it towards you.
The blade length of the Nakiri typically makes it suitable for chopping tasks with less effort than a vast majority of western knives. The added mass and straight edge also mean that you can get a good rocking motion going on if you need to slice through something tough or fibrous (like tough squash skin).
I have here some essential tips on how to use Nakiri knife:
- You must start by holding the handle with your fingers wrapped around it. You can hold the Nakiri knife just like you would a chef’s knife, but it is better to hold it much closer to the blade itself as this will allow you more control.
- It’s best to start any cutting motion on one side of the blade and finish it on the other. Besides, it will make your cuts more precise.
- As with any knife, chopping motion is best made by rocking the blade up and down onto whatever you’re cutting. For most people, this will be easier if they hold the Nakiri more towards its middle with their palm touching or near the bolster and using either their thumb or the first knuckle of their index finger to apply pressure. This will help you keep a good grip on the knife and provide the necessary leverage for your chopping motion.
- Don’t apply too much downward force when chopping; it’s better to let the blade do most of the work if possible. You will have more control over what exactly you’re shopping for, and you won’t tire out as quickly.
- The Nakiri is extremely sharp from the factory, but some people prefer to strop their knives before making actual cuts to hone the blade. This isn’t necessary, but it can’t hurt either.
4. Tips and tricks for using a Nakiri knife correctly:
– When chopping vegetables, try to get your index finger as close to the blade of the knife as possible. This way, you will have more control over your cuts and guide the blade’s tip into your food accurately.
– With just about any Japanese knife, it is essential that you keep in mind that your fingers should always point towards the cutting board at all times. You never want to bring your fingers in front of the blade while you are using a Nakiri knife or most other Japanese knives, for that matter.
– It is best that you only hold on to either side of the Nakiri with one or two fingers, depending on what feels most comfortable and natural to you.
– The proper use of a Nakiri knife is essential to avoid any accidents while using this tool at home or in commercial kitchens. As mentioned before, the Nakiri is a Nakiri knife used for many different tasks and can be highly sharp if used correctly. Some chefs do not use the Nakiri as a general-purpose kitchen knife and instead have different knives for specific purposes.
– For whatever you are cutting, it is best to constantly move the blade in a smooth motion at all times. While speed is great for carving or slicing meats, food that requires precision shouldn’t be cut quickly.
5. The benefits of using a Nakiri blade
The Nakiri is a Japanese vegetable knife that’s usually small with a thin blade and almost straight edge. A great benefit of using a Nakiri for your kitchen tasks is its versatility as it can be used to chop, slice or even dice vegetables. It is also helpful in the preparation of meat or fish dishes and when carving roasts.
The Nakiri knife is a great multi-purpose kitchen tool and is more efficient than most western knives. Nakiri knives are used for almost everything, including cutting, slicing, dicing, and mincing vegetables and fruits.
6. How to sharpen a Nariki knife:
The Nakiri knife should be sharpened regularly to maintain its highest performance! It is best to sharpen your Nakiri using a whetstone and water or diamond stone. This will keep the blade sharper for much longer. If you use honing steel (or any other metal rod) instead, it won’t keep the edge sharp for as long and will wear down your knife more quickly.
Sharpening a Nakiri knife is very easy, but it can also be tricky in some ways. The sharpness of the blade allows you to cut through vegetables with ease without applying too much force, which could force the blade out of alignment. To sharpen a Nakiri blade, you must hold the knife at an approximate 20° angle to the stone and use gentle rolling motions with the knife.
Ensure that you keep your fingers away from the blade of the knife by holding it close to one end of its handle while sharpening it. Not only will this protect your fingers, but it will also prevent you from unintentionally cutting yourself while sharpening the blade.
7. Why are they so popular in Japan?
Nakiri knives are pretty popular in Japan as these knives are designed in the Japanese style for Japanese food cultures. The blade is usually around 7 inches long, making it very easy to use when peeling, cutting, or dicing vegetables and fruits.
They are available with either single or double beveled edges, depending on what you are looking for. For example, Japanese Chefs and knife enthusiasts usually prefer a single beveled edge so that they can use it to cut precise slices of fruits and vegetables.
FAQs about Nakiri Knife Use
Q1: Can I use Nakiri knife for meat?
Nakiri knives are perfect for slicing vegetables because of their straight blades. However, a Nakiri knife gets hard to cut meat efficiently because there is no point on the blade’s tip like other Japanese kitchen knives.
Q2: Is a Nakiri a cleaver?
No, a Nakiri is not a cleaver, and it doesn’t function like one either. However, it’s important to note that most Nakiri knives are very different from other Japanese kitchen knives (Santoku and Deba) because of their straight blades and lack of point on the blade’s tip.
Q3: Is A Nakiri knife worth it??
This is entirely up to the individual user. These knives have a particular Nariki use, and therefore they might not be the most efficient choice for specific tasks (cutting vegetables and fruits).
However, it can certainly save you money if you only need this type of knife in your kitchen as it will replace several other Japanese kitchen knives all in one. Therefore, if you know exactly what you need and want in your kitchen, it makes sense to get a Nakiri knife; if not, it might be worth looking at other options as well.
Q4: How do I take care of my Nakiri knife?
Just like any other high-quality Japanese blade, the more gentle you are with your Nakiri, the better. However, you don’t need to treat it with kid gloves either. If your blade gets dull or dinged up, take some sharpening stones and sandpaper to them, and you’re back in business.
Knowing proper Nakiri knife use is a great way to get quality cuts without risking injury. Therefore, you should consider this as your final choice when it comes time to make an investment in knives for your kitchen.
The Nakiri knife is the best choice for you and your family. There are many benefits of using Nakiri knife, such as slicing through food easily or creating precise cuts that will enable more even cooking of meat on the grill.
When cleaning vegetables, you can also use them by slicing them in half so they’re easier to handle without getting their juices all over your hands. With its sharp blade, ergonomic handle, and stainless steel design, this versatile kitchen tool has earned its place among some of the most coveted knives in kitchens across the globe today!