Kitchen Knives & Cutting
Santoku knives: Iconic Japanese kitchen knives
The Santoku is an iconic Japanese kitchen knife. It is the Japanese version of the chef's knife. The word Santoku means: three qualities. According to some these qualities are cutting, crushing and scooping, the things the santoku excels at. According to others this stands for meat, fish and vegetables. The three ingredients that can easily be cut with a santoku. All we know is that a santoku is an incredibly versatile kitchen knife that is perfect when cutting, crushing and scooping meat, fish and vegetables.
Looking for a good Santoku?
Because of the remarkable shape of the blade you use a santoku a little differently than a standard chef's knife. Do you want to learn more about how to use it and what you need to pay attention to when purchasing a santoku? If so, continue reading!
The blade on a santoku
You can recognize a santoku by its high blade where the spine of the blade only tapers towards the tip at the end of the blade. An advantage of the Santoku is that it is a lot lighter than most European kitchen knives and therefore also easier to use. Santoku's are, with a blade length of approximately 18 cm, smaller than European chef's knives with a blade length of approximately 20 cm. Some santoku's have dimples in the blade. As such slices won't stick to the blade.
We have written more about all the differences in the following infotopic: chef's knife vs santoku: the differences.
The handle on a santoku
The handle of a santoku is often located at the same height as the spine of the blade. As such the hand you use to hold the knife has a lot of room when you use the knife. In addition, some santoku's, like many other Japanese knives, are enhanced with D-shaped handles. This could, however, mean that the knife is meant for left or right-handed use. You should pay close attention to this when you purchase a santoku or other Japanese kitchen knife.
A santoku uses a different cutting technique that deviates from that of a European chef's knife. The Chinese chef's knife doesn't 'rock' on the surface but moves diagonally from back-top to front-down. The knife constantly remains in a horizontal position. Check out the video below to see this cutting technique in action: