Nakiri knives are a form of vegetable knife that originated in Japan. They are commonly used for chopping vegetables and herbs, although they can also be used to cut meat. However, it is surprising how many people don’t know how to use a Nakiri knife properly!
An ancient saying goes something like this: the more knives you have, the easier your life is. There are many excellent knives available, each of which performs a specific job in your kitchen. While you may not have been aware of the existence of a nakiri knife before now, believe me when I say that you will wonder how you ever managed to cook without one.
Here, we’ll explain to you all you need to know about what exactly a nakiri knife is and how to use it, how it differs from other Japanese knives, and what to look for when purchasing one.
Best Way to Use a Nakiri Knife
What is a Nakiri Knife, and how does it work?
Nakiri knives, often known as skinning knives in the United States, are a Japanese variation of the utility knife. They have a very sharp, straight edge that does not have any curve to them. Knives (such as those used for cucumbers and radishes) and nakiris are excellent for slicing vegetables, boneless meats, and fruits (such as apples and pears).
The blade of a nakiri is thin and extremely sharp, making it perfect for the precision cutting of vegetables. Because of the blade’s thinness, it is capable of cutting through difficult root crops such as carrots and turnips.
The Nakiri Knife’s Origins and Development
The nakiri knife is a relatively new addition to the Japanese knife family, having only been introduced in the last few years. Nakiri knives have a similar appearance to traditional Japanese chef’s knives, although they’re usually lighter in weight and have a thinner blade than those blades.
Although Sakai Takayuki is credited with creating the first nakiri in the late 1900s AD, the nakiri has been around since ancient times.
Originally from Japan, a Nakiri knife is an all-purpose kitchen knife that is similar to a vegetable cleaver in terms of design. A flat blade makes it suitable for cutting vegetables as well as meat and fish, and it is made of stainless steel. The Nakiri is a Japanese kitchen knife that may be quite useful if appropriately handled while less popular than other knives.
The Proper Way to Use a Nakiri Knife
Even though most Nakiri knives are rounded at the tip, they are not intended for rock-chopping techniques such as those performed with a santoku or gyuto knife. If your knife has a squared-off and pointy tip, it will be much simpler to damage the blade when it comes into contact with the cutting board.
If your knife doesn’t have a squared-off and pointy tip, it will be much more difficult to harm the blade. Because of this, the figures are rounded.
When it comes to cutting vegetables with a Nakiri knife, a specific pattern must be followed. With its straight tip, this knife is a simple and straightforward tool to use. It would be best if you only moved the knife in an up and down motion while chopping the vegetables, not in a horizontal motion.
Keep your fingers curved in a claw form, and use your knuckles as a pattern to guide you through the process of utilizing the sword. Now, gently glide the knife up and down while brushing your knuckles slightly. Go on straight to get equally sliced.
This way, the blade will reach the chopping board without any extra power, and you can cut the vegetables smoothly. It could take some practice developing the talent for tremendous nakiri knife use.
WHAT TO CUT WITH A NAKIRI KNIFE
The actual word “Nakiri” loosely translates into “leaf cutter”. Cabbages and lettuce are another areas where the Nakiri can really shine. Using that sort of push/pull approach, slicing coleslaw can be done in a pinch.
As you already know the motion you are utilizing with a Nakiri, you’ll begin to grasp what foods are best cut with it. This is not a meat cleaver. This knife is for all your vegetables and fruit. Here’s a non-exclusive list:
- zucchini and other summer squash
- cabbages – green, red, Napa, Savoy
- potatoes of various kinds
- apples, pears, oranges, lemons, limes
- melons of all sorts
As you can see, using a Nakiri knife is much more than just cutting veggies. It takes some time to get used to the appropriate technique of holding and using this knife. But it is absolutely worth it if you want to develop your skills in the kitchen. If you have any other queries on how to use your new Nakiri knife properly, please leave a comment below!