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Sara@JKI
07-17-2012, 05:24 PM
Cooking with my new knives was really fun, and I think I paid more attention to details - not only for cutting, but also for the way I cook and work around the kitchen. I was more careful about how I stir pots and how much salt I added, etc. I enjoyed cooking so much more. Naturally I ended up having a really good end-result = tasty food :) !

With my new knives, I was totally ready to cook (okay, this photo was taken last year)!

http://img837.imageshack.us/img837/3703/img3481c.jpg

I know some people are curious to find out what knives I picked...

My new knives are a Gesshin Ginga 240mm White #2 Wa-Gyuto and Gesshin Ginga 150mm Stainless Wa-Petty. If you read my blog post about "My First Sweet Knives (http://ameblo.jp/beverlyhills2010/entry-11302843027.html)", you will see what I was looking for from my new knives. In short, I wanted two knives that were good at multitasking and were skill-level appropriate (or something that I can grow into). Both knives have a great balance of an ease of sharpening and an edge taking ability.

When I picked up these two knives, of course we had to wrap them up, just like every other knife from JKI. I wrapped up my 240mm wa-gyuto, and Jon wrapped the 150mm wa-petty. Here are some photos. I guess the corners are little hard for Jon to make crisp and straight... you can easily tell which one is mine and which one is Jon's. But I greatly appreciated the effort.

http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/5703/img2995kn.jpg

http://img641.imageshack.us/img641/8978/img2998s.jpg

Opening up my new knives :) <3

http://img815.imageshack.us/img815/8079/img3003r.jpg

http://img705.imageshack.us/img705/6130/img3005d.jpg

http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/4372/img3006rny.jpg

I prepared 5 main dishes - chin jao rosu, mabo nasu, daigaku imo, spicy and sweet renkon, and goya chample.

http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/5626/img3014qh.jpg

http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/3533/img3022zo.jpg

http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/5139/img3019t.jpg

http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/1697/img3026g.jpg

http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/1138/img3031z.jpg

Takonoko (bamboo shoot), renkon (lotus root), peppers, egg plants, potatoes, negi, ginger and garlic were really easy to slice as I expected. I was scared a little bit when I learned goya has tough seeds inside :( But I didn't twist the blade or anything that would create pressure along the edge of the knife, so it was just fine.

http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/4272/img3010m.jpg

http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/3295/img3016b.jpg

http://img823.imageshack.us/img823/9864/img3017vx.jpg

http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/136/img3009f.jpg

http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/2268/img3011s.jpg

http://img823.imageshack.us/img823/3752/img3029h.jpg

http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/3784/img3030tj.jpg

My knives are thin and sharp.... really fun to use. I think it's more dangerous to use dull knives and cut food (and more crying happens with dull knives when cutting onions etc). With my new knives, I didn't have to use any force, but rather I could just let knives do their job.

What I was most impressed about was cutting meat. Well, actually I was most impressed by myself. Till yesterday, I had this unspeakable fear of touching raw meat of any kind... If I even look at raw meat too closely, I usually loose my appetite for it. To avoid the raw meat monster, I usually make Jon cut the meat, or buy sliced meat. Yesterday though, I picked up pork and sliced it by myself! I made sure to wet my knives so the meat wouldn't stick to the knife too much. I made 3-4 mm slices. Look! I totally won.

http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/5387/img3012cq.jpg

http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/2596/img3013cn.jpg

A lot of people hesitate picking up a carbon knife, but I speak from my experience that it's not bad at all. As long as you are aware of acidic foods and make sure you don't leave your knife wet or dirty, it should be pretty easy. You should be working clean in the kitchen anyways (otherwise I'd be concerned about food safety!). In a professional environment, the choices you make will be different depending on your working environment, but for a home cook like myself, I think it's great to take advantage and try carbon steel.

Now I need to sharpen my knives, and this might be the hard part. I have to cut my nails tonight to prepare myself for a hard day!

PS - Having a White #2 (carbon) makes me a proud home cook!

http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/8854/img2018ov.jpg

Sara@JKI
07-17-2012, 05:34 PM
You can read about this on my blog (http://ameblo.jp/beverlyhills2010/entry-11304570101.html) as well.

macmiddlebrooks
07-17-2012, 05:43 PM
Lovely dishes, photos and prose. Congrats on your new tools!!!
I love my white#2 and #1 knives....stainless feels weird to me now :).

Sara@JKI
07-17-2012, 05:46 PM
Lovely dishes, photos and prose. Congrats on your new tools!!!
I love my white#2 and #1 knives....stainless feels weird to me now :).

Nice to have moral support - thank you! Now I have to do some sharpening, and this is going to be a real challenge...

markenki
07-17-2012, 06:33 PM
Everything looks great! Congratulations on the new knives! But remember what a famous philosopher once said: "Don't get high on your own supply." :)

Sara@JKI
07-17-2012, 08:43 PM
Everything looks great! Congratulations on the new knives! But remember what a famous philosopher once said: "Don't get high on your own supply." :)

lol... Jon already has and he set a bad, but useful example for me. I'd be careful though!

sachem allison
07-17-2012, 09:38 PM
excellent work Sara! looks tasty

daveb
07-17-2012, 11:21 PM
Excellent choices, esp the petty...

Crothcipt
07-17-2012, 11:45 PM
Wow love the choices. Great looking food, have to eat again.

So do you think the knives helped you with your raw meat therapy session? Giving you the feeling that you can take on anything.

Taz575
07-18-2012, 01:16 AM
Nice choice in knives! I have a Wa handled GG White #2 300mm Suji on special order from Jon.

But I gotta ask, whats with the finger mustache?? :scratchhead::dontknow:

Sara@JKI
07-18-2012, 02:36 AM
thank you guys :) ! So happy I have so much support here :hungry: I'm super happy with the choice I made - Gesshin Ginga knives are such a joy to use. I also used my wa-petty at work today, pealing a tomato with it.... it did such a great work.

well.. well.... that's the moment I noticed that there's no going back. I was cutting/pealing a tomato just because I wanted to test my knife. I will only get nerdier from here about knives....

My finger mustache is the sign of my pride!

Taz575
07-18-2012, 02:38 AM
I hate tomatoes, but I bought 2, 4 packs one day just to do the tomato cutting test where you take slices off of the top without holding the tomato :)

Miles
07-18-2012, 02:44 AM
Great looking food! Glad you're enjoying your knives so much. Fine choices too!

Crothcipt
07-18-2012, 03:46 AM
The best reason to make salsa.:happy1::mustache2:cool:

Sara@JKI
07-18-2012, 02:46 PM
When I start cutting stuff just so I can use my knives, our dinner table will always have the following: curry, salsa, chopped salad, gyoza (prepared without using a food processor), nabe, and temakizushi. Not a bad deal at all.

Eamon Burke
07-18-2012, 04:31 PM
Nice! When are you getting them rehandled? :knife:

Sara@JKI
07-18-2012, 05:07 PM
I don't think I will re-handle them. I like the idea of having simple but elegant handles on my knives.... plus, ho handles shrink over years (if you take good care), instead of cracking:cheffry: When I wear out those handles, my skill-set might deserve something else. But my new knives are fairly simple ones, and I don't want to put crazy handles on them either (even if I could) - I think that won't be a good balance on the whole. Blades and handles should resonate, not cause strange dissonance.

Sack of lemons
07-19-2012, 01:35 AM
I don't think I will re-handle them. I like the idea of having simple but elegant handles on my knives.... plus, ho handles shrink over years (if you take good care), instead of cracking:cheffry: When I wear out those handles, my skill-set might deserve something else. But my new knives are fairly simple ones, and I don't want to put crazy handles on them either (even if I could) - I think that won't be a good balance on the whole. Blades and handles should resonate, not cause strange dissonance.

I agree. There is a beauty in the original and utilitarian handle/knife that cannot be beaten by something more glossy. My work knives are Shigefusa and I would never think of changing them.

Sara@JKI
07-19-2012, 02:14 AM
I agree. There is a beauty in the original and utilitarian handle/knife that cannot be beaten by something more glossy. My work knives are Shigefusa and I would never think of changing them.

Yes... I can't agree with you more, especially about your comments about the elegance in the original and utilitarian handle/knife part. Of course there is right place and time for unique and original handles as well, but I value the functional beauty aspect of Japanese knives a lot. On top of that, I'm really new to learning the use of knives, so as a new student I think it's wise to keep the original handle/knife for now.

JBroida
07-19-2012, 02:28 AM
thank you guys :) ! So happy I have so much support here :hungry: I'm super happy with the choice I made - Gesshin Ginga knives are such a joy to use. I also used my wa-petty at work today, pealing a tomato with it.... it did such a great work.

well.. well.... that's the moment I noticed that there's no going back. I was cutting/pealing a tomato just because I wanted to test my knife. I will only get nerdier from here about knives....

My finger mustache is the sign of my pride!

here's a picture of sara peeling a tomato
http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/6070/img9945l.jpg

*sorry for the odd rotation

DwarvenChef
07-19-2012, 03:30 AM
Outstanding :)

Looks like your on your way to having more fun in the kitchen :)

Sara@JKI
07-19-2012, 02:00 PM
the good (?) thing is that now i have this wa-petty and can peel tomato so easily..... I hate tomato skin, and certainly this ability to peel is not going to make it any better (I'll avoid tomato skin like a plague).

If there is any tasty recipe to eat raw a tomato with skin on, let me know :) !

Taz575
07-19-2012, 02:28 PM
The only way I eat tomatoes is if it's tomato sauce on pasta or pizza sauce!

SpikeC
07-19-2012, 03:59 PM
Thank you Sara for this wonderful thread! Your experiences make me smile!

chinacats
07-19-2012, 04:08 PM
If there is any tasty recipe to eat raw a tomato with skin on, let me know :) !

Just good ole' BLT sandwich!
BTW, your food looks outstanding!
Cheers

Andrew H
07-19-2012, 04:47 PM
the good (?) thing is that now i have this wa-petty and can peel tomato so easily..... I hate tomato skin, and certainly this ability to peel is not going to make it any better (I'll avoid tomato skin like a plague).

If there is any tasty recipe to eat raw a tomato with skin on, let me know :) !

With extra virgin olive oil and salt. :hungry:

add
07-19-2012, 08:15 PM
With extra virgin olive oil and salt. :hungry:

Yip.

... I'd add fresh basil leaf and cracked pepper.

Sara@JKI
07-20-2012, 02:14 AM
Now I think about it, I can actually eat heirloom tomatoes with skin... but when it comes to any other tomatoes, I'm fearful of skin.

I will try BLT sandwich, and with extra virgin olive oil and salt... these sound really good. Should I also prepare mozzarella??

chuck239
07-20-2012, 03:59 AM
Really?!?!? Tomato skins? All I ever see you eat is salads haha... Never knew about the skin part. You better keep the petty for when those tomato plants fruit...

-Chuck

JasonD
07-20-2012, 11:35 AM
Tomato, mozzarella, balsamic reduction, basil. Put it on a triscuit or crostini or even by itself

Sara@JKI
07-20-2012, 07:43 PM
Really?!?!? Tomato skins? All I ever see you eat is salads haha... Never knew about the skin part. You better keep the petty for when those tomato plants fruit...

-Chuck

yes, really.... I usually leave tomatoes on the plate, and you probably didn't notice because I usually hide them by putting them into a corner or bury them with lettuce.

Sara@JKI
07-20-2012, 07:45 PM
Tomato, mozzarella, balsamic reduction, basil. Put it on a triscuit or crostini or even by itself

.... I can eat heirloom tomatoes with skin this way :) !