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Thread: Cooking more Chinese food. Therefore, the Chinese cleaver.

  1. #1
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    Cooking more Chinese food. Therefore, the Chinese cleaver.

    Iím trying to learn wok cooking.

    To get in the spirit, I pulled out my Taiwan cleaver. Itís kinda huge. About 5x8Ē. Itís tough for me to sharpen on a stone since itís just so unwieldy. But, using other methods, it is downright insane sharp. Iíll figure out the moves on a stone, soon enough.

    Iíve been using it for two weeks. Itís surprisinly awesome! I did ding the blade a bit in the middle trying to open a coconut, like an idiot. It will eventually sharpen out.

    But, the performance is unaffected. I love using it to transfer chopped stuff into bowls. And smashing garlic is stupid easy. It smears it into a mince so easily.

    Storing it is not fun.


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    I usually use the spine for coconuts...love some cleaver action.

    once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right

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    You will soon hear from other Chinese cleaver fans I'm sure. However, I've been working my way through the Fuchsia Dunlop books on Chinese cuisine for the last year (buy all of them, right now!), and doing just fine with a 165mm or 180mm nakiri. Works the same for food transfer into bowls, and it's nimble enough for fine detailed work.

    This cuisine doesn't require a big cleaver (IMO), especially if you're going "Pan Asiatic" and mixing cultures. But if it helps get into the mood, then go for it.


    P.S. never use any blade you care about for opening a coconut. That's what machetes are for.

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    I have a cleaver and I support these messages. They are fun tools that feel exceptionally different from a typical chef knife. Saying that, I could never see myself giving up gyutos.
    La bonne cuisine est la base du vťritable bonheur. -August Escoffier
    Without butter, without eggs, there is no reason to come to France. -Paul Bocuse

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    Quote Originally Posted by boomchakabowwow View Post
    Iím trying to learn wok cooking.

    To get in the spirit, I pulled out my Taiwan cleaver. Itís kinda huge. About 5x8Ē. Itís tough for me to sharpen on a stone since itís just so unwieldy. But, using other methods, it is downright insane sharp. Iíll figure out the moves on a stone, soon enough.

    Iíve been using it for two weeks. Itís surprisinly awesome! I did ding the blade a bit in the middle trying to open a coconut, like an idiot. It will eventually sharpen out.

    But, the performance is unaffected. I love using it to transfer chopped stuff into bowls. And smashing garlic is stupid easy. It smears it into a mince so easily.

    Storing it is not fun.

    Glad to hear you pulling out the cleaver! I've been cooking Chinese food for more than three decadesóbeing from a Chinese-American family. The knife I've had for the longest time is a Dexter stainless, small Chinese cleaver, with a blade measuring 8 x 3 1/4 inchesóvery solidly built, rugged, made in the states. A good number of cooks in NYC Chinatown restaurants use Dexters, and also Chinese-made copies of them. Storage is in a DIY sheath made of cardboard and tape.

    My other Chinese cleaver is a CCK #1303, carbon, blade measuring 8 1/4 x 3 1/2 inches, a very popular knife, though overpriced these days IMO. I bought a reasonably priced wooden saya for it from a mid-west online knife dealer that works fine.

    Love them both for different reasonsóDexter is heavier than the CCK. If you're really into Chinese cleavers, you might consider a Chinese meat cleaver for siu mei.

    For the last five years or so, I mainly use my gyutos for food prepówhich I personally find nimbler and more versatile.

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    There are no standardized sizes between brands and models of 1,2 and 3 cleavers but in general I usually prefer the 1 and 2 versions over a 3.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DitmasPork View Post
    I've been cooking Chinese food for more than three decadesóbeing from a Chinese-American family. e.
    hey..i am also Chinese-American.

    i am liking the sound of your cleavers..i think a bit shallower in depth would be a good fit for me.

    mine is also carbon..it is nuts how sharp it gets. the edge is like a foil..

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DitmasPork View Post
    Glad to hear you pulling out the cleaver! I've been cooking Chinese food for more than three decadesóbeing from a Chinese-American family. The knife I've had for the longest time is a Dexter stainless, small Chinese cleaver, with a blade measuring 8 x 3 1/4 inchesóvery solidly built, rugged, made in the states. A good number of cooks in NYC Chinatown restaurants use Dexters, and also Chinese-made copies of them. Storage is in a DIY sheath made of cardboard and tape.

    My other Chinese cleaver is a CCK #1303, carbon, blade measuring 8 1/4 x 3 1/2 inches, a very popular knife, though overpriced these days IMO. I bought a reasonably priced wooden saya for it from a mid-west online knife dealer that works fine.

    Love them both for different reasonsóDexter is heavier than the CCK. If you're really into Chinese cleavers, you might consider a Chinese meat cleaver for siu mei.

    For the last five years or so, I mainly use my gyutos for food prepówhich I personally find nimbler and more versatile.
    Damn. I want that cck 1303!

    $75!!??? Thanks Mr Kimball.

    Anyone want to sell me one?

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    There is a 1302 on the bay for around $60 right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boomchakabowwow View Post
    Damn. I want that cck 1303!

    $75!!??? Thanks Mr Kimball.

    Anyone want to sell me one?
    Since you're in the bay area, you can probably just drive into San Francisco or Oakland Chinatown and find a CCK or Shibazi fairly reasonably priced. I've had my CCK 1303 for years (decades?) and it's a keeper.


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