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Thread: Discourse on why I love Chinese Cleavers re-post

  1. #151
    Senior Member Scrap's Avatar
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    I would imagine using a cleaver for fish breakdown would depend some on the size of the fish, but I also think you could get it to work much like you would a deba. Any Japanese fish breakdown video should give you a decent idea of what you're going for

  2. #152
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    Now here is another way to use a cleaver

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6OqYSdwDjI

  3. #153
    Oh wow now I am really intrigued. Maybe I will try it and see what happens. Is there some kind of logic behind chopping the head off vs. leaving it attached to the spine?

    Quote Originally Posted by brainsausage View Post
    Woah, I was just thinking about this the other day and wondering how you'd got along with the old girl. Glad it worked out for you
    Oh yes, we get along nicely. And since I have now moved out I can just store it on the cutting board without anyone freaking out about there being sharp objects in public space. I also got myself a carbon steel wok to match the cleaver, although the harmony has since been disrupted by the darkening patina on the wok.

    I can't believe I'm considering getting another knife now when I can't even afford to eat meat. But you know, priorities...

  4. #154
    I watched a lady in a market filet a large order of fish for a restaurant with a cleaver a few years ago in Bangkok. On the other hand, when I was in Chengdu China a few weeks ago, most of the fish mongers seemed to be using knives very similar to Western filets for fileting. I don't think Chinese eat a lot of what we consider filets, most of their fish are steamed, fried etc whole or cut into thick steaks. Several different styles of large knives besides cleaver are used for the task.

  5. #155
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    I walked by a fish seller the other day and looked at the cleaver they were using. Almost looked serrated. The fact that people use them that way doesn't make me recommend using them that way.

  6. #156
    Yes, you are right. I had a day off yesterday and spent it wisely by studying fish. Went to the fish counter in the morning, got myself a nice 1,4 kg bream. I ended up not using the cleaver much because I found it a little awkward to maneuver and the fish had very strong bones. I didn't want to put the poor cleaver through that. I went the traditional way and opened the fish with my trusty little puukko. A bit too small for a fish of this size, but it got the job done. I did use the cleaver for cleaning up the fillets and skinning, which it did quite nicely. I think it works best when slicing and dicing though, so fish butchering has to be done by something else.
    ...Aand thus I have justified the purchase of a proper fish knife. Oh bummer.

  7. #157
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    I wish makers were a bit more transparent about their stuff sometimes, but it can be fun to find crude but potentially excellent cleavers.

    I was picking up another knife when I saw this sucker in a cardboard sleeve. Rough finish (think angle grinder scratches) and "pure carbon steel" label with no hardness indication. Still, less than US$15 for the thing, and it seems pretty thin with decent geometry:




  8. #158
    So what are considered the "professional user" brands of cleaver in Taiwan? It seems to vary from region to region in main land China.

  9. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by XooMG View Post
    Still, less than US$15 for the thing, and it seems pretty thin with decent geometry
    Hard to go too wrong. I picked up a bunch of AU$17 Chinese knives, adequate steel (4Cr13), excellent geometry. Mostly for my wife to give out as loaner knives, but I've taken one as a holiday knife. Given such things, I don't see why people buy Kiwi knives (with their IMO inferior geometry).

    (The ones I bought were http://www.wangwuquan.com/en/products/YYM-S2.htm from local Chinatown store.)

  10. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noodle Soup View Post
    So what are considered the "professional user" brands of cleaver in Taiwan? It seems to vary from region to region in main land China.
    I haven't come across anything I'd call a professional standard brand. I haven't been in any of the higher-end kitchens to look at knives, but Ximen (西門) brands (like the one I just posted pics of) seem pretty popular as users. The Jinmen stuff seems more for tourists, but there are a few locals who like them.

    I'm no expert though.

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