Question to Sushi Chefs

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by Fantality, Apr 17, 2019.

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  1. Apr 17, 2019 #1

    Fantality

    Fantality

    Fantality

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    Hey fellow Sushi Chefs,

    I'm curious about other sushi chefs' knife set-up during the service time.

    I've seen different set-ups and combinations being used by my previous and current co-workers.

    Some of them just use chef's knife for everything except for fish slicing, for which they'd whip out a yanagiba.

    Some of them just use a yanagiba for everything including cutting rolls and garnish, slicing fish, etc.

    I've seen a few chefs who would use more than two knives in conjunction with one another. A petty for avocado, garnish, etc, chef's knife for rolls and other bigger items, and a yanagiba for some serious fish slicing.

    I have seen some use a sujihiki but I don't remember it being too common.

    I've been using a chef's knife for most of the tasks. The thicker German chef knives would sometimes get caught in-between the rolls and cause unnecessary movement. My 7" Shun Classic seems thin enough, though it is still too tall for being an ideal roll slicer. I feel like a sujihiki is the best due to its thin and short profile. Maybe a Suji + Petty with a Yanagiba for fish slicing for nigiri might be the best set-up. Yanagiba will just come out when you need to make perfect cuts of the fish for nigiri since fish going in or on top of the rolls don't necessarily need to be perfect cuts. (Do you guys think slicing fish with anything other than yanagiba, even if it's for inside/top of the roll, is sacrilegious?)

    What's your favorite set-up?

    PS - Oh, and does anyone actually use carbon steel knives during service? I feel like pumping out orders in the sushi bar is not really suitable for using carbon steel knives because the knife is usually not used for a long extended period of time and taking care of it in-between orders might be too tedious...
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  2. Apr 17, 2019 #2

    lemeneid

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    You definitely need an usuba to make the shredded radish.
     
  3. Apr 17, 2019 #3

    SilverSwarfer

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    2 Yanagiba, always 300mm. 1 designated sashimi knife. 1 for everything else. Both always Hamaguri sharpened. The everything yanagi gets a koba.
     
  4. Apr 17, 2019 #4

    Gregmega

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    Suji for errrrraything.
     
  5. Apr 17, 2019 #5

    rebornhj

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    Everyone has different set up depends on experience, position, size of sushi bar, location of the restaurant (Manhattan vs College town), etc.
    I have 11+ years experience and working at exremely fast paced restaurant with 90% rolls & 10% nigiri + sashimi.
    I have more than 20 knives but here's my daily knives at work.

    300mm Nenohi Kaede yanagiba- slicing fish only
    270mm Toyama kasumi sujihiki- slicing fish, sometimes cut soft rolls.
    240mm Toyama kasumi gyuto- cut whole salmon (more than 300+ whole salmon so far), cut cucumber.
    240mm Mizuno ks style blue 1 gyuto- cut all the rolls (soft to deep fried).
     
  6. Apr 17, 2019 #6

    Interapid101

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    I briefly worked at a sushi restaurant, and the chef indeed used suji for *almost* everything.
     
  7. Apr 17, 2019 #7

    SilverSwarfer

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    If you’re working with otoro and/or anything usuzukuri (and more), your product will not be correct if you’re using the same sujihiki you’ve been using for rolls the past 3+ hours.
     
  8. Apr 19, 2019 #8

    Patrick Gilmartin

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    I work at a ceviche/crudo place, so not entirely analogous to sushi, but still cutting tons of raw fish on the fly....I have a very flat k-tip gyuto (fkrz) that I use for most everything, and a glestain suji that is in desperate need of upgrade. Strop is close to hand
     
  9. Apr 19, 2019 #9

    Chef Doom

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    I never worked in a sushi bar, but I'm pretty sure I could get by with using a santoku for everything. Maybe a clever for fish only. Yanagi is over rated folks. Keep things cheap and simple.

    Plus the cute ladies will wonder where you got your fancy looking damascus santoku. Maybe even ask you to take them out to purchase their own. Turn it into a date. Make sure your car is tinted.
     
  10. Apr 19, 2019 #10

    Patrick Gilmartin

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    Pretty sure a 270 is gonna get you way more dates than a santoku, just saying...
     
  11. Apr 19, 2019 #11

    Barclid

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    That's not something you're doing during service.
     
  12. Apr 19, 2019 #12

    slickmamba

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    I asked my friend who works at a omakase only place and he said yanagi for everything since everything is prepped already except for scoring and torching, but before service(mostly usuba, petty, deba, ajikiri(rarely use), and beater gyuto) depending on what role you have in the kitchen. And when he was doing rolls, nigiri, sashimi, etc he had petty and yanagi for service
     
  13. Apr 20, 2019 #13

    Chef Doom

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    Look like you are compensating for something....o_O
     
  14. Apr 20, 2019 #14

    Barclid

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    ...?
     
  15. Apr 21, 2019 #15

    Obsidiank

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    Are any of you Japanese?
     
  16. Apr 21, 2019 #16

    Patrick Gilmartin

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    Does that make a difference?
     
  17. Apr 21, 2019 #17

    Ochazuke

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    私はハーフです。I’m half-Japanese and worked in 3 sushi bars over 15 years. I also don’t think you have to be Japanese to make sushi. It does help an awful lot though.

    Most prep is done before service (all the work with deba and usuba). 90% of my work during service is with yanagiba since I did mostly nigirizushi. I kept a small gyuto on hand for when I had to make American style sushi.
     
  18. Apr 21, 2019 #18

    Ochazuke

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    Forgot to answer the other question: always shirogami.

    I also just want to say that there’s a huge difference in type of sushi you’re making that depends on your target audience. If I had ever worked in a high volume American style sushi bar I’d probably just rock a stainless gyuto the whole time. But when you’re serving people who know what Japanese style sushi is and should be, then a gyuto during service just wouldn’t cut it.
     
  19. Apr 21, 2019 #19

    Ochazuke

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    For people who aren’t familiar with the difference, look up “edomae sushi” and compare it with the crazy rolls you see out of your local fusion place.

    I prefer to think of them as two completely different styles that share a common origin. But they have almost nothing in common in terms of tastes, techniques, textures, preparation, or aesthetic. I no longer think that one is right or wrong anymore, just different. But people should definitely try both and learn the difference if they’re in to sushi at all.
     
  20. Apr 21, 2019 #20

    Michi

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    To me, many of the modern roll creations don't quite hit the mark. They can look absolutely stunning. But they also suffer from the American trend of "more is better". Too many ingredients, and the outcome often is flavour overload that ends up drowning the subtle and beautiful flavour of the fish and rice.

    I don't think of the modern versions as "wrong" either. They are different. But, to me, the traditional versions are where it's at.
     
  21. Apr 21, 2019 #21

    Fantality

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    So you prefer the traditional seaweed outside 6 piece makizushi that has a single ingredient like tuna, salmon, avocado or cucumber?

    From what I've seen, parents usually order them for their kids who can't eat regular fusion rolls because of how big they are.

    I think fusion rolls are uncomparably better than the traditional maki zushi. I also prefer fusion nigiris with special toppings than traditional.
     
  22. Apr 21, 2019 #22

    Michi

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    I do like those, yes. I'm fine with a lot of the inside-out rolls, too, such as California roll. What I'm not so keen on is some of the overloaded creations, such as these:
    image.png
    image.png
    To me, that's too much.
     
  23. Apr 21, 2019 #23

    Fantality

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    Oh I see. Yeah, those rolls look intense haha. I'm not a huge fan of rolls that are smothered in different hues of mayonnaise.
     
  24. Apr 21, 2019 #24

    Interapid101

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    Outside of Japan, do you honestly think most people who work in sushi restaurants are Japanese?
     
  25. Apr 21, 2019 #25

    Keith Sinclair

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    Don't care for those overloaded rolls either. Like simple inside out California rolls. Some seaweed on outside rolls have good goodies inside.
     
  26. Apr 21, 2019 #26

    lemeneid

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    What a simple, good roll should be, shredded cucumber, soft shell crab, seaweed rolled together inside out, then jus a little bit of furikake sprinkled on the perimeter.

    Most rolls are overkill and all you just taste mayonnaise in the end.
     
  27. Apr 21, 2019 #27

    Chef Doom

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    Sorry, I responded to the wrong post haha
     
  28. Apr 21, 2019 #28

    Chef Doom

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    Look like you are compensating for something....o_O
     
  29. Apr 21, 2019 #29

    Fantality

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    Well, it's all about the girth anyways :p
     
  30. Apr 21, 2019 #30

    Barclid

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    Most places are serving mediocre Shari and letting the Nori sit too long before serving. I don't have a strong preference as long as the rolls aren't monstrously overloaded abominations. I'll go for whichever has well-seasoned rice and crisp Nori.
     

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