What are the virtues of an Usuba?

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Rarely have I given mindspace to the Usuba. A one-side-flat Nakiri? Who would want that?

But I had an epiphany when I bought a sort of gyuto on the BST, a JKI knife with extremely wide bevels. I was not yet sure what I wanted it for, but I sure wanted it.

It's become a go-to knife, when I want super-thin slices. The first time I tried to slice summer sausage with it. it blew my mind. The slices looked like they came off of an automated slicer. That was the moment when I became open to the Usuba. Could it do the job even better? Could it open a whole world of thin slices that had been hidden from me before?

If you like Usubas, please tell me what you like about them. What you find them to excel at.
 
I don't know that slicing thin pieces of sausage is in the cards.

 
If you in the commercial kitchen use a lot of trauma, this is better.

Usuba good for practice your skill.
 
If you in the commercial kitchen use a lot of trauma, this is better.

Usuba good for practice your skill.

You just ruined it for me. I thought all sushi restaurants were experts in katsuramuki, now I know how they do it :(

I think, while usuaba does not fit much into western cuisine, it looks super awesome.
 
Especially in kaiseki, you'll see chefs using usuba for more than just daikon and cukes.

Rather than think of a knife that is good at certain tasks (katsuramuki, sengiri, etc), I think it makes more sense to think of it as a knife that excels at Japanese food aesthetics. Much of Japanese food's visual appeal is in the way it's cut and those cuts are more easily done with an usuba than with a gyuto or other knife.

For general chefs, a gyuto makes way more sense and is way more practical. For chefs making traditional Japanese cuisine (especially 京料理) , an usuba makes way more sense and is indispensable.
 
You just ruined it for me. I thought all sushi restaurants were experts in katsuramuki, now I know how they do it :(

I think, while usuaba does not fit much into western cuisine, it looks super awesome.
There’s still quality difference between handmade and machine grinder. Handmade katsuramuki makes shredded daikon more shiny and can store up for few more days. The machine grinder speeds up the discoloration process especially when the blade gets dull over time.
If you have plenty prep time, handmade katsuramuki still recommended if you want the best quality result.
91D9FEAD-5E90-49BD-AA07-365CE930DDAC.jpeg
 
There’s still quality difference between handmade and machine grinder. Handmade katsuramuki makes shredded daikon more shiny and can store up for few more days. The machine grinder speeds up the discoloration process especially when the blade gets dull over time.
If you have plenty prep time, handmade katsuramuki still recommended if you want the best quality result.
View attachment 178159
This!

I mean, those machines can put out way more quickly than I can with my usuba. But if you eat them side by side it's a world of difference. For me good quality tsuma is the fastest way to tell how much a restaurant cares about details.

When I was training, my daily salad would be my practice daikon with some negi and nakaochi tuna scrapes or whatever else couldn't get served. Eat that everyday for a few years and you really get to appreciate good quality tsuma when you run in to it a restaurant.
 
There’s still quality difference between handmade and machine grinder. Handmade katsuramuki makes shredded daikon more shiny and can store up for few more days. The machine grinder speeds up the discoloration process especially when the blade gets dull over time.
If you have plenty prep time, handmade katsuramuki still recommended if you want the best quality result.
View attachment 178159
That’s true when the machine blade get dull, also make tsuma with usuba can store for few more days, my previous work place use lots of tsuma everyday, when boss tell us have to cut down staff cost, that’s the only thing we can do with it, sacrifice the quality 🫠🫠
 
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