In loose succession we report in our SUSHIYA blog a lot about the topic of Japanese knives and cutting techniques.
The first part was Japanese knives and cutting techniques - an introduction. The second part was Cutting flavor (and the third was handling Japanese knives). To accompany our sushi courses for beginners and advanced, here is the fourth part of the series.
JAPANESE KNIVES & CUTTING TECHNIQUES - CUTTING FORMS
In Europe, French is still considered the "kitchen language" and so many terms such as Brunoise (small cubes) and Julienne (long thin strips) can be found. In Japanese, you often find many more terms for one thing than in Western countries. For example, there are at least a dozen terms alone to describe different types of rain.
And since people in Japan are convinced that the flavor is "tickled out" of a product by cutting it, there are also many different shapes.
But what is so special now? In Western cookbooks, it is simply called "slicing" or "cutting into THIN slices". In Japanese, each cutting technique has its own name, including such figurative ones as
OVERVIEW OF JAPANESE CUTTING TECHNIQUES
For example for
|Like the tines of a comb
|Cabbage, onion, tomato, lemon, persimmon
|"Random" cut, but it is not really random
|Cucumber, carrot, radish
|Cucumber, radish, lotus root, carrot
|Gingko leaf cut
|Cut into a thousand parts
|Cabbage, ginger, radish, carrot
|Bamboo leaf cut
|Lotus root flower
|For lotus roots
|rods with square cut, about 1 cm thick
|Leeks, spring onions
|Cut diagonally into thin slices
|Cube with sides of approx. 1 cm
|Cut vegetables or meat diagonally
Then there are the decorative cuts for shiitake, radish and carrots, for example.
For example for
|"Plum blossom cut"
When preparing vegetables such as radishes, potatoes, and the like for "stews" (nabe お鍋), one breaks the edges to prevent them from breaking out during cooking. This is called mentori.
By the way, these cut shapes require a lot of practice. In our restaurant sansaro you often get very finely cut leeks on the appetizers or white radish ("shirage") to sashimi - observe carefully in other "Japanese" restaurants how thickly leeks and radishes are cut there...
Do you really need so many different knives? Maybe not, but in Japan they attach great importance to every detail and so of course they always want to have the best tool. Therefore, the next part is about different knife shapes and their use.