Japanese knives and cutting techniques - Japanese cutting techniques | SUSHIYA sansaro

Japanese knives and cutting techniques - Japanese cutting techniques

Japanese knives
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In loose succession, we report in our SUSHIYA blog some on the subject of Japanese knives and cutting techniques and thus accompany our advanced sushi course, which will take place for the first time in March 2018.

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.


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




For example for

Kushigatagiriくし形切りLike the tines of a combCabbage, onion, tomato, lemon, persimmon
Rangiri乱切り"Random" cut, but it is not really randomCucumber, carrot, radish
Hangetsugiri半月切りCrescentCucumber, radish, lotus root, carrot
Ichogiriいちょう切りGingko leaf cutRadish, carrot
Sengiri千切りCut into a thousand partsCabbage, ginger, radish, carrot
Tanzakugiri短冊切り"Paper Strips"Radish, carrot
SasagakiささがきBamboo leaf cutGobo, Carrot
Hana Renkon花レンコンLotus root flowerFor lotus roots
Hyoshigigiri拍子木切りrods with square cut, about 1 cm thickRadish
Koguchigiri小口切りThin rondelleLeeks, spring onions
Mijingiriみじん切りFine cut/chopOnions
Nanamegiri斜め切りSlice diagonallyLeeks
Naname Usugiri斜め薄切りCut diagonally into thin slicesLeeks
Sainome-giriさいの目切りCube with sides of approx. 1 cmMiscellaneous vegetables
Sogigiriそぎ切りCut vegetables or meat diagonally 

Then there are the decorative cuts for shiitake, radish and carrots, for example.



For example for

Hanagiri 花切り Flower shape Mostly carrots
Nejiri Ume ねじ梅 "Plum blossom cut" mostly carrots
Tazune 手綱 Horse reins Konnyaku, Chikuwa

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.

Sharing pleasure in Japanese

SUSHIYA is passionate about Japanese cuisine and culture. In our restaurant sansaro you can encounter the fascinating Japanese cuisine or have it delivered to your home. On our homepage, Facebook and Instragram we always give insights into news and interesting topics.

Japancraft 21

At SUSHIYA in Munich, we are fascinated by Japanese cuisine and culture. Our mission is to translate the Japanese craftsmanship of our chefs and the many stories that Japanese cuisine offers in a culinary way for our guests.

But of course, the depth of Japanese craftsmanship is not limited to the kitchen - it can be found in all areas of Japanese life and creation.

But the preservation of craftsmanship and knowledge of the right techniques is no longer automatic: more and more knowledge is being lost. And it often takes people from the outside to make a difference. Steve Beimel, originally from America and now living in Kyōto, has dedicated himself to preserving Japanese crafts and founded an organization that deserves support.

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Trip to Japan

Our (far too small) kitchen team has just completed two great evenings with a "New Year's Eve kaiseki", the Omisoka 2023,

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