How to choose a Sushi knife (Yanagiba)?

You want to make sushi, maki or sashimi and use a professional knife? I’ll tell you how to choose the right knife! I will tell you about the different Japanese knives for preparing fish. And we will see in detail the Yanagiba, also called sushi knife or sashimi knife.

How to choose a Yanagiba knife?

Which Japanese knife(s) for fish?

To prepare fish, the Japanese use several types of knife. I will spare you the special knives in this article (eel, fugu and others) because it is not the subject of the day.

There are 3 main types of knives used in the preparation of fish, here they are:

The Yanagiba knife

The best knife for making perfect slices of fish is the Yanagiba. It is a knife with a bevelled blade to make clean and precise cuts. In fact it will make a perfectly smooth side. It is the side of the fish slice that will be in contact with the palate of the eater. So that the sushi slides into his mouth. And a slightly rough side. That will stick to the rice of the sushi.

The Yanagiba is a large, long and rigid blade. It is used to lift fish fillets. But also to make very precise slices. Whether for sashimi, sushi or other recipes. This knife can also be used to cut maki rolls without the blade catching.

To choose a good sashimi knife, 3 criteria are important:

  • The size of the blade, it must be chosen according to the length of the blocks of fish you wish to cut
  • The thickness of the blade is also important. The thinner it is, the more precise you will be and the less force you will need to cut the fish. This way you avoid tearing the fish flesh
  • The curvature of the blade means that the slices do not stick to the knife. This makes for clean cuts and quick work

The Yanagiba is therefore the fish specialist. If you had to choose only one for cutting fish it would be this one.

The 3 best-selling Yanagiba:

Couteau Yanagiba KAI MGR-0240Y
  • couteau yanagiba SEKI MAGOROKU
  • lame 24 cm en acier au carbone 1K6 (dureté 58...
  • manche en séquoia
  • Le manche et la lame sont reliées par une bande...
  • Fabriqué au Japon
KEEMAKE Couteau Cuisine Japonais Professionnel 29.5cm, Couteau Sashimi Sushi Yanagiba Lame Biseautée Unique en Acier Inoxydable Japonais VG10, Couteau à Filet avec Manche en Palissandre
  • 【Matériau de Qualité Supérieure】Fabriqué...
  • 【Lame Extrêmement Tranchante】La main de...
  • 【Manche en Bois Naturel 】Construit à partir...
  • 【Performances de Coupe Elevées】Le couteau...
  • 【 Service Garanti à 100 】Profitez de vos...
YOUSUNLONG Couteau Sakimaru 430mm Ultimate Yanagiba Knife Sujihiki Knife Convient pour couper de gros saumons de thon Maguro - Manche en noyer naturel avec étui en cuir Coffret cadeau
  • 【Légère flexibilité】 Un couteau de coupe de...
  • 【Haute qualité et netteté】Un couperet à...
  • 【Protection antiadhésive et anticorrosion】 Le...
  • 【Confort】[Komfort] Der Griff 430 hat eine...
  • 【Cadeau parfait】 Le couteau de cuisine Damas...

The Deba

The Deba is a heavy and thick knife. It can be used to cut off the heads of fish or to slice the bodies. Its weight and rigidity cuts through the backbones or heads of large fish effortlessly.

This knife can also be used for chopping fish or meat. For tartar preparations, it will be very efficient.

Our selection of Deba knives:

Chroma Haiku Home Deba 16,5 cm HH03 Couteau Typique Japonais pour poissons et légumes
  • Couteau Deba : couteau typique japonais pour...
  • Une porte d'entrée appréciée dans le couteau...
  • Belle technique, biseauté pour droitiers
  • Manche en bois brut interchangeable
  • Longeur de lame : 16 cm
Promo
GOLDEN BIRD Deba bocho Couteau Deba 7 pouces Couteau à Désosser Couteau de Cuisine Japonais Professionnel Forgé à la Main Couteaux Simple Biseau pour Fileter le Poisson avec Manche Octogonal en Bois
  • [Matériaux Premium] Notre couteau Deba...
  • [Ultra tranchant] Il s'agit d'un couteau à...
  • [Manche octogonal ergonomique en bois] Le manche...
  • [Assistant de l'amateur de sashimis et de sushis]...
  • [Excellent Cadeau] Tous nos couteaux de cuisine...
Totiko Japan Knives Couteau de cuisine japonais professionnel Deba Sakai 21 cm
  • Couteau DEBA avec lame de 21 cm conçu pour le...
  • Peut également être utilisé pour couper les...
  • Couteau professionnel japonais. Affûtage...
  • Léger et maniable, manche ergonomique, coupes...
  • Lame en acier à haute teneur en carbone avec une...

Versatile Japanese knives

Other knives can be used to make sashimi, sushi or maki. But they are not the most suitable because they have a sharp blade on both sides. The cut will therefore be less clean.

This type of blade slices but it separates the two parts of the food. A bit like an axe does when splitting a log. Single-edged blades are much more precise and do not damage the flesh.

The two most versatile Japanese knives are the Santoku and the Gyuto. These knives can be used for a very large number of different actions. Cutting vegetables, meat, fish… They are very complete knives. To learn more about the Santoku, I invite you to read this article.

The 3 most popular Gyuto knives:

Couteau de chef Damascus Hajegato Unique en son genre de poignée professionnel couteau de cuisine de chefs japonais VG10 haute qualité 67 couches couteau damas avec sheath (Gyuto 8")
  • UNIQUE & BELLE: Voulez-vous vous démarquer dans...
  • CONFORT ET DESIGN: Notre couteau Damas au design...
  • QUALITÉ: Couteau japonais à haute teneur en...
  • GARANTIE: Couteau Damascus, chaque manche...
  • CADEAUX: L'acier de Damas est tranchant et la...
KOTAI | Couteau de Chef Gyuto | Couteau de Chef Professionnel | Équivalent à Couteau de Chef Japonais | Lame 20 cm | Martelé et Aiguisé à la Main | Acier Inoxydable Japonais 440C Ultra-Tranchant
  • ULTRA TRANCHANT : Lame en acier inoxydable...
  • FINITION MARTELÉE : Appelé “Tsuchime” en...
  • CONFORT & PRÉCISION : Son profil de lame -...
  • DURABLE & HYGIÉNIQUE : Le pakkawood est un bois...
  • FACILE À ENTRETENIR : Lame forgée d’un alliage...

Which fish knife to choose?

3 great knives for sashimi, sushi and maki:

1) MGR.210.Y Yanagiba Kai knife

An excellent knife for beginners. This Yanagiba has a 21cm blade. Its handle is made of Sequoia, a red oleaginous wood that is particularly resistant to water. This wood will guarantee a very good resistance in time.

Kai MGR.210.Y Couteau Yanagiba
  • Dimensions: 21 cm
  • Seki Magoroku Couteau Traditionnel Japonais est...
  • Lame 21 cm

2) Yanagiba Tojiro: Japanese made

A semi-professional knife. Available in 3 sizes: 21cm, 24cm or 27cm. This knife is entirely made in Japan. In the province of Niigata. Its blade is made of molybdenum vanadium steel. A Japanese steel with excellent characteristics. It will guarantee your knife an easy maintenance and a long life.

Tojiro - Couteaux de cuisine traditionnels japonais pour sushis et sashimis, en acier molybdène vanadium, lame ultra aiguisée, manche en bois, fabriqués au Japon Yanagiba 21 cm
  • Entièrement fabriqués au Japon. C’est dans la...
  • En acier inoxydable japonais MoV. Grâce au...
  • Manche en bois remplaçable. Le traditionnel...
  • Une lame créée avec le cœur et l’âme. La...
  • -Nos couteaux de chef ont été conçus par et...

3) Yanagiba Sanetatsu Professional Japanese Knife

This professional knife is made in Japan. In the city of Sakai. It is reserved for experienced or professional users. A very high quality cut that will require special care. Always clean after use. It should also be oiled regularly. A blade of this level should be sharpened with 3 stones of different levels. The frequency of sharpening will be determined by your use.

Couteau Japonais de Chef Professionel Sanetatsu Modele Yanagiba (330mm)
  • Couteau Sanetatu Serie Yanagi Modele Debabocho. Le...
  • Fabrique de maniere traditionnel en Acier Carbone...
  • Il est recommande de huiler de temps en temps...
  • Ne pas mettre au lave-vaisselle. Apres utilisation...
  • Le Debabocho n'est pas recommande pour couper les...

To help you choose the right knife, here are some other articles that might interest you:

How to choose a bread knife?

How to choose a Usuba knife?

Which knife for cutting vegetables?

Which Deba knife to choose?

How to choose a left-handed Japanese knife ?

Which Damascus knife to choose ?

How to choose a knife set ?