Usuba Japanese knife: how to make the right choice?

Many top chefs and cooking enthusiasts have validated the effectiveness of the Usuba (also known as Nakiri) knife . This validation is no accident. Its performance and precision are unanimously acclaimed by connoisseurs.
Finesse, lightness and practicality are words that go hand in hand with its character.

Would you like to buy one of these tools? If so, this article was written for you!
Choosing a Usuba knife is a reliable long-term investment when done with a clear head.
Read on for the history and buying guide of an iconic Japanese

Japanese Knife Usuba

The history of the Usuba knife

The traditional Usuba knife originated in Japan, more precisely in the Kansai region (Osaka), and has established itself as an indispensable accessory for Japanese cooks.
This kitchen knife is generally flat and has a long handle to make it easier to cut vegetables on a board.
It has long been used in the culinary world

Japanese gastronomy emphasises the aesthetics of its dishes, which is why they require equipment that can work with precision.
The literal translation of « Usuba » is « thin blade ». Without this thin, sharp blade, the knife would break down the cell walls of the vegetable. This would cause a reduction in flavour and discolouration of the ingredients.
The Japanese were quick to understand this reaction.
Since the time of the samurai and long before, they have been dexterous in the making of blades.
Who hasn’t seen one of those Japanese films where the warriors sharpen their swords before going into battle?
The Japanese people have always been known for their hard work and the making of Usuba knives

The Usuba Knife Specialty

We notice that this knife has a simple design; however, it is very powerful!
It was designed primarily for the culinary arts.
In traditional Japanese cooking, one of the first knives a new chef must master is the Usuba.
As mentioned above, its fine blade offers a precise result.
Thanks to its clever blade, fruit and vegetables are easy to cut.
Some experienced cooks combine simplicity and speed, giving the public a demonstration that is as perilous as it is fascinating!
You will see great chefs as well as private individuals using this Japanese knife in their kitchen to create sushi, to cut fish fillets finely or in the « Katsura-muki » technique, which consists of extracting thin slices of vegetables to garnish sashimi.

The user can also use it to cut hard vegetables such as carrots or radishes. However, it is not recommended to use it for chopping or cutting bones.
The specialities covered by this kitchen knife are generally related to the gastronomy of all countries.

The price of a good Usuba

Usuba knives are available in a wide range of products.
You can buy one for as little as 20 euros. However, it should be noted that the lower the price, the lower the quality of the kitchen knife is likely to be.
This Japanese knife can cost up to 500 euros. This means that the result is far from being the same as with an entry-level knife.
From 100€

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Which Usuba to choose?

Choosing your Usuba knife should be done carefully, as we know that rushing is a bad advisor.
First of all, you will need to determine what you want to use

– Is it for professional or domestic use?
– For cutting what types of food?
– How often do you want to use it?

All of these questions will help determine the right knife for you.
Indeed, your needs will differ depending on its purpose. Cutting meat, crab or ham will not require the same quality of cut as cutting fruit, vegetables and fish.

Note that you will be much more comfortable with the Usuba knife for precision work.
If you want to grow big and strong while eating your vegetables, a mid-range knife will do.
For professional or constant use, opt for a high-end model instead, you won’t regret it.
Putting quality before quantity is a wise decision.
This product will last you for many years

Don’t hesitate to ask for advice from knife and culinary professionals.

Also consider the lifespan of the knife. Many knives wear out over time and lose their effectiveness. You don’t want that to happen, do you?

Then a knife that can be sharpened and maintained continuously will retain its performance day after day.

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To make the right choice :

  • 1) Determine the use of your future knife
  • 2) Aim for a range of models according to your needs
  • 3) Seek advice from a knife or kitchen professional

Other articles to help you:
Choosing a Santoku
Finding a chef’s knife
Buying a Pankiri
Gifting a Deba
Selecting a sushi knife
Choosing a Damascus knife
Finding a left handed knife