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I need a quick education!

Tue May 06, 2014 6:10 pm

Hello,

This coming week my younger sister will be graduating her university as a Japanese major. Having spent a full consecutive twelve month period abroad, I would like to give her a gift that not only introduces her to cooking, my personal passion as a Food Science major, but reminds her of her favorite place on Earth. I would prioritize what I'm looking for as practical, lower-end maintenance, yet with a distinct Japanese feel. The knife I'm looking for must certainly be made in Japan.

I've been drawn to the Nakiri style knives. I believe they would serve as an excellent introduction to Japanese knives, proving to be useful in vegetable prep situations while also leaving something wanting should she take to cooking the way I anticipate. I also believe working with vegetables would allow her first to acquire some skill, particularly with the chop, before beginning to hone the craft with such a knife as a Gyuto. All that being said, I am completely comfortable being told I am 100% incorrect! I'm looking for guidance, not trying to give it, but this way you understand where I'm coming from as a buyer.

She spent the full year in Nagoya, Japan. I've googled "professional chef knives Nagoya" hoping to find a particular style of knife she would recognize but have had no luck thus far.

In addition to any recommendations, would you mind breaking down the true differences between the Tojiro DP Nakiri 165mm and the Dojo Hayashi Nakiri 165mm?

Please educate me as much as possible as quickly as possible! I'd like to make a purchase today, but at the latest tomorrow. Again, feel free to shoot down any preconceived notions I have that are incorrect. Thanks so much for your expertise.

George

Re: I need a quick education!

Tue May 06, 2014 6:16 pm

Hi George,

You can give yourself a quick education here:

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/cknaro1.html

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/cknaropa2.html

Or if you want me to just tell you what to buy based on what you wrote (stainless, Japanese, lower price) get this:

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/toshsa16.html

The Tojiro DP you mentioned would be another good choice but I think it would be more fun for her to get a knife with a traditional Japanese handle (it's called a wa handle).

Re: I need a quick education!

Tue May 06, 2014 6:28 pm

George, I really like the new Kohetsu SLD Nariki: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kosldna16.html. It's an excellent performer, with a unique look, that's a major step up from the Tojiro Mark recommended for just a little more $$.

Re: I need a quick education!

Tue May 06, 2014 6:52 pm

Dojo is carbon core.....stainless clad....so that exposed core steel could rust much quicker than a stainless core (or solid stainless) knife ala the Tojiro. Most full stainless knives will never rust unless subjected to A LOT of time wet or with food on them. Carbon steel (depending on the breed) can rust or stain much quicker. Carbon steel is not new user friendly, I guess, is the end result of this commentary.

You didn't mentioned a budget, so in addition to the already recommended nakiri's, here is a very nice one as well:

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kostna18.html

Re: I need a quick education!

Tue May 06, 2014 7:20 pm

George, if you have a little time to kill, check out the two two videos on this page. This might help your education a bit: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kiknedvi.html

Re: I need a quick education!

Tue May 06, 2014 8:04 pm

If your budget can stretch a little, Steve's suggestion is an excellent knife for the money.

Re: I need a quick education!

Tue May 06, 2014 8:23 pm

I'd highly recommend a gyuto to help introduce her to cooking and not a niche vegetable knife.

More versatile, more selection, more use. However this is just my opinion.

Re: I need a quick education!

Tue May 06, 2014 8:36 pm

Nick - without trying to tick off the Nakiri fans - even a Santoku would lend more versatility IMO for a beginner. The Kohetsu SLD Santoku is just as good as the Nakiri and the same price: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kohetsu1.html.

Re: I need a quick education!

Tue May 06, 2014 8:39 pm

I understand the idea of leaving her wanting more, but if I were to recommend a first knife I would try to steer you towards one that can do more. I would look more at gyutos or santokus to start, they can do everything a nakiri can do and then some (more so on the gyuto.) If she starts to love it, then I'd look at nakiris. The site has some beautifully rustic kiruichi knives that'll be sure to remind anyone of japan at reasonable pricing. Id start with the yamashin line and work up from there.

Re: I need a quick education!

Tue May 06, 2014 9:05 pm

SteveG wrote:Nick - without trying to tick off the Nakiri fans - even a Santoku would lend more versatility IMO for a beginner. The Kohetsu SLD Santoku is just as good as the Nakiri and the same price: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kohetsu1.html.



Yeah I wasn't trying to upset Nakiri fans, it is a Niche veggie knife :) sometimes (ok, frequently) I am blunt. I try not to be, but old habits die hard.
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