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What a Deba is for

Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:00 pm

I thought I'd take a moment to clear something up.

A Deba is not a cleaver. Or a Bone Crusher. Or for Vegetables.

It is a Japanese fish butchery tool, designed to be used with finesse and skill to get the absolute MOST efficient cuts of meat off a whole fish.

This is the Japanese solution to breaking down a whole fish:
Image

THIS is the Western equivalent:
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NOT THIS:
Image

Here's a video of a Japanese chef kicking ass at breaking down a fish. Serious, serious skills here. He is working slow so you can see every bit of what he is doing.



As you can see, he is not chopping walnut shells, cow legbones, cleaving chickens, etc. This is the SOLE PURPOSE of a Deba.

To use a Deba for other things is not proper. To never use a Deba to properly break down a fish in Japanese style would be a real shame, and a complete waste of time, money, materials, and the knifemaker's talent. Also, using it like a cleaver will likely damage it badly. It is not a fragile tool, but it would be like using a pair of fabric shears to cut down a tree and wondering why it's breaking.

These are beautifully designed tools. For filleting fish.

Re: What a Deba is for

Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:14 pm

I use my deba to part chickens, but never does it cut bone. Great post dude!

Re: What a Deba is for

Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:44 pm

Good video.

Re: What a Deba is for

Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:40 pm

I know, right? That guy is a beast. When he pulls the spinal cord out of the fish I flipped my lid.

Re: What a Deba is for

Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:23 am

Would you be able to use it for larger fish as a 30-40 lbs tuna?

Re: What a Deba is for

Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:55 pm

Yes you can. They have big ones for larger fish. This is a 270mm Mioroshi Deba that we'll be stocking soon. My friend Rick did this video:

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kowh2fumide2.html

Re: What a Deba is for

Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:05 pm

jsq1222 wrote:Would you be able to use it for larger fish as a 30-40 lbs tuna?


The size of the fish determines the size of the Deba. They make Deba that are just massive.

A really huge fish, like a Bigeye Tuna, requires some knives that look more like swords than knives.

Then there are Aji, Japanese Horse Mackerel, that have little tiny Deba for them.

But if you are just one person, and want to learn/use Japanese fish technique, a regular size Deba can be useful for pretty much any fish you'll get. Most sushi chefs I've known just invest in one really good Deba they like and use it for every fish.

Re: What a Deba is for

Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:00 am

I've used a 210mm Deba for a 150# BlueFin tuna before and a 70# yellowfin. You don't always need the tuna sword looking blades. A 270mm Deba will be able to butcher BIG tuna!!

Re: What a Deba is for

Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:04 am

Nice, and thanks for the video for the confirmation. I need to work on fabrication of different fish. I primarily do poultry.

Re: What a Deba is for

Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:51 am

Under normal circumstances, how long would a skilled chef such as Ueda-san take to complete the task shown in the clip and approximately how many years experience could a Japanese chef expect to train to attain the level of expertise shown in the video ?
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