Masamoto Sashimi Kitchen Knife

Japanese Professional Hon-kasumi Takobiki Slicer

Posted by Mike

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Masamoto Sashimi Kitchen Knife The takobiki translates from Japanese as "octopus puller". The takobiki is a traditional Japanese knife which originated in Tokyo and can be easily identified by its unique flat blade profile and squared chisel tip. Many people will recognize many of the similarities it shares with the yanagiba, more commonly referred to by Westerners generically as a "sushi or sashimi knife". Like most traditional Japanese knives, it has one specific task for which the design of the knife is optimized. It should come as little surprise that the specialty of the takobiki is slicing octopus, a type of seafood which can be quite challenging to work with due to its shape and the peculiar tendency for it's arms to curl up when cooked. The blunt chisel tip is designed to allow the chef to slice into the octopus without damaging the surrounding pieces, as could be more likely to happen if using a pointed yanagiba. Since the takobiki is a variant of the yanagiba which originated in Tokyo and the surrounding areas, many sushi chefs from Tokyo prefer to use the takobiki in lieu of a yanagiba as a general sushi and sashimi slicer.

Like the yanagiba, the blade is quite thick at the spine and has a single bevel ground into the outside right face of the blade and the back of the blade is slightly hollowed. This allows for an extremely sharp edge which excels at slicing octopus and other types of fish and seafood, however the edge is somewhat delicate and its use should be limited to slicing the types of ingredients for which it is intended to be used. A single bevel blade of this type requires a different method of sharpening than a typical "standard" double bevel edge. In order to achieve the sharpest edge possible, like other traditional Japanese blades, the back of the knife will need to be flattened before a final microbevel edge can be ground into the face. If it were to be sharpened in the same manner as a double bevel blade, the unique qualities the single bevel edge possesses would be ruined.

Masamoto is one of the oldest and most respected knife makers in Japan. Their knives can be found in the hands of chefs across the world. Like most specialized traditional blades, it is intended for use primarily by professional cooks. This knife shares the same basic layered construction as other traditional Japanese knives. It is constructed from a core layer of white or "shiro ko" high carbon steel upon which another layer of softer iron is forge welded. As neither material is stainless, the knife will be more prone to rust and will require more maintenance and care. Unlike lower grade "kasumi" knives, "hon kasumi" knives are entirely hand made and finished. As a result, the knife will have a harder cutting edge and will tend to take a sharper, more refined edge and will hold it longer than kasumi knives. Unfortunately, this means that the knife is more difficult to sharpen, requiring a higher level of skill and experience to coax the best performance from the blade. This makes this knife well suited for seasoned professionals, or a cook who is looking to step up to the next level of performance and quality.

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