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Japanese cuisine is loved worldwide by diners and gourmets for the unique flavors that come from creative blends of fine-quality ingredient selections like no other. Despite the massive amount of success, Japanese delicacies are among the most intricate and mostly described as being one of the humblest cuisines, where Japanese food chefs and professionals are to cater to the needs and desires of diners.
Through a vast variety of fresh ingredient selections, head chefs would always come up with signature menus to match the available seasonal ingredients and showcase their imaginative ideas through delicate culinary art.
As possibilities in crafting authentic, yet creative dishes that involve the use of both raw and cooked ingredients are introduced in Japanese cuisine, diners and cordon bleus from various parts of the world find Japanese food one-of-a-kind.
Behind the satisfactory, though, not only comes from the delicious, mouth-watering flavors of Salmon sushi and Fatty Tuna sashimi placed on elegant, Japanese-styled plates – the mastery of the skills of the knife is definitely among the top reasons behind Japanese food’s fame and success. As it greatly involves professional skills of the knife to cut, slice, chop, mince, fillet, and bone a wide variety of ingredient selections, Japanese food chefs and culinary experts will require the help of Japanese knives to perform the techniques learned and create fascinating menus.
Japanese Knives and Top Japanese Knife Brands
There are tons of Japanese knife series and models manufactured by various Japanese knife companies. Nevertheless, not all Japanese knife brands are considered ‘professional’ – some are trusted brands with long, cultivated history of over decades, while some brands mass-produced Japanese knives with lower quality materials. As this can be hard for knife users when it comes to making a decision, it is best to refer to the top Japanese knife brands and scan through the available knife models that best suits your needs.
Among the top Japanese knife brands, Sakai Takayuki, Yu Kurosaki, Takeshi Saji, Masahiro, and Takayuki Iwai are described as premium-quality knife brands, well-loved by most Japanese food chefs and even knife collectors. As each brand has its own distinct features and individuality that marks the differences; however, we will be looking at Takayuki Iwai today.
Takayuki Iwai has its very own origin, where it started off as IWAI blacksmith company, which has been devoted to manufacturing knives for approximately 80 years since 1939. Takeshi Iwai has received the certification of being the ‘youngest’ traditional craftsman in the cutlery production industry back in the year 2006 and later took over his father’s company.
It is quite notable that here at Takayuki Iwai, there is no use of machinery for mass production. Japanese knives by Takayuki Iwai are all made by skillful blacksmiths with golden hands, because they believe machine-generated or manufactured knives are mostly inferior compared to hand-crafted ones when it comes to quality.
VG10 Damascus UKIGUMO RS
Takayuki Iwai’s Ukigumo Damascus knife series feature the unique, 73 layers of Nickel Damascus-patterned blades that comes along with a core of VG-10 stainless steel for professional-use. The blade comes with a hardness of 60-61 HRC, providing knife users with excellent rust resistance and a long-lasting edge accompanied by beautiful and original blade designs. The surface of each Ukigumo blade is of black-finished ones to highlight the Damascus texture for enhanced elegance and efficiency.
The edge of the knife is especially formed and shaped just to look like a clam or the so-called ‘HAMAGURI’ in Japanese, where this specific blade shape helps to act as a non-stick feature to enable the release of food stuck on blade surfaces and to allow smooth cuts and perfect, long strokes of slicing. The Ukigumo RS knife handle is hand-crafted and made out of reinforced laminate wood with a stainless bolster, of which is water-resistant and neatly grained.