Best sashimi knives are made of high carbon steel. They are produced with strict guidelines developed by the Japanese knife masters that go back for hundreds of years. These traditional methods demand having a single beveled blade. Unique forging and grinding applied in order to attain extreme sharpness and durability. You may as well consider these talented blades as a smaller replica of razor-sharp swords.
Many people tend to confuse sashimi and sushi. Both delicacies indeed have similarities. However, sashimi is made only from delicately sliced raw food without adding any nori or vegetables. Although there are varieties made from a different type of raw meat, seafood is the most popular version. Salmon, tuna, squid, and yellowtail fish are the most preferred selections. When it comes to sashimi, the quality and freshness of the raw fish are vital as you might guess. Therefore, you would need two things to produce tasty and healthy sashimi; an extremely sharp knife, and well-frozen, high-quality raw meat.
You can consult your butcher or local grocery store for the raw meat, but let me tell you a bit about my favorite sashimi knives in detail.
Best sashimi knives:
- Yoshihiro Hongasumi VG-10 Stainless Steel Yanagi Japanese Sashimi Knife | Premium Selection
- SETO Japanese Chef Knives: I-7 Sashimi Knife | Budget Selection
- Shun Cutlery 9-inch Hollow Ground Knife | Alternative Selection
√ – Premium Selection
Yoshihiro sashimi knife is not mass-produced. It is 100% handcrafted in Japan by knife experts. Aside from its beautiful looks, it is extremely gifted for being able to slice any raw meat with a single stroke. Consider every single one of these knives as a unique piece of art.
Yoshihiro elevates industry standards with every new item introduced to the market. It is practically impossible not to fall in love with these ultra-sharp, handcrafted cutleries. Every part from the tip of the VG stainless steel blade to the Japanese Octagonal rosewood handle is elegantly designed and carefully developed. Notice that this knife provides the exceptional Hongasumi grade high carbon steel sharpness and edge retention with stainless steel durability at the same time. In other words, you get the best of both worlds. You can turn this blade into a monster with whetstone sharpening. Just be careful and watch out your fingers; it can glide through raw fish all pressure-free with a single movement.
There are so many benefits for using this single edged blade with a traditional grind when preparing sashimi. Having a stain and odor resistant blade is another plus when you are dealing with raw fish. Best of all, you don’t have to apply pressure or saw into the meat to get a clean cut. Another highlight is the extra-long blade; 11.8 inches. This extra length adds to the weight of the knife, yet it is still lightweight enough; 0.5 pounds. Therefore, you should not have any issues even if you work with it for extended hours. Besides, the rosewood handle is ergonomically designed to provide you with a secure grip with comfort.
Cleaning is easy, but you should never put it in the dishwasher for the longevity of the blade. Otherwise, it can get corrosion. Hand wash only with mild soap (no acidic detergent) and warm water. Remember to dry well afterwards. Most importantly, only use water whetstones for sharpening and honing.
It will surely be a great addition to your repertoire. Keep in mind that it comes ready to use out of the box. Additionally, you get a free lacquer coated magnolia wooden sheath.
- Made from VG 10 steel
- 100% Handcrafted in Japan
- Includes wooden sheath (Saya cover)
- Octagonal shape handle
- 11.3 inches
√ – Budget Selection
The SETO Japanese Chef knife is a premium model that can enable you to cut and slice any kind of raw food effortlessly. It is economically priced, yet highly efficient when preparing specialty foods like sashimi and sushi. Keep in mind that this knife is designed by Mr. Yoshinori himself, a master sword maker, and handcrafted in the knife capital of Japan—Seki. Note that it belongs to SETO Traditional Elite Series, and is suitable for the novice and the experienced chefs at all levels.
To me; one of the most significant advantages of this beautiful blade is its less maintenance attribution. On the one hand, it is as sharp and durable as a Yanagiba or Deba. However, you don’t have to take care of it like the traditional high carbon steel knives. Let’s talk about high-quality materials; it is made from forged VG-10 stainless steel core and Damascus 33 layers. Meaning, the SETO I-7 is extra strong and super sharp with advanced edge retention capacity. These features enable you to cut raw fish like butter without applying much pressure.
Most SETO knives come with traditional D-shaped, red sandalwood and plywood bolster handles. This one is no different. The I-7 sashimi knife has the same features of conventional SETO handles that give you comfortable grip support and lightweight handling—resolving into superior balance. Cleaning is the same as other handcrafted, high carbon steel Japanese knives. Make sure you hand wash only with mild soap and warm water.
If you ask my opinion, this beauty could have been priced much higher with all these sophisticated advanced characteristics. However, it is the SETO marketing approach to price their items reasonably. I think this policy is another reason why the I-7 sashimi knife is an unbeatable opportunity, especially if you have a tight budget. Its blade is not extra-long as the Yoshihiro listed above, and no Saya included with the purchase. Nevertheless, it can still do the work spectacularly, definitely one of my all-time favorite knives!
- Made from VG 10 steel – Damascus 33 layers
- 100% Handcrafted in Seki, Japan
- D-shaped handle
- 8.5 inches
√ – Alternative Selection
Here is an impressive model from the Shun Cutlery. This model features a hollow-ground, 9-inch blade. The company is well known by sushi chefs all over the world for producing top-quality cutlery. Note that there are many unique highlights of this extra-sharp and extra-light sashimi knife. First of all, it is handcrafted with the company’s specialty material VG-MAX Stainless Steel clad with 68 layers of Damascus stainless steel. The number of layers is way beyond the industry standards. If you are looking for an extra-ordinary sashimi knife that can handle all kinds of work in the kitchen, then your search is over.
The level of sharpness and the incredible edge retention would beat any competition with a snap. I always consider Shun knives as specialty items. Their features always manage to break new grounds. Take the blade for example; it is hand sharpened to 16-degree angle and contains double-bevel cutting edge. This characteristic results in a blade that stays sharper than most other models. Plus, the narrow profile and the hollow ground indentions on the blade allow you to slice through food without any resistance. The freshness and the texture of the food will be preserved at the maximum level. Therefore, your sashimi and sushi will look and taste amazing.
The pakkawood handle is made from distinct material that is a wood and resin composite. Besides, being highly comfortable, it is also super durable and can resist water and moisture damage. However, make sure you wash the knife by hand only, never put it in the dishwasher.
- High performance VG-MAX Stainless steel clad – Damascus 68 layers
- Narrow blade and hollow-ground indentions
- Special made pakkawood handle
- Includes Lifetime Warranty
How do you make sashimi?
You would need a sharp Japanese knife and frozen meat to be able to prepare sashimi the right and healthy way. Your objective is to be able to cut a thin slice from the raw fish or other meat, and then dip it into a mixture that is enriched with soy sauce. Most people tend to dip the sashimi into the soy sauce first and then do wasabi. It is also customary to dip into the sauce first. However, it is up to you to mix the wasabi with the dipping sauce or not. To me; either method is extraordinarily delicious. Also note that the ponzu, a citrus-based sauce, is a popular improver for the dipping sauce. In general, fresh grated ginger and garlic are also added.
Popular types of sashimi
- Ebi— prawns or sweet shrimp
- Akami— dark red tuna
- Ika— squid
- Otoro— made with best tuna
- Ahi— yellowfin
- Katsuo— skipjack tuna
- Sake— salmon
- Ikura— salmon caviar
What fish is sashimi made from?
Although you can make sashimi from almost any type of raw meat, including horse meat, most people tend to prepare it from fish. The seafood, mainly fish, that are generally chosen for sashimi are tuna, salmon, squid, shrimp, clams, octopus, mackerel, yellowtail, and halibut. You would often encounter raw seafood at grocery stores labeled as sushi or sashimi grade, meaning they are suitable for these types of food preparation.
What makes a good sashimi knife?
Best sashimi and sushi knives are made from high-carbon steel in order to achieve extreme sharpness and durability. You will notice that they are also handcrafted, which turns them into a piece of art. The sharp blade allows you to slice the raw meat without applying much pressure and only with a single movement. Therefore, you can easily attain a perfect slice each time.
What are the best condiments to flavor the sashimi?
Some of the best condiments for sashimi include pickled ginger (gari), lemon slices, soy sauce, ponzu, wasabi, and shredded daikon radish. Last but not least, the best side dishes for sashimi include miso soup, tempura, gyoza, crispy crab wonton, teriyaki skewer, and kushiyaki. Consider ice cream and fruit-filled Japanese style crepes as a dessert afterwards.
Did you know that a bite of ginger in between each sashimi helps to distinguish different flavors? An amazing trick to bring out the flavors and enjoy sashimi or sushi at the maximum level.
Is sashimi dangerous?
If prepared carefully from high-quality raw meat, sashimi and sushi are both healthy and indeed not dangerous. The first rule is to select frozen meat that is suitable for consuming. There are specific guidelines set up by the FDA. For example, raw salmon must be frozen at 0°F for at least seven days to kill any parasites. The internal temperature of the fish must be -4°F. If flash frozen, it should be kept at -35°F for 15 hours. On the other hand, sashimi and sushi consumption can provide extra muscle growth and energy since they are both rich in protein.
Can you eat chicken sashimi?
It is not healthy to eat raw chicken as declared by many health officials all over the world. You can easily get an infection caused by salmonella or campylobacter that would lead to food poisoning. Even in Japan, where raw chicken meat is highly prevalent, the Ministry of Health recently advised restaurants to bring the chicken meat’s inner temperature to a minimum of 75°F before serving.
You would need an exceptionally sharp and durable knife when preparing sashimi. Never saw into the raw meat with a dull knife! It will ruin the whole purpose of obtaining a neat slice from the specially selected high-quality meat. In other words, you need a Japanese style, razor-sharp knife to be able to slice properly with a single move. That is why popular Japanese manufacturers take advantage of high-carbon steel when manufacturing their handcrafted cutlery. At the end of heavy forging and grinding steps, they build a master piece like the Yoshihiro Hongasumi VG-10 sashimi knife. It is a perfect tool to prepare all types of Asian delicacy. However, if you are looking for a more economical solution, consider SETO Japanese sashimi knife. It is handmade in Seki— Japan’s knife manufacturing capital. Note that quality sashimi knives are also great for slicing just about any kind of food, including fruits and vegetables.