San mai @ knife /Misono/

This posting is inspired by Goran a chef from Europe, who I briefly met while at Aman in Luang Probang. Goran was helping out the kitchen and trying to introduce technique to the local cooks. Most European chefs use flexible knives, or rigid blades made by either by German or Japanese makers. The most common is global, a good knife but not my first choice.

I prefer Misono a blade that is versatile and easy to care for:

My Japanese blade is a classical type blade, razor-sharp with the backside flat and the front side at 90 degrees angle. These knives cut with a precision if handled correctly, but are soft and porous. Consequently they get rusty as seen in the photo.

Owning a Japanese knife requires regular sharpening and care to prevent damage. These knives are not suitable for most western chefs because they need to be wiped after each cut.

San mai knives have a similar quality, containing an inner core of hard and brittle carbon steel, with a thick layer of soft and more steel sandwiched around the core. In this design only the harder steel is exposed only at the cutting edge. These blades must be treated with the utmost respect and a disciplined approach is key or you’ll loose a finger.

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Categories: Cycles

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