Cooking is not an art, its a craft and technique. Talented chefs are often more intuitive than most chefs and develop their own style after learning the craft. My passion is about the tools, process and the kitchen is a place where I mesubim.
The idea of spending time in the kitchen, studying, thinking and cooking, I jump up and check my chai brewing, or experiment in perfecting a dish that I’ve cooked over and over again. I realized that sharpening my knife has become routine, and it takes some practice to get certain steel types Japanese steel sharpened. I used to think that most Japanese knives are all the same but that’s far from the truth. The kasumi blades are good but in no way comparable to honyaki quality steel.
I am searching a usuba Honyaki one of the highest grade steels but they are scarce: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honyaki and some steel knives of a lesser quality react with certain vegetables, and go black emitting impurities onto your hand or fingers.
A knife is composed of various materials and here are some;
-Carbon increases edge retention and raises tensile strength and increases hardness.
-Chromium increases hardness, tensile strength and toughness and provides resistance to wear and
-Cobalt increases strength and hardness, and permits quenching in higher temperatures.
-Molybdenum increases strength, hardness, harden ability, toughness and improves maintainability.
-Vanadium increases strength, wear resistance, and increases toughness.
-Tungsten adds strength, toughness, and improves hardness.
Japanese single edge knives are princiaply made named Kasumi which are made from two materials such as samurai swords: high-carbon steel “hagane” (blue or white steel) and soft iron “jigane” are forged together. This style of knife offers a similar cutting edge to a honyaki blade but not always. It does offers the benefit of being “more forgiving” and generally easier to maintain than honyaki, at the expense of stiffness.
Honyaki knives are forged from one single material and in most cases high-carbon steel. The finest honyaki are then differentially-hardened, which means hardening consists of either two methods. One involves heating the metal evenly to a red-hot temperature and then cooling it at different rates, while the other consists of heating only a part of the object very quickly to red-hot and then rapidly cooling (quenching), turning only part of it into hard martensite but leaving the rest unchanged. The same method used for traditional katana and their sharpness is the longest lasting of all Japanese blades.
These are extremely difficult to forge, requiring a high level of skill and experience. They are very difficult to sharpen and maintain, and easily damaged if not used properly. A Japanese knife is not as simple as it looks.
Never underestimate the cut, it is key to any Japanese cuisine and each knife has a different shape and purpose. But in the west a knife is just a status symbol, and here in Japan this attitude is becoming more mainstream with young chefs – sadly.