How to Use a Nakiri Knife With Some Simple Ways

Are you wondering why chefs move so fast and accurately while chopping vegetables?  You will notice thinness and evenness in every slice.  Do not wonder anymore; their secret is “nakiri knife.”  They use this blade to achieve even thinner slices each time they chop vegetables. Well, let us find out how to use a nakiri knife to ensure a fine, even, accurate and smooth slices:

What is nakiri knife?

This is a Japanese style stiletto designed explicitly for chopping vegetables.  Its blades are thin and large, with the square of tips making is ideal for vegetables. Its edges angles are straight on both sides, thus allowing it to cut through the vegetables reaching the chopping board. It does not cause any horizontal push or pull.

What makes Nakiri knife perfect for both home and professional use?

  • Lightweight
  • Rectangular blades
  • Thin cutting edges

The history of the nakiri knife

The nakiri knives started to exist in the 17th century during the Nara period.  The design looks like the older version of a vegetable dagger.  This blade first existed as a samurai sword. Many changes have taken place until to-date.  Nakiri is an improvement of the traditional Japanese kitchen blade that came to be as a combination with the western chef dagger style.

Today, nakiri is popular worldwide due to its accuracy and amazing design.  Did you know that nakiri has existed for more than 400 years? Its excellent design has not changed, unlike other products in the market such as iPods.

Why is nakiri knife perfect for cutting vegetables?

  • This dagger resembles the meat cleaver. Both the knives cut, but we use them on different things. Its straight blade allows you to cut through the chopping board; hence you will not have to apply pulling or pushing force.  It is comfortable to cut using this dagger as one only approaches the same direction.
  • Its blade is thinner than the chef’s is or the meat cleaver knifed. Thick blades are best for chopping through the bones; nakiri is not suitable for that.  Nakiri is ideal if you are looking for a clean and smooth, beautiful cut through your vegetables.
  • Its cutting edges are perfect for cutting vegetables. It has Ryoba edge, angled from both sides that allow straight slicing.

How to use a nakiri knife?

In the recent past, nakiri is common in the kitchen just like any other.  It is still important to learn how to use, especially if you are an aspiring professional cook.   Do not think that samurai skills are enough; you need this too.


Know the purpose of the

Do not use this knife to cut steak or meat. If you use it on steak, it will work perfectly, but it will cause some problems in the end.  Find the correct one for the right purpose.

Using it to cut foods other than vegetables will obliterate the edges; nobody wants to replace a dagger every now and again.  Use utility, butter, or cleaver dagger to cut your mat but not a nakiri one.  Only use it when it is time to chop the vegetables.


Cutting from top to bottom

Unlike other knives that require you to pull and cut with force, nakiri works differently.  It is suitable for slicing through your vegetables.  Keep in mind that its edges are sharp hence;, it easily goes through the veggies up to your chopping board.  A good nakiri for this case is a Shun premier dagger.

Make sure that our hands are moving in an up and down direction and not sideways.  Other movements may not only cause a lack of straight cuts but can as well cause an accident.


Keep your fingers away

Did you know that this knife could easily chop off your fingers?  Well, we trust it for chopping veggies, but keep your fingers out of the way.  Ensure that the fingers bend away from the path that your dagger makes its way.

We cannot say that accidents do not occur in the kitchen; they do. However, an accident involving a nakiri blade is too painful to bear.  Preserve your fingers out of the way to be safe.


Sharpen the blades

As far as knives are, dull knives also cause bad accidents in the kitchen. They consume a lot of time, as they are ineffective. Moreover, they produce the worst results. Sharpen the very blade time; you start noticing signs of bluntness.

You do not want to stop in the middle of your cutting to sharpen your stiletto. It makes you upset and hungrier, particularly when you are a vegan.


Maintain a Firm Grip

Another tip for using this knife is maintaining a good grip always.  Apply a pinch grip anytime you are using a nakiri. Place your thumb, and the three fingers around the blade as the index finger remains on the top of the blade. Such a grip allows you to enjoy precise control as well as accurate and even slices.


Use a chopping board

Use a cutting board to avoid obliterating your countertops as well as the blade.  Make sure that you place the board on a flat surface, place the vegetables then start slicing. This ensures that the stiletto only covers the right distance.  A good example of a cutting board is the Farberware bamboo board.

A poorly maintained board can cause accidents as well as uneven slicing.


Apply less force

When using this type of blade, do not apply a lot of force, as this can damage the edge of the blade.  Did you know that nakiri knives are lighter than traditional kitchen knives?  That is why you need to control it perfectly when using it.

Apply a small force to chop the veggies. Make sure that the force applied is enough to slice through the vegetables. Its sharp edges do the donkeywork as you put just a little strength without excessive force.

Watching this video for more guide.


Overall I have pointed above how to use a nakiri knife. It makes your work exciting and professional. You will definitely enjoy cutting your vegetables as you watch them giving way. You only apply a small amount of force and ensure that it is moving up and down.

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