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  • Writer's pictureLeo Grebot

The Importance of Using the Correct Knives for Cutting Kobe Beef.

Updated: Mar 23

Kobe beef, recognized worldwide for its quality and tenderness, deserves exceptional culinary treatment. A crucial part of this process is the correct selection and use of slicing knives. The value of a good cut of meat lies in obtaining a tender and juicy steak.

First, it is essential to understand why it is important to cut meat correctly. Meat muscles are made up of fibers that, when cut properly, allow the meat to be tender and easy to eat. In addition, a good cut also helps reduce cooking time. However, achieving this type of cut requires the right tool, i.e. the right knife. Cutting the meat perpendicular to the muscle fibers of the piece of meat makes the meat more tender and easier to eat. Still, this is only part of the equation; Using the correct knives is vital to achieve an optimal result.

Using versatile chef knives may not be the recommended option when cutting Kobe beef. Despite their usefulness, the design of these knives could result in thicker slices or, in the worst case, torn or shredded meats, which affects the flavor and presentation of the meat. Instead, specialized slicing knives provide convenience and efficiency, factors that should not be overlooked when dealing with such high-quality meat.

Japanese kitchen knives, known as hōchō, are renowned for their meticulous craftsmanship, often employing traditional Japanese blacksmithing techniques. Made from stainless steel, or Hacene, the same type of steel used for samurai swords, these knives are exceptional for preparing foods, including Kobe beef. Japanese kitchen knives come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, tailored to the specific needs of each culinary task.

Making hōchō knife
Making hōchō knife

An example is the Usuba bōchō, a professional kitchen knife traditionally used for vegetables, but equally effective for cutting meat . With its flat, high edge, it offers enough room for your knuckles when chopping on a cutting board, allowing for precise and fine cuts. This is particularly useful when trying to cut Kobe beef into thin slices for sukiyaki or teppanyaki.

The Deba bōchō, a Japanese kitchen knife primarily used for cutting fish, is also used when cutting meat. Its thick design and the obtuse angle at the heel of the knife make it ideal for cutting without damaging the meat.

An important aspect of cutting Kobe beef with a Hōchō knife is the Hōchōdō technique. This is a traditional Japanese culinary art form of filleting a fish or poultry without touching it with your hands. Although originally used for fish, the principles of this technique can be applied when cutting Kobe beef. Here, control and precision are essential, and the sharp edge and sturdy construction of a Hōchō knife are essential.

For slicing Kobe beef, a steak knife might be useful. This knife prevents the meat fibers from separating. Cutting the fibers of the meat with a sharp blade allows the meat to retain its juice, resulting in a juicy and flavorful piece of meat.

On the other hand, there are high-quality options on the market for meat cutting knives, each with its unique characteristics, from its design, blade type, to the material of its handle. It is essential to select the right one based on the culinary task at hand.

Given its quality and price, it is essential that each cut be perfect to ensure optimal use of the product. This is where Hōchō knives prove their superiority. In conclusion, the Hōchō knife is an indispensable instrument for chefs preparing delicate Kobe beef.


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