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Looking for some kitchen tools for sushi?

(Masamoto Yanagiba 9.5")

Because many of you asked me during the class, for this week’s newsletter, I put together a list of tools I recommend. Some of are the ones I use. Let me know if you this list useful or not.

Knife Sharpener

Before buying a knife, what I strongly recommend is to buy a sharpener

Buying a knife without a sharpener is like going a scuba diving without an oxygen tank. No matter how sharp your knife is now, soon or later, it will become dull. Without a sharpener, your knife is like a car with flat tires. You may be able to drive it, but, well, you cannot go fast, or drive as you would do normally (you get the idea).

So, by all means, look at the sharpener first if you don’t own it yet. They don’t have to cost a lot. In fact these days, thank god there is Amazon. You can find a inexpensive knife sharpener that does amazing work.

Here are some. I use them to sharpen the knives we (you) use in the classes.

Knife Sharpner, Narcissus Knife Sharpener, Professional

For $34.98, this is a steal. It not only sharpens your kitchen knife, it can do your scissors also.

It doesn't matter if you have an expensive knife or inexpensive ones. It is way better than not having one and use an expensive dull knife.

The same goes with this one. It's the same principle, a different design and a price. It does the same job.

EverSharp Electric Knife Sharpener


In case you didn’t know, there is no such thing as “Sushi Knife.” Sushi chefs use “Sashimi Knife.” They are called Yanagiba (or Yanagi for short). These narrow and long knives are designed to to do just one thing: to slice fish. The narrow/thin blade reduces the friction when slicing fish. The long blade helps to slice the fish in one stroke.

Yanagiba is also single beveled. It means only one side of the knife is sharpened (angled). The other side is flat. Western knives are double beveled. When looking from the side, a western knife is triangle shape. If you buy Yanagiba, you need to get a whetstone to sharpen.

MASAMOTO KS Japanese Yanagiba Sushi Knife with Sheath 9.5"

Masamoto is probably one of the well known and most popularly used sashimi knives by sushi chefs. This one is a good intro model for those who is just learning to use Yanagiba.

If you buy this knife, you will need whetstone to sharpen it. If not, take it to have proffessionaly sharpened. In the SF bay are, Bernal cutlery in San Francisco. Perfect edge cutlery in San Mateo. Hida tool in Berkeley.

Miyabi Birchwood Slicer

This is the ones I use (or I’ve been using for close to ten years now.)

The handles is made of birchwood and gives a really nice feel when you hold. The whole knife is a lot lighter compared to Masamoto Yanagiba. Miyabi knives are generally double beveled.

Other tools

Seaweed Container Can

Looking for a container to store your Nori seaweed? These are the ones use by the sushi chefs at restaurants.

Black one is hand made (you see the straight corners? That’s the sign of handmade tin Nori can) it is for the full size nori sheets. Orange one is machine made (round corners). It is for half nori sheets.

Seaweed Container Sushi Nori Kan (black, full)

Seaweed Container Sushi Nori Kan, (orange, half)

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