A Santoku knife is essentially the Japanese version of a European chef knife.
The name Santoku means “three qualities.” However, there is some debate in the Japanese cooking culture as to what these three qualities actually are. Some say that it means “meat, fish, and vegetables,” which are the three food groups that Sanoku blades excel at managing. Others say that it means “cutting, crushing, and scooping,” which are all motions that the design of the Santoku allows it to handle incredibly easily.
But, regardless of what “Santoku” really means, we can promise that it’s an amazingly versatile knife! So if you’re searching for a sexy looking blade that is also capable of effortlessly handling any task your kitchen throws at it, then you’ve come to the right place.
It is quite easy to recognize a Santoku because of its higher blade profile, and because the spine of the blade only tapers towards the tip at the end of its cutting edge. This means that more of a flat horizontal cutting motion is used, instead of the traditional “heel rocking motion” that is used when wielding a chef knife.
Many people say this is easier to learn and master the Santoku cutting method, as opposed to the chef knives “rocking technique.” Another advantage of the Santoku is that it is a lot lighter than most traditional chef knives, making it more comfortable to use.
However, we aren’t choosing sides. At Masuta Knife Imports, we love all the different kinds of knives and the stories they tell from the many different cultures around the world! Santoku knives aren’t better or worse than chef’s knives. They’re simply a different kind of blade, and they require a different type of cutting technique.