Maintaining the Edge: Proper Care for Your Deba Knife

The Deba knife, a traditional Japanese kitchen knife, is primarily used for cutting fish and poultry. Proper maintenance is crucial to preserve its functionality and longevity. Here’s how to care for your Deba knife:


Always hand wash your Deba knife immediately after use with warm water and a mild detergent. Avoid using the dishwasher, as the harsh chemicals and heat can damage the blade and handle.


Thoroughly dry the knife with a soft, clean cloth after washing. Ensure the blade and handle are completely dry to prevent rust and deterioration, especially if the knife is made of high-carbon steel.


Sharpen your Deba knife regularly using a whetstone. Start with a coarse grit to grind away any nicks or unevenness and finish with a fine grit to hone the edge. Sharpening techniques are crucial; maintain the correct angle (usually about 15-20 degrees) and use consistent strokes on each side of the blade.


Store your Deba knife in a dry, safe place. A knife block, magnetic strip, or protective sheath can prevent the blade from becoming dull or damaged. Avoid storing the knife in a drawer where it can come into contact with other utensils and get damaged.

Rust Prevention:

If your Deba knife is made of carbon steel, it’s prone to rusting. To prevent rust, apply a thin layer of food-grade mineral oil to the blade after each use, especially if you live in a humid environment.

Professional Inspection:

Even with regular home maintenance, consider having your Deba knife professionally inspected and sharpened at least once a year. A professional can address any issues like blade misalignment or significant wear and tear.

Handling and Usage:

Always use a proper cutting board (preferably wood or plastic) to protect the blade’s edge. Avoid cutting on hard surfaces like glass or metal, which can dull or damage the knife. Also, use the knife for its intended purpose; Deba knives are designed for cutting fish and soft meats, not for chopping bones or frozen foods.

Avoiding Damage:

Do not use the Deba knife for tasks like prying or twisting, as this can damage the blade or handle. The Deba is designed for precise, downward cuts and should not be used as a general utility knife.

Proper maintenance of your Deba knife will ensure that it remains sharp, safe, and functional for years to come. Regular care not only preserves the knife’s quality but also enhances your culinary experience, allowing for precise and efficient cutting every time.

The Difference Between Japanese Knives and Western Knives

Knife selection plays a crucial role in the world of cooking, be it in professional settings or at home. Two popular types of knives widely known for their distinct characteristics and craftsmanship are Japanese knives (Wahōchō) and Western knives (Yōhōchō). This article aims to delineate the differences between these two culinary icons.

Material and Manufacturing

Japanese knives, made of hard carbon steel, are renowned for their sharpness and edge retention. The forging process involves careful hammering and folding, creating a blade with intricate layers of steel. This produces a lightweight knife that allows precise and delicate cutting motions.

Conversely, Western knives are typically made from softer stainless steel. This gives them durability and resistance to rust and staining. They are heftier and provide robust support for a variety of heavy-duty cutting tasks.

Blade and Edge Design

Japanese knives often feature a single bevel blade, meaning they are sharpened on one side. This results in a razor-sharp edge, ideal for slicing through ingredients with precision. Additionally, these knives usually have a straighter edge, suitable for up-and-down chopping motions.

Western knives, on the other hand, have a double bevel blade, sharpened on both sides. This design makes them versatile and easy to handle for different cutting styles, including rocking cuts. Their curved edge design aids in the rocking motion commonly used in Western cooking.

Handle Design

The handle of a traditional Japanese knife is usually made of wood and is often cylindrical or D-shaped. This design is meant to provide comfort and control for precise slicing movements.

Western knives often feature a more ergonomic handle design that may include contours for fingers, providing a secure grip for various cutting tasks. Handles are usually made from materials like plastic, composites, or stainless steel.

Maintenance and Usage

Japanese knives require regular maintenance to prevent rust and retain their sharpness. They are best suited for tasks that need precision, such as sushi or sashimi preparation.

Western knives, due to their sturdier build and rust resistance, need less frequent sharpening and are more forgiving of rough handling. They are versatile tools, ideal for a wide range of cutting tasks in daily cooking.

Japanese and Western knives each have unique strengths. The choice between them comes down to personal preference and the specific culinary tasks at hand. Understanding the key differences can help one to make the best choice for their cooking style and needs.

Behind Japanese Delicacies

Japanese food is worldwide known for the intricate nature, delicate flavors, and the wise choice of unique ingredients that mostly capture the attention of diners and gourmets from different parts of the globe. Diners enjoy seeing the professionalism in Japanese delicacies expressed through the wise combinations of vivid-colored ingredients, often freshly caught from sea. Orange-colored Salmon slices and crystal beads of Caviar not only showcase the creativity in ingredient selection – the professionalism and the mastery of the blades revealed the secrets behind the perfect slices, the paper-thin pieces of Sea Bass, the fat pieces of Fatty Tuna topped on cooked, Japanese sushi rice.

What truly lies in the heart of Japanese food, isn’t just the satisfaction of the final flavors that rock the tastebuds and linger in the unfulfilled, clouded minds of the hungry gourmets, but the major satisfaction that comes from the splash of certain magic – the spark of curiosity that wakes the mind and is given the answer with a performance of sushi and sashimi-making. The latter mainly answers to why many Japanese food lovers enjoy eating at Omakase restaurants or specialty dining places. Being able to express the traditional Japanese culinary cultures through the mastery of the blades, unique ingredient selection, and culinary placement not only pushes forward the success of Japanese delicacies like sashimi and sushi – the ability to bare the intricate processes is a major professionalism and a high significance Japanese cuisine holds. With this reason, many diners and cordon bleus are intrigued by the skills and the traditional techniques Japanese food chefs and culinary experts have, portrayed in their works of culinary arts.

The Tastes

Japanese food tops the charts for the delicate flavors, yet exotic bursts of newness in every of its components. The original blends of rich, raw ingredients like Salmon, Mackerel, and Sea Bass with the authentic, Japanese vinegar-mixed cooked rice makes Japanese cuisine a huge standout among other kinds of culinary delicacies. Most diners agree that the subtle flavors and delicacy Japanese dishes offer makes their dining experiences magical. Japanese food chefs are very careful when it comes to the selection of seasonal and fresh ingredients – not only do the wise choice of ingredients make a difference, it also showcases the understanding of culinary combinations and its significant relationship with the Japanese authentic sushi-crafting traditions.

Most times, the tastes of Japanese delicacies like sushi and sashimi are often described as being delicate and subtle. However, these dishes are crafted professionally through intricate, complicated processes that involves the mastery of the blades, the wise choice of ingredient selection, as well as the techniques in culinary placement for satisfactory aesthetics.

The Mastery of The Blades

Japanese knives are essential cutleries that play an important role in the crafting of most famed Japanese delicacies. These special knives are forged out of extremely hard steels like high prime carbon, Damascus stainless steel, and Aoko blue steel. Japanese blades are like those of Samurai’s blades – in the culinary war, Japanese chefs and culinary experts are forced to master the essential skills in order to perfectly slice through a vast variety of high-quality ingredients. Be it poultry, seafood, vegetables, or bones, there are a wide variety of knife types that can cut through and beautifully slice ingredients into desired forms and shapes.

Therefore, Japanese knives are highly needed and required by all Japanese food experts to successfully craft Japanese delicacies with ease. As Japanese knives are forged with superb-quality materials and hard steels, there is no way Japanese chefs would choose other knife types, as these are especially made to authentically craft and create traditional Japanese delicacies.

Japanese Knives and How to Choose One

Japanese food is loved worldwide by diners and gourmets for the delicate flavors coming from cooked Japanese rice mixed with vinegar, sugar, and salt – creating the perfect blend of subtleness, enough to form rice balls perfect for making sushi. Fresh, fine-quality ingredients like Salmon, prawn, squid, and other seafood freshly-picked from sea, on the contrary, provide exotic, savory tastes to each menu. The social media-friendly aesthetics that feature vivid-colored ingredients like glistering orange Caviar beads, ocean-green Wakame seaweed strips, and perfect alignment of fresh Sea bass slices spread on the traditional, Japanese-style plates are also what makes gourmets swoon and swore their loyalty to Japanese food.

As Japanese delicacies are often served in specialty restaurants called ‘Omakase’ restaurants, culinary experts and Japanese food professionals find it highly crucial to continuously search for high-end, top-notch Japanese knife brands that forge extraordinary knife models to help in the crafting of Ebi sushi, Maki rolls, and Sake sashimi. As Omakase restaurants are high-end, traditional Japanese restaurants that stand out for the signature dishes head chefs serve in their very own unique ways, diners and gourmets can enjoy all the Japanese food aesthetics, the Zen-styled interior, and the elegance of serving Japanese dishes to mark your dinner night an amazing dining experience.

With high expectations gourmets have when it comes to Japanese food, it is a must for professionals and culinary experts to master their knife skills of chopping, cutting, slicing, filleting, and layering various kinds of ingredients. Thus, a wise selection of Japanese knives is needed to successfully craft one-of-a-kind menus and dishes to be presented by proud, dedicated Japanese food chefs.

Selecting a Japanese Knife

Although it might sound like a challenge to choose the right Japanese knife to meet your specific needs in the kitchen, you can look at the following factors to ease your decision-making: function, steel hardness, sharpness, and knife edges. It is best to first choose your knife according to the function it serves – for example, go for a Gyuto knife if you need a multi-function or a multi-tasking knife in the kitchen but choose a Yanagiba knife if you want to make sashimi or sushi dishes instead. Although these two knife types are different in the function they serve and the features they own, Japanese knives are made out of hard steels.

It is best to look at high Rockwell hardness values to ensure that the knife is durable enough to cut or slice through various-textured materials or dense ingredients. Japanese knives are also made to be extremely sharp – they are forged with a general purpose of filleting and slicing through numerous ingredient types. It is best to choose new, razor-sharp blades out of the box for the best cooking experience.

Japanese knives are as well available as single edge knives and double edge ones. Single edge knives are generally sharper – only on one side of the blade is sharpened, while the other side of the blade is slightly concaved. For delicate and sensitive culinary work, single edge knives are highly recommended. A double edge knife, on the other hand, works well with users who are both left-handed and right-handed. A double edge knife can work with all kinds of processes in the kitchen and its sturdy blade body allows users to confidentially utilize and grip onto the blade without worries. However, when compared to single edge ones, this double edge knife may work a little less neatly and re-sharpening the blade can be a little tougher compared to those of single edge knives.

Now, choosing a great pair of Japanese knives is no longer a challenge if you understand a few tips to wisely select one of your own. To possess a Japanese knife and keep it safe in the kitchen, remember to clean your knife right away after use and keep them dry.

Can a knife be the perfect gift?

There’s an old superstition in which it’s bad luck to give a knife as a gift. Say you’ve found the perfect knife to gift to a friend or family member, but maybe you or the recipient are extremely superstitious. If this is the case, don’t worry! We’ll discuss the different ways in which you can overcome these negative connotations surround giving a knife as a gift.

Can a knife be the perfect gift?

As you may probably know, it is sometimes very difficult to find a suitable gift for a friend or family member, especially if they’re somebody that has everything they need. Choosing a gift for someone can be an extremely tough and time-consuming task, as you need to find something that is either thoughtful, useful, or a combination of both so the recipient will feel appreciated and thankful every time they use or see the gift. The gift also needs to be affordable and within your budget, but not appear too cheap as well.

If you’re in this situation, why not consider a kitchen knife? A kitchen knife, or any knife for that matter, is a timeless and useful gift. Knives or knife sets can be customized in many different ways, engraved, and made to fit either left or right-handed users. There are knives built for a wide range of activities to be used by all sorts of people including cooking lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, survivalists, and DIYers. Because of the versatility of knives, you can give them as gifts for any occasion, including birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, or promotions. Before you do, however, be mindful that some people view gifting knives as something that brings extremely bad luck.

Cultural aspects of knife-giving

For superstitious people, gifting a knife represents the severing of the friendship between the giver and recipient. The only way around this is to attach a coin of symbolic value to the knife.

If a coin is attached to the knife by the giver, the coin must be promptly removed by the recipient and returned to the giver as a symbolic payment. This transaction prevents the relationship from severing, as the knife is seen as purchased, which releases the giver from the negativities that might occur as a result of receiving the knife for free.

Global superstition?

Knife-gifting superstitions exist around the world and isn’t a cultural phenomenon. Europeans and Japanese people both believe that gifting a knife represents the severing of a relationship, and they also believe gifting a watch as meaning that time is running out.

Giving a knife as a wedding gift is considered extremely bad luck because it represents the cutting of the marriage ties. Similarly, pocketknives should only be handed to someone if it’s been properly secured, as it’s believed that it may cause an argument. If there’s been a death in the family, another superstition insists that knives should only be used when needed and must be carefully handled.

If you’re considering buying a knife for someone you know as a gift and this superstition makes you hesitant, there are things you can try to help ease your doubts. First, you can try keeping a knife in a jar of water by the front and back doors of a home. This is believed to help ward off evil spirits. The spirits are afraid of their reflections in water and on the knives’ surface. You can also attach a coin to the knife as we mentioned above. Both tricks can help you get around this troubling superstition.

Why do Japanese knives make great gifts?

For centuries, Japanese blacksmith has been experimenting and making some of the world’s best swords and cutlery out of steel. Throughout the ages, the Japanese have been known for crafting the best saws, swords, knives, and chisels. Today, Japanese craftsmen still employ the ancient crafting techniques similar to what was done centuries ago, however they’re not able to combine with knowledge with modern technology to create some of the most beautiful and versatile cutting instruments in the world. Their ability to manipulate steel is something that is unrivalled. The beauty of Japanese knives is that they still feature traditional Japanese wooden handles, as well as a tapered tang that fits in a hole which is burned into the wooden handle. They’re also tempered to a higher Rockwell hardness than most Western knives, and this enables Japanese knives to have superior edge sharpness and better edge retention. All this combined with the unique and traditional Japanese designs make Japanese knives a perfect gift idea, and you’ll be sure your recipient will be wowed by it.

How to Prevent Carbon Steel Knives from Rusting

When compared to stainless steel, carbon steel knives are sharper, easier to sharpen, and are great at maintaining a sharp edge. One downside of these knives, however, is that they require more maintenance than stainless steel knives and are prone to rust if they’re not maintained properly.

Over time, steel will change color as it oxidizes and reacts with the moisture and air around it. You’ll often see steel knives take on shades of blue, grey, and black. This is normal and is called a patina. Patina is good for your knife and actually helps your knife in its battle against rust. It’s a natural protective layer on carbon steels that protects the blade from oxidation and gives it a rough look. If your knife starts turning red, yellow, or orange, then your knife is rusting, and you’ll need to clean it as soon as possible.

To prevent rusting, it’s recommended that you wash and dry your knife after every use. Another way to help keep your knife rust free is to apply blade oil to it regularly. Blade oil helps keep off the ambient moisture in the air when your knife is in storage. Best of all, this oil doesn’t affect the performance of your knife at all when you use it to cut acidic foods.

While patina is a form of corrosion and common on knives that have aged, there are ways to force an early patina onto carbon steel to give your knife an early edge in the fight against rust.

How to force a patina on your carbon steel?

To force an early patina on your carbon steel, you’ll need to pick up the material below:

  • Pre-ground instant coffee (i.e. Folgers, Nescafe, inexpensive generic store brands). The less expensive, the better.
  • A coffee brewing machine to brew the instant coffee
  • Something tall and slender with a cavity, such as a flower vase. XL To-Go Coffee Cups work as well
  • Your carbon steel knife
  • A small sponge or dish cloth

Step 1: Brew the instant coffee

Take your instant coffee and brew it. Brew the strongest pot of coffee possible, then chill it. Before we perform this process, the coffee will need to be cold.

Step 2: Submerge your blade in the coffee

Next, take your flower vase, or anything tall and skinny in general, and place the small sponge or dish cloth at the bottom. Put your knife, tip down, into the vase gently, then pour in the chilled coffee until it covers the entire length of the blade. Make sure to only submerge the blade in coffee, and not the handle. Leave the knife in the coffee for at least 6-8 hours. Overnight is ideal, however knives left in the coffee for at least 24 hours will create the most striking effect.

Step 3: Remove the blade

After 6 to 24 hours have passed, remove the knife from the coffee. Wipe it down with a damp cloth and thoroughly dry it. You’ll see now that your knife has undergone an incredible transformation and features a beautiful looking patina. It’ll now also be much easier to maintain and will be much more resistant to rust than before. Despite the protective patina, also make sure to wipe down the blade after every use and keep it clean and dry always.

Step 4: Honing the knife

Coffee-induced patinas aren’t as acidic as vinegar or lemon patinas, but they’re still acidic enough to have reduced some of the polish on your cutting edge. You should always hone and strop before the last (optional) step.

Step 5: (Optional)

Coffee has a strong smell, and as the blade has been left in coffee for up to 24 hours, you’ll want to get rid of some of that smell. To do this, we recommend cutting up yellow onions which will help pull out some of the coffee fragrance.

While forcing a patina helps your knife in its battle against rust, be mindful that it will permanently alter the look of your knife, including the finish. If you like the way your knife looks now, we’d suggest letting the patina form naturally over time.

History of Sushi

The beginning of Sushi

The history of sushi is an interesting tale. While sushi has been around for a long period of time, it has evolved from what was originally a simple dish to what it is today in its present form. The first mention of sushi was in China during the second century A.D., when it was used as a way of preserving food. The fish were placed in rice and allowed to ferment, which kept the fish edible for longer periods of time. When ready to eat, the rice would be thrown away, leaving the fermented fish.

For centuries, this method of preserving fish would spread throughout China, and by the seventh century, it would make its way to Japan where seafood has historically been a staple dish. The Japanese would take this concept one step further, and began to eat the rice along with the fish. Originally, sushi was prepared in the same as it is today, however during the early 17th century, Matsumoto Yoshiichi of Edo (present-day Tokyo), began seasoning the rice with rice wine vinegar to give it extra taste and began selling this new type of sushi. This new way of creating sushi allowed the dish to be eaten immediately.

The Evolution of Sushi

In the early 19th century, a Japanese man from Edo (former name of Tokyo) named Hanaya Yohei began changing the way sushi was produced and presented. Instead of wrapping fish in rice, he placed a piece of fresh fish on top of an oblong shaped piece of seasoned rice. Today, we call this style of sushi and presentation ‘nigiri’ meaning finger sushi, or ‘edomae’. This is now the common way of eating Japanese sushi. During the early 19th century, sushi was served from stalls on the street and was meant to be a snack or a quick on-the-go meal. This type of ‘fast food’ sushi proved to be wildly popular, and soon stalls would pop up all over the country selling sushi. The aftermath of the Great Kanto earthquake in 1923 would also help fuel the rapid rise of street sushi stalls throughout Japan, as many people lost their homes and jobs and moved away from Tokyo.

After World War 2, street sushi stalls were shut down for hygiene and sanitary reasons and were moved indoors. This move indoors meant formal restaurant seating was added, and changed sushi from an on-the-go, fast food experience to a unique, sophisticated, true dining experience. Sushi would spread across the globe with the promotion of seafood, and Western cultures, who were always eager to try something new, would quickly adopt this unusual way of serving fish.

Modern Sushi

The history of sushi spans over 1800 years, and its current iteration is one of the world’s most famous and beloved foods. Once uniquely Japanese, sushi has truly evolved into something that is now beyond traditional Japanese cuisine. Western influences have sprouted new styles of sushi such as the Philly Roll and California Roll, and many restaurants also create elaborate rolls to offer even more variety on their menus. It’s not often that a cultural food can take the world by storm and also influence foods from countries around the world, however sushi has done exactly that. The demand for sushi is increasing, and sushi continues to evolve in many different ways. The history of sushi is far from over.

Today, sushi can be a quick, on-the-go meal or a high-end dining experience. In Japan, sushi bars can be found in a train station, on the street, and in shopping malls. In North America, sushi packs are available in almost all supermarkets and almost every shopping mall food court has a sushi stand. There are also sushi restaurants everywhere that can range from affordable, to high-end luxurious experiences. You can see how versatile sushi is!

How to Clean Your Knives – the RIGHT Way!

As a Japanese knife is highly essential in the making of culinary delicacies, specifically authentic dishes like sashimi and sushi, learning upon how to properly care for them and clean them is important to all users. Even for knife collectors, caring for these traditionally forged knives is indeed a must.

Before we go about how to cleaning your knife set the right way, let’s talk about the WRONGS– or what NOT to do…


Do you like your knives? Did you pay a lot of money for them? Do you like their clean, sharp edge? Do you like the way your knives reflect the light while you use them? The way their blades cut through food with hardly any effort? If you like any or all of those things, don’t put your knives in the dishwasher! If you like rusty, dull, ugly, useless knives then toss in your dishwasher. No dishwashers!


Don’t fill up your sink with soapy water and dump your knives in. This is a good way to damage the edges (knives banging into other knives, into the sink, etc…) It’s also a good way to cut yourself (reaching into a soapy sink and grabbing for incredibly sharp knives is probably only slightly dumber than stinking your hand into a bucket of piranhas) If your knives have wooden handles, the water can warp the wood and make handle have a wobbly hold on the blade.

Ok, enough with the don’t, on to the do’s…

Immediately after you’re done using your knife rinse the blade with warm soapy water. Do not soak, but make that the soapy water gets on every part of the blade that could have come in contact with food. Any food residue left on the blade could damage the knife, and if you have been cutting foods like raw meat or fish, your knife could be carrying dangerous germs if not cleaned properly.

Rinse all the soap off with more warm water – soapy food does not taste good! Soap residue could damage your knife if left on the blade!

Get a Soft bristle brush – not a brillo pad, not a sponge, not a washcloth. Put your freshly washed knife down on the counter, and use that brush to brush your blade clean. If necessary, wash in warm soapy water again.

Hand-dry your knives. The faster you dry them, there is a less chance for rust or corrosion to take place. Fold a towel several times so that you’re sure you won’t cut yourself and then use that to dry the knife.

Store your knives in a dry, secure area where they won’t get splashed with anything, and can’t be knocked over by accident.
Now you have no more excuses! Keep those knives clean and rust free!