How to sharpen your sushi knife is one thing that I would say it’s important you do learn so here is a quick explanation of how it should be done. The best type of stone to have for sharpening you Japanese styled knives is a combination stone that have a different gradient coarseness on either side.
I recommend the pro standard Shun Dm0708 or if you are new to using water stones the Woodstock D1130 . Reason being it gives you the ability to regenerate the edge on a dull blade as well as really hone in and get a razor edge on your sushi knives if you want to bring it back to awesome sharpness. Do read these instructions first then check out the video at the bottom.
So lets get to the how-to sharpen your sushi knife steps…
Soak your whetstone in a bowl of water for about 15 minutes, an easy way to know if you have soaked your stone long enough is when the bubbles stop rising. The water forces the pockets of air out of the whetstone and prepares them for the sharpening process.
Take your whetstone and lightly dry it off with a clean towel. Place the whetstone on top of the towel on a flat surface to prevent them from slipping around during the sharpening process. you can amazon whetstone holders they are great for a commercial kitchen but they are not really necessary for home use.
Use the medium-grain side of your whetstone for your dull sushi knife blade. Most sushi knife sharpening sessions begin with using the more coarse side as it is best for honing the shape of the blade as well as sharpening it. Hold your sushi knife in your hand with the tip of the blade pointing away from you. Position the edge of the blade on one end of the whetstone, at a 15 degree angle, starting with the tip-end. Hold the knife perpendicular to the length of the whetstone.
We don’t want too much pressure on the blade so place the first three fingers of your free hand on the back, (non-cutting side) of the knife for support and to control of your blade. Starting from neat the butt of your knife push the blade down the whetstone, from one end to the other. (Aim to sharpen only half the length of you knife) While maintaining the proper angle and grip, pull the blade back across the whetstone to the start position. Repeat this push-pull action across the whetstone between 5 – 20 times (it varies with your knife) and use the whole length of the stone so you don’t create a pit in the whetstone.
Re-position the edge of the knife blade on the whetstone at the 15 degree angle, this time starting in the middle of the knife blade. Repeat the sharpening action in step 4. Replace the edge of the knife blade on the whetstone, repeating the sharpening process on the remaining un-sharpened part of the blade. The reason that we only aim to sharpen half the length of the sushi knife is just so we have more control of the angle we are sharpening at.
If your sushi knife is double edged repeat the sharpening process for the opposite side of the sushi knife blade. Wipe the powdery residue collected from the sharpening process off the knife with a wet towel.
Use the fine-grain side of the whetstone to get that razor-sharp edge and smooth away the small scratches left behind from coarse side of the whetstone. Firmly hold the sushi knife handle in one hand and hold onto the non-cutting edge of the blade with your free hand. Hold the blade at a 15 degree angle from the surface of the whetstone.
Slide the blade across the length of the whetstone, going from the tip of the knife to the base in a slow, fluid motion. Repeat the process in the opposite direction. Duplicate this sharpening process about 10 to 20 times again , or until the blade is smooth and sharp enough for your slicing needs. Repeat these steps on the opposite cutting side of the sushi knife blade. (If double edged)
Wash your sushi knife and dry it with a towel. Your sushi knife will now cut through your ingredients like a hot knife through butter
Note everyone has their own style – but practice the steps above and you will find your own groove.
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