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Cutting Training at Benihana 13

Agenda ・How to sharpen Japanese knife ・Practice of cleaning fillet

How to sharpen Japanese knife There are mainly 3 different types of Whetstones which are Arato (Rough Grit Whetstone) , Nakato (Medium Grit Whetstone) and Shiageto Fine Grit Whetstone. This time I used a double sided of Arato and Nakato Whetstone.

1. Wash knife to remove any grease and wet Whetstone for sharpening. Sometime it is better to soak it in water for a few minutes.

2. Make sure to place Whetstone on flat surface with wet cloth underneath to keep it steady.

3. Check condition of both edges of the blade to make sure which side is flat and angled (or both angled).

4. Coase with Arato and Nakato - Stroke blade up and down gently with 45 degrees angle to sharpen entire edge. You only need to put a slight pressure when pushing then pull it back with no pressure. The ratio of sharpening is 90% on angled side and 10% on flat side, or 50% on each side if it is both angled. Always sharpen in the same direction to make the edge evenly. When shaping angled side, lift the back of the edge around 2mm – 4mm between knife and Whetstone and always keep same angle. Keep the blade flat when sharping flat side. Always put your fingers of other hand on top of blade to keep blade steady

5. Fine with Shiageto – Use the same method of Coase with wet Whetstone. Remember that longer you process this stage, finer and more detailed edge you can get.

6. Check the sharpness by cutting paper or slightly harder material such as a piece of plywood.

It was my first time to try this and it was harder than I thought especially sharpening the angled side. I need to practice more to get the steady position for keeping the same angle and sharpening at the same time.

Lectured by Meat Master / Executive Chef at Benihana UK -Mr Toshio Suzuki

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