The Chinese Chef Knife

Our friend David Wronski has a standing volunteer assignment to sharpen the knives at a vegetarian kitchen at an undisclosed location somewhere in the Big Apple. There, some two dozen+ knives see a lot of service. Inspired, we brought out our set of cutlery for a much needed sharpening. Among them, the trusty Chinese chef knife.

We rediscovered the joys of this unique implement.

If you haven’t used a Chinese chef knife and you are a home cook, we highly recommend you get one. This type of knife is usually made with a carbon steel blade and takes a sharp edge. The heft of the large blade itself behind the sharp edge makes for very precise slicing and speedy dicing. The square far point of the blade gives a nice pivot for the medium length edge for mincing. The large flat surface of the blade makes for easy pick up of the prepped ingredients.

It takes a little getting used to, but it will be a friend for life. (NB: Not to be confused with a cleaver, which is similar but built for chopping dense foods and through bone.)

Please don’t go off and spend hundreds of dollars on a Chinese chef knife. Somewhere around $25 or so should get you as good a one as you could ever want. If you want a better knife, Wüsthof makes a nice one. Be sure the handle and blade are attached with a sturdy bolster (we like a brass bolster on the less expensive versions) or full tang with riveted handle on the better/pricier ones.

Here is master chef Martin Yan showing how it is done . . .

And more . . .

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