Speaking of sharp objects, I'd love to get a sharp lens for Christmas (or any time), but unfortunately it's not going to happen unless I get it myself...
This is a common practice even in Western culture. I remember vividly Queen Elizabeth II was presented a gold scissors after attending a ribbon cutting ceremony in Hong Kong few years ago. She gave the chairman HK$10.00 soon after receiving the souvenir.
MODEL: 9079 Manicure set [photo: wusthof.com]
Last edited by photobum; 24th January 2009 at 07:33 AM.
Hey, that post with the knife sharpening technique was real helpful. Thanks
Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.
I've just bought a set of 3 Zwilling Pro S knives but i do not really know how to store it. How do you store your knives so that it will not make them blunt? Also, is there a difference that a cutting surface makes to the knife?
Henckels Professional S knives use a slightly softer steel composite (Rockwell Hardness of 54 to 56) compared to many conventional knives. It blunts more quickly. You will need to use a honing steel and a good sharpening stone. Get the honing steel first. I highly recommend the Kyocera 180mm ceramic sharpener.
If space is tight, think of wall storage using a strong magnetic holder. If you have a fully equipped kitchen, you might choose to fit a specially designed knife drawer (this is what I use). A knife block is one of the best storage solutions, taking up very little space and being completely portable: it can accompany you wherever you work, in the kitchen or al fresco.
Regarding cutting surfaces, wood block is probably the best. But make sure you apply food-grade mineral oil onto the surface regularly to prevent algae growth, cracking or splitting. I strongly discourage using plastic cutting surfaces, read this (requires PDF reader) and you will know why.
Last edited by photobum; 30th December 2008 at 01:05 AM.
Thanks for your reply. I didn't know Henckels Pro S knives are using softer steel. Too late for regrets i guess. Where can i get the Kyocera ceramic sharpener and do you know the ball park figure for it? How often should one use the honing steel? Thanks and happy new year!
Not to worry too much about your set of Henckels Professional S knives produced from softer steel. Softer steel does have its advantages; it is not as brittle and easier to sharpen compared to harder steel.
I have been using a Henckel Professional S 200mm chef knife for more than 15 years. In fact, it outlasts some of my more expensive Japanese knives (which are made of harder steel).
I don't want to sound like I am a salesperson from Razorsharp, nonetheless, that is where you can purchase the Kyocera ceramic sharpener. It costs S$65 each, but look for Tina if you are serious about buying one. She will give you a discount. Just mentioned that you read about them from ClubSnap.
Last edited by photobum; 31st December 2008 at 07:47 PM.
Do you know what knives they use to cut those big tunas at the fishing ports in Japan?
According to Wikipedia.com, oroshi hocho is the longer blade with a blade length of 150 cm (60 inches) in addition to a 30 cm (12 inch) handle, and can fillet a tuna in a single cut, although usually two to three people are needed to handle the knife and the tuna. The flexible blade is curved to the shape of the spine to minimize the amount of meat remaining on the tuna chassis. The hancho hocho is the shorter blade with a length of around 100 cm (39 inches) in addition to the handle. The hancho hocho is also sometimes called a maguro kiri.
Oroshi hocho (おろし包丁, "wholesale knife") [photo: travelpod.com]
Hancho hocho (maguro kiri, マグロ切, "tuna-cutter ") [photo: mizunotanrenjo.co.jp]
Last edited by photobum; 2nd January 2009 at 06:57 AM.
Last edited by photobum; 2nd January 2009 at 06:55 AM.
I want one, but cannot afford it.
Last edited by photobum; 3rd January 2009 at 07:18 AM.
Ever since 'nautilus' brought up the topic of cutting boards, I did some reading and research on my own. Let me share the knowledge I have acquired with fellow kitchen samurai.
Kitchen Samurai Theory 101 - Cutting Boards.
The most disputed aspect of being a kitchen samurai may not be which knives to buy, how to cut with them or how to sharpen them, but which board to use and how to clean and care for it.
From the standpoint of cutting without damaging the blade of the knife, a wood cutting board made of medium to hard end-grain is the best. With an end-grain board, you can see part of the rings of the tree from which the wood was cut. The end-grain is easier on the cutting edge than a side-grain so your knife will not dull as fast.
End-grain board (sample 1)
End-grain board (sample 2)
End-grain board (sample 3, bamboo)
Boards made from end-grain are usually thicker and more expensive than others. Because end-grain boards are usually made of pieces of wood glue together, they are more susceptible to breaking if bumped or dropped. Side-grain boards may begin to chip after extensive use.
The minimum size for a board should be about 18 inches long by 12 inches wide by 1.5 inches thick (45 cm by 30 cm by 4 cm); it should be large enough to easily hold the items you will be cutting without crowding. The board should be heavy enough so it does not slide on the work surface. If it does, lay a damp cotton towel flat underneath the board so it will not slide or rock.
After each use, wooden boards need to be washed and then set out to dry. They should never be stored wet. Use food grade mineral oil (you can purchase this from Ikea, Razorsharp and some pharmacies. Never use baby oil) to condition the surfaces of the board at least once a week if it is used daily. This will prevent the board from split and and crack.
The alternatives to wooden boards are plastic boards made from high-density polyethylene. Like wooden boards, these should be heavy enough so they will not easily shift on the work surface, and they must be anchored with a damp cotton towel. Avoid thin plastic boards or sheets (especially those bending or folding kinds); they move during cutting and rarely sit flat. As this may lead to injury if not careful. If a plastic board warps, replace it.
I have not read any studies on the effects of plastic boards on a cutting edge, but based on my past experience, knives dull faster on plastic boards. Also, plastic boards seem to scratch faster and deeper than wooden boards after heavy use, and they also can stain.
Some health experts suggest separating cutting boards for poultry, meat, fish and vegetables. They also recommend these boards be made of plastic and be color-coded to prevent cross contamination.
The Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management studied the microbiology of cleaning and sanitizing a cutting board, and their conclusion was that wood and plastic boards can be cleaned equally well. "Simply scrubbing the cutting board in flowing water, without the use of detergent, reduce the bacteria enough that even if there were a heavy load of Salmonella, Campylobacter jejuni, or pathogens, there would be so few pathogens remaining that the surface would be consider safe." [O. Peter Synder, The Microbiology of Cleaning and Sanitizing a Cutting Board, Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management, St. Paul, MN, 1997.]
Last edited by photobum; 24th January 2009 at 07:57 AM.
Dropped by Razorsharp at noon yesterday, and guess what I saw...... a maguro kiri (tuna-cutter)!. A Kikuichi 60cm hancho hocho to be exact.
Its price tag - S$2,990 before discount. This price includes the saya (sheath).
Here it is.
Kikuichi 60cm hancho hocho with saya [photo: photobum]
Last edited by photobum; 5th January 2009 at 08:03 AM.
Wow! Thanks for the informative reply on the sharpener and cutting boards. I didn't know that those made such a huge difference. Would you know where to get those end-grain boards as they are rather hard to find. Also, with the kyocera honing rod, how long should one use the rod to sharpen the knife?
Many thanks and Happy New Year to you!