Where is it best to buy sushi knives?

It is best to buy sushi knives in Japan.

A sushi knife is not just a sushi knife. There are many things to keep in mind when buying a sushi knife.

In Japan, there are many different Japanese sushi knives of different sizes.
In Japan, sushi knives are made in different types of steel, some knife blades are easy to maintain and others are more challenging.

Some Japanese sushi knives are made of cheap steel, while others are made of exclusive steel, which has a long shelf life.

The shaft of the knife is also different. On traditional Japanese sushi knives, the handle is made of wood. In Japan you can buy sushi knives where the shaft is made of cheap wood, but you can also buy knives where the wood is exclusive. The actual design of the shaft also varies.

The weight of sushi knives is different. Some knives are light while others are heavy.

In Denmark, the selection of sushi knives is very small. In fact, it is far too small. The knives I use all come for Japan. If I need a new Japanese knife, then I will only buy it in Japan.

Read more about Sushi course for beginners

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

What is Japanese chef’s view of fish?


Japanese chefs have a different view of fish.

In Japan, Japanese chefs use only raw materials that are in season.

A Japanese fish named Katsuo which is in the family with the tuna is in season 2 times a year. In spring it swims from southern Japan to the north. In spring, it is low in fat whereas in autumn when caught in northern Japan it is fat. On its swim from south to north it has eaten many small fish.

As a restaurant guest you can only find it on the menu card for a few months a year.
This is something that restaurant guests enjoy since the menu of Japanese restaurants in Tokyo changes very often.

Read more about the class Traditional Japanese cooking class for beginners.

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

Who is Toshi my sushi chef teacher?

Toshi is a well known Executive sushi chef and sushi instructor in Los Angeles. He has almost all the movie companies in Hollywood as customers and do also have celebrities as private clients. He has 40 years of experience as a Executive sushi chef.

Toshi has a Japanese approach to sushi and a way of life. The Japanese culture is very result-oriented when it comes to work and sport. If I pracise kendo in Japan my progress will be tested every day.

When having af teacher like Toshi there are a few Japanese rules that I must follow. When I address him I must call him Toshi sensei or sensei. Sensei means teacher in Japanese.

When I show up in his restaurant I have to say “Ohayogozaimasu” which is a way greeting each other in Japan. Toshi speaks a little English and when he speaks you must be quite. When answering Toshi you say “Hai” which means yes in Japanese. He do not wants to hear the word Yes.

Toshi will test your skills or creativity every 14 days.

In a skill test you are tested on the following,

How sharp your sushi knife is?
The level of your sushi techniques?
The presentation of the sushi you have madee?
How long it took you to make the sushi?
How clean your chef uniform is?
How clean you have kept your work space?

The result of such tests is placed on a wall in the kitchen so everyone can read it.

He will also test your performance in the sushi bar. He will look at how you work as a sushi chef and how you handle customers.

Beside thay you will also have to learn all the ingredients and raw materials in Japanese.

In 2012 I was in LA where he introduced me to a nigiri technique that takes 20 years to master.

I have learned a lot from him. When I go to LA in September I look forward to learn new things.

Read more about Sushi chef & Sake sommelier Zoë Escher

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Zoë has held sushi courses and cooking classes for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

What is one of the biggest challenges of a knife?

NigiriWhen making sushi the knife play an important role.

The secret to tasty nigiri include your ability to cut fish to perfection.
The more a clean cut you can make the more tasty is nigiri pieces too. The reason is that even the smallest “wrong” section of a fish or vegetables can be tasted.

It is also important to know the structure of the fish as it has a direct impact on how clean a cut you can make. If you cut the filet the wrong way the whole filet can fall apart.

The Japanese use very few ingredients when they make nigiri and because of that you will be able to taste everything because nothing can be hidden.

Read more about the class Nigiri sushi for beginners

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Zoë har holdt foredrag og afholdt sushikurser for A.P. Møller – Mærsk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis,Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup og mange flere.

Is there a difference in the quality of sushi in Japan?

Yes, there is a difference in quality in Japan. As in Denmark, the quality of sushi differs but the range is much bigger.

At the lowest level, you will find Running sushi, which most people outside of Japan have heard of. In Japan, most of the students eat at running sushi.

In Japan, there are several levels of gastronomy. Most people in Denmark consider three star Michelin restaurants as the highest. In Japan, the level is also very high but there is a level above Michelin restaurants. Yes, you heard right!

This is because there are restaurants that the Michelin Guide has not discovered.

There are also restaurants that are so popular that they are removed from the guide.
There are restaurants that are so in demand that they are unable to accommodate the many guests.

There are also chefs who are so high in age that they have chosen to slow down and only cook for their regular’s guests. The type of restaurants tourists rarely hear about.

Read more about Sushi course for beginners

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Zoë has held sushi courses and cooking classes for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

Do you know how use Japanese knife techniques?

The level of gastronomy in Japan is very high one reason for that is that Japanese chefs spend several years learning how to use different cutting techniques.
In Japan the quality of the dishes depends on your ability to prepare raw materials by using different cutting techniques.

If you do not know how to use your knife you will find it difficult to make a extraordinaire tasty dishes.
You will not be able to bring out the unique flavors of the ingredients and create unique dishes.

Using a knife the right way is just as important when making sushi as in making traditional Japanese dishes.

Read more about Traditional Japanese cooking class for beginners
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Zoë has held sushi courses and cooking classes for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

How often should you sharpen Japanese knives?

There is not a specific rule for that.

It depends on the material your knife is made of. Some Japanese knives need to be sharpened every time it has been used and others need to be sharpened a few times a year.

The knives that I use in my work as Japanese trained sushi chef are all purchased in Japan. They are high quality knives and made of high carbon steel.
The advantage of this type of knife is that the Japanese knives can become very sharp which has a positive impact on the meals that I prepare. The disadvantage is that the knives need to be sharpened very often. They do also tend to rust very easily.

Read more about Sushikok & sake sommelier Zoë Escher

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Zoë has held sushi courses and cooking classes for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

The reason why you training as a Japanese sushi chef never stops

In 2002 I heard about the concept “In Japan your training will never stop”. At the time, I didn’t really think about it.

It is true.

In 2006 I was trained to become a Japanese Sushi Chef & Sake Sommelier in Los Angeles by a very skilled Executive Sushi Chef with 40 years of experience.

In 2012 I traveled back to Los Angeles where I improved my techniques and was introduced to a nigiri technique that takes 20 years to master.

In September this year, I visited the restaurant in Los Angeles where I assisted a Japanese sushi chef named Mino who has worked as a sushi chef for 36 years.

Just before turning back to Denmark my Japanese sushi chef  instructor Toshi said that I can come and go as I pleased which means that my training is not finish.

Rad more about Sushi chef & sake sommelier Zoë Escher

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

Sushi chef pictures from 2006 in Los Angeles

I just found an old picture from the 2006 from California Sushi Academy and a picture taken last month. Toshi still were his glasses in his forehead.
In 2006, we were all terrified every 14 days because our sushi skills were tested. Toshi is also a judge at sushi competitions in Japan and he is very tough as a judge.

In the first picture, Toshi is checking how clean my chef uniform is and then he is checking how sharp my sushi knife is.

Such a skill test consisted of fillet mackerel, sahimi, nigiri test, sushi roll test and presentation. Not only did he test our skills he also took time on how long we were about to make the food.

Thank god, I became No. 2 in the final and crucial skill test.

A lot has happened since then and today I am not dying of fear.

Read more about Sushi chef & sake sommelier Zoë Escher

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Accenture audit Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

 

Is silicone mats equally suited for sushi as bamboo mats?

Zoë EscherI meet more and more attendance who shows up at one of my sushi courses with a bamboo mat made of silicone.
Silicone mat is not suitable for sushi even if it costs 150 DKK. It does not have the flexibility like bamboo mat which is necessary if you want to make perfect sushi rolls.

The surface of the silicone mat is not suitable for making sushi. It is too smooth which can make all the materials slip very easily and for the inexperienced that can be a challenge.
The bamboo mats which sushi chef’s use is not available in supermarkets or specialty stores. The can be hard to get.

If you are interested in a bamboo mat used by Japanese sushi chefs please contact me at info@sakana.dk

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

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