Are you using the right knife? – Part 3
In the first two parts of this article series, we focused on the best knives to use for small and large cutting tasks. Now it’s time to delve deeper and highlight knives that are designed especially for preparing particular ingredients. To begin, let’s work through the Wüsthof knives that are perfect for preparing fish.
Fish Fillet Knife (16–20 cm) or Fillet Knife (16–18 cm)
There are many Wüsthof fillet knives to choose from – some with straight or curved blades and others with rigid or flexible blades.
Knives with a curved, slender blade are best for separating the skin from the fillet because these knives allow you to make a particularly precise cut. A rigid blade allows you to cut your fish fillets into wafer-thin slices, whilst a flexible blade is excellent for separating fillets cleanly and smoothly away from the backbone. The blade follows the course of the bones as closely as possible when filleting and therefore makes the work a great deal easier.
Simply choose the knife that feels the most comfortable to handle. No matter which fillet knife you choose, they all have one thing in common – their blades are very thin, allowing for controlled cuts.
Salmon Slicer (29–32 cm)
As the name suggests, this knife’s particularly long and flexible blade is best suited to cutting wafer-thin slices of salmon. The tip is rounded so that the fish is not inadvertently damaged as you work on the fish. In this way, the skin can be removed and the fish cut into fine slices with almost no effort required. The hollow serrated edge of the blade also helps prevent slices of particularly oily fish sticking to the knife.
Fillet & Boning Knife
This knife, with its unusual blade, is particularly useful when it comes to removing bones and skinning fish, meat and poultry. Its thin, slender and curved blade ensures that it glides cleanly through foods and perfectly separates the skin and bones of fish and meat. A great all-rounder – not just for fish.
When preparing fish, the Wüsthof Santoku is excellent for making short, precise cuts. The hollow serrated edge is particularly good at turning the soft and oily flesh of tuna into tuna tartare and for any beautiful sushi cuts. The air pockets produced by the hollows on the blade help prevent the fish from sticking. At the same time, the wide blade makes it easy to pick up and transport the small dices and slices of fish to the bowl or platter.
Yanagiba (23 cm)
The Wüsthof Yanagiba is also a wonderful knife for preparing sushi and sashimi as it allows wafer-thin slices to be cut using a special technique. This knife has a one-sided edge and is often a standard feature in the kitchens of many professional Japanese chefs. The knife is primarily used with a pulling motion in one direction only as this means that the blade produces a completely clean cut.
A good pair of kitchen, fish or poultry scissors can be very useful when preparing fish. They can be used to cut off the fins or tail or to cut through the thicker bones of larger fish. They are also good at removing scales. Some of the Wüsthof kitchen scissors have a micro-interlocking system, which prevents food from slipping and ensures a powerful and precise cut.
The Wüsthof stainless steel Fishbone Pliers have a fine tip to ensure there is no damage to the delicate fish flesh. The serrated pliers and tension spring provide better control and make the painstaking work of deboning fish much easier.
Anyone who has experience in preparing fish with lots of bones, like red mullet, whiting or roach, will understand the importance and usefulness of a good set of fishbone tweezers. Using these tweezers, the small and fine bones of a trout can be removed just as cleanly and safely as the bigger bones in a salmon. Incidentally, fish bones that are firmly lodged in the flesh are a sign of a particularly fresh fish.
Head this way to browse Wüsthof’s full range and begin tailoring your knife collection to suit your needs.