[Sca-cooks] santokus and chiffonade

Christine Seelye-King kingstaste at mindspring.com
Sat Mar 1 20:03:18 PST 2008

Okay, what kind of knife is a "santoku"? I assume this style comes  
from Japan?

Secondly, what is a "chiffonade"?


Ok, Stefan, I'll take this one.  

A santoku is a Japanese-style knife, popular with sushi chefs.  It has a
rather blunt nose as opposed to the long tapered point of a French chef's
knife, and has a flatter curve to the blade, as opposed to the rounded taper
of the chef's knife that facilitates a rocking/chopping motion.  In my
opinion. a chef's knife is better for chopping herbs, a santoku is better
for slicing filets of fish or other meats.  (I personally prefer the chef's
knife, but that is what I grew up using.  I find a santoku to be less
accommodating in my hands.  Rachel Ray, on the other hand, doesn't use
anything else - it is her all-the-time favorite knife.)  
Here is Wikipedia's description with pics:

A chiffonade is a knife cut for leafy greens like basil and spinach.  I've
always heard it meant "little ribbons", but Wikipedia says it means "made of
rags".  You take your leaves, make a stack of them, roll them up like a
little cigar, then cut across in thin slices.  When you are done you
separate the ribbons with your fingers and sprinkle on top of foods as a
garnish, generally.  

Good questions, Stefan!

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