How To Use A Santoku Knife

  • katrin moul
  • By katrin moul
  • Published: March 18, 2022
  • Last Modified: September 15, 2023
The Japanese kitchen knife ‘Santoku’ signifies three virtues and they refer to its ability to chop, slice, and dice. How to use a Santoku knife on your meat, fish, and vegetables is really amazing. This is the right Santoku knife used for prepping all kinds of food and food ingredients in advance. If you are a stranger to the world of Santoku, it is usual for you to get confused. Let’s dive into what a Santoku knife is used for.

What is a Santoku Knife?

The Japanese Santoku knife is one of the most multi-purpose tools in the kitchen. The most noticeable feature of a Santoku is the shape of the blade often compared to a “sheep’s foot” although not all modern Santoku bears this trait. The Santokus’ blades feature curves from the spine to the tip. The edge of the blade is flat and is designed for the up-and-down technique often referred to as “push-cutting”. The technique involves lifting the blade between each cut and compared with the rock chop method used with traditional chef knives. The Santoku knife uses just like the Western-style chef’s knife.

How To Use A Santoku Knife (Best Uses)

how to use santoku knife
Photo Received from travelsintranslation

Santoku Knife Uses

A Santoku blade should be sharp and thin. The thin blade is necessary to cut extra thin slices. The Santoku bo`cho` or Bunka bo`cho` stands for “three virtues” is a general-purpose kitchen knife introduced in Japan in the 1940s. The knife can cut, slice, and chop meat, fish, and vegetables easily. The Santoku’s blade and handle are designed to maintain balance by measuring the blade’s width and weight to the weight of the tang and the handle.

Using a Santoku Knife for Slicing

Santoku knife uses for three-fundamental kitchen tasks. It can perform slicing, chopping, and mincing. Santoku knife used for slicing cooked and raw meat, vegetables, and any other food ingredient that requires a precision cut. A properly sharpening Santoku knife cuts through any food with ease and comfort without tearing the flesh of meat or ripping the skin of veggies. One trend in Santoku copies is to include knife indentation that is done away from the edge of a kitchen knife. The purpose of indention is to reduce the adhesion of the food to the blade. The vantage ground of slicing with the Santoku blade is the Granton edge which slices through chicken, pork, fish without the proteins clinging to the blade.
When it comes to slicing with the Santoku, it is better to follow some of the kitchen safety rules as to how to use a Santoku knife to avoid nicking a finger.

Using a Santoku Knife for Mincing

The Santoku knife is one of the best choices for mincing herbs, garlic, or any other ingredient that requires unique cuts. Once again the Granton edge is helpful to release sticky garlic from the blade. The edge makes delicate cuts and retains the flavor of herbs. And you will be amazing feeling that the length of the blade and weight of the knife will provide you greater control between cuts. You can use the knife in a rocking motion. The thing you have to do is to put some food ingredients on a cutting board and push the edge of the knife in a downward quick motion. The rocking technique allows for nice, clean, precision cuts. Now you can rock your knife when mincing herbs. Just make sure that you are not putting pressure on your cutting board aggressively.

Using a Santoku Knife for Chopping

Chopping with a Santoku knife is different from the standard technique and that is why you need to practice how to use a Santoku knife for chopping until you get the knowledge of it. The santoku’s flat edge needs to lift the blade off of the cutting board between each cut, rather than using the rock chop technique frequently used with the western-style chef’s knife. Repeated uses and the surface you are using for cutting have important roles in prolonging the sharpness of your blades as you are using the up-and-down chopping technique with the knife.
Before beginning to chop, stabilize your cutting board on a flat surface. Then, hold your ingredients in place and begin chopping in a smooth, up-and-down motion while moving the knife forward and backward but lifting the blade off the cutting board between each cut. The up-and-down chopping technique will help to chop food ingredients with ease and comfort.

Additional Tips

Learning how to sharpen kitchen knives takes time to perfect- especially when it comes to the term sharpening Santoku knife. As the santokus’ blades are double bevel, the sharpening process is a bit complicated for an apprentice. In order to sharpen a santoku knife, you have to be careful. It will be unwise to Use an Electric Knife Sharpener to damage your Santoku instead of sharpening. If you are a novice, you need a little bit of practice to become perfect, and you cannot but use a Whetstone to sharpen a santoku knife. You have to know all the specifications of your knife as sharpening angles vary from knife to knife.
After each and every use, clean your Santoku with warm soapy water. Then dry it off with a towel before preserving it into a knife block set.

What is The Best Type of Santoku?

The authentic length of a santoku knife is 7 inches and it is lighter than a chef’s knife. Among other kitchen knives, the Santoku is one of the most amazingly agile, light, and capable knives with ultra-thin blades. It is also easy to handle both for small and large hands.


Now, you can say a Santoku knife is neither big nor small but perfect in size and shape. It will not be exaggerated that a Santoku knife uses for chopping, mincing, and slicing meats, fish, and vegetables. When you get your new knife. You have to be a little bit careful about how to use a santoku knife. Buy some unusual vegetables for chopping, slicing, and mincing, and explore what is a Santoku knife?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a Santoku Knife?

Ans: Santoku is a kitchen knife used to do a ton of domestic work. The knife is bestowed with three virtues and they are chopping, mincing, and slicing.

Q: What is the perfect length of a Santoku Knife?

Ans: The perfect length of a santoku knife is 7 inches. The santoku is shorter, thinner, lighter, and more hardened steel than a traditional chef’s knife.

Q: When and where did the Santoku originate?

Ans: The design of Santoku originated in Japan in the 1940s.

Q: Is Santoku made outside of Japan?

Ans: There are many copies of Santoku-pattern knives made outside Japan. These knives are substantially different in edge, balance, and steel from the original Japanese Santoku.

Q: Can I sharpen my Santoku?

Ans: Constant and repeated use makes your knives dull and blunt. You can use a whetstone to sharpen your Santoku.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *