I need to get a sushi knife and am willing to spend up to $150. Does anyone have any recommendations? It will be my first, but I plan on taking it fairly seriously. Thanks
I don't know a lot of Japanese made brand names but I use a Global. The only reason I recommend without much knowledge of the alternatives is Global will hopefully be easy to find and hold in your hand to see how it feels before you buy. To me the Yanagi (typical pointed blade) is the knife that I need to be the most friendly and balanced in my hand. OTOH the metal handle is not at all like a normal yanagi and may not be as grippy.
Is it for home use? Are you buying online or in person?
Leper, thanks for the referral to The Epicurian Edge. I just bought the book Cool Tooks - Cooking Utensils from the Japanese Kitchen by Kate Klippensteen and decided I needed a Japanese vegetable knife.
Epicurian Edge has an usuba-bocho by Tokifusa Iizuka, who the book says is a great knife-maker. Seems to be back-ordered though and the website says to expect serious delays. Also, the website only has usuba-bocho, which my tool book says are more favored by professional chefs, and no nakiri-bocho, which are apparently more easily manipulated by home chefs.
Still, I dispatched an email to the Epicurian Edge to check on the delay for one of the usuba-bocho.
In addition to the epicurean edge site that leper posted, there are a couple of other good sites for Japanese blades.
A Masamoto KK series white steel Yanagiba would be in that price range:
Korin also has blades in that range:
If you do go for Japanese blue or white steel, consider learning to sharpen them - taking them to your local knife sharpener would be a major disaster - and waste of money. There is good info on sharpening at these sites, and we've discussed it here many times.