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Japanese knife for fish filleting?

Well, my search for ideal knives has gone on and, as well as Global and Wusthof I am now considering Hatori, Tojiro, Misono and also Kanetsugu from the Japanese Knife Company. Thay seem much more reasonable for price and, comparing Tojiro DP to Shun, about half the money!!!

BUT, can anyone who is more familiar with Japanese knives indicate a good, slim bladed flexible knife to use for fish filleting? Can't seem to find one. If needs be I can always supplement the knives I buy with a Wusthof fish filleting. I'm not keen on most of the boning knives I've seen which seem very triangular to me. Perhaps they are better that way but most European style either seem to be long and thin or have an almost scimitar style to them Any comments appreciated.

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  1. How much will you be using this knife? What kind and size of fish will you be filleting?

    1. Have you seen the Global Swedish Filleting knife - (I'm not sure what's Swedish about it) - that might fit your needs.....

      1. Take a look at this video of a Japanese chef breaking down a fish. A deba is used to break down the fish and a yanagiba is used to remove the skin.

        1 Reply
        1. re: scubadoo97

          thanks for posting that link, it's very helpful

        2. I use a Rapalla (SP?) slim, very sharp, takes a good edge, light and flexible and it will not brreak the bank.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Candy

            Likewise, I have a Frosts Swedish filleting knife. Similar description to above. Bought it in a professional knife store that services many CIA students. Excellent value for the avid cook. A real professional might need something else, but this one's excellent for most of us. Have used it in some cooking classes and instructors have liked it.

          2. I use the Kanetsugu Pro-M knife and I love it, It's blade is extremely thin and sharp. The blade may be a little big for fish though. I got it at http://www.prochefknife.com .

            1. Japanese boning knives tend to be very rigid. Traditionally, a deba is used for boning a fish and a yanagiba is used once the bones have been removed - neither is flexible. Many also use either the honesuki, garasuki, or hankotsu, none of which are flexible (but all are excellent for boning meat).

              Global, shun, and mac all make flexible boning knives.
              These are essentially Western style knives, with hopefully sharper edges. Mr Itou also makes a glorious flexible fillet knife (for over half a grand) that is currently sold out at japanesechefsknife.com.

              Keep in mind that it will be a bit harder to sharpen a flexible blade than a rigid one. Just from looks and prices and reputation, I'd recommend the mac, but I haven't personally tried any of them.

              This is a question I recommend you ask over at knifeforums in the kitchen section. Those guys would have good first hand experience and be more familiar with your options.

              1 Reply
              1. re: cowboyardee

                How do you make a very hard knife (high HRC) flexible? Is that possible or are those two demands contractary.

              2. I have no idea why people think they need a flexible knife to fillet fish.

                2 Replies
                1. re: JayL

                  Doesn't some people bend their fillet knife against the cutting surface and slice/pull the fish through? As such, they need a flexible knife to that.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    You're talking about removing skin from flesh and yes a thin flexable knife is good for that but I've used my sujihiki to do the same thing. As long as it's sharp the two part easily

                2. I've used my gyuto lots of times to fillet flat fish and round fish with excellent results. I agree with scubadoo; as long as your knife is sharp there won't be any problems. Heck i've even seen guys use cleavers to fillet fish still with the same result. A good chef's and pairing is all you need imo.