Serious Eats: Talk

Japanese vs. Western knife ethic

So I have a Japanese gyutou and I love how sharp it is. But since it's so thin and delicate it's not best for all applications. In the Western kitchen, 99% of work is done with a heavy chef's knife and a paring knife.

But it seems the standard in Japanese kitchens is you have multiple knives, specialised tools like the yanagi, deba, nakiri, usuba, honesuki, etc.

This is where my question sort of emerges. A gyutou is a "Western-style" Japanese knife...so what paradigm does that fit under? Is it still meant to be used with a large cast of supporting knives? Do people in Japan use them with just one or two other knives? I'm a bit confused

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