Chef Masaharu Morimoto's Precise And Careful Knife Skills Are Completely Mesmerizing

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Alexis Morillo
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Photo credit: Delish
Photo credit: Delish

Chef Masaharu Morimoto is known for his work on Iron Chef and for his insanely precise knife skills, and while he has 40 years of experience perfecting his craft he did share some advice with Delish about how he got his knife skills so sharp. Pun intended.

Chef Morimoto is renowned for his work in the culinary industry and is acclaimed for the way he combines traditional Japanese flavors with the typical American palate. He has 15 restaurants around the world and uses his expert knife skills, particularly with Japanese knives, to tactfully slice produce and raw fish in ways that keep all of the flavors and textures intact.

His favorite kitchen tools are his Japanese knives, which he dubs his "weapon for an Iron Chef." To keep the knife in top shape it has to be sharpened regularly, which he suggests doing on one side eight times before switching to the other side of the blade. Morimoto uses knife sharpening stones, with the more coarse stones needed for duller knives.

The knife's blade should be placed at about a 45 degree angle against the stone for best results. An easy trick to make sure you're using the sharpening block correctly is to use a marker on the blade and if the marker is still there after using the block, you didn't touch the edge of the blade and need to adjust your angle.

Morimoto then demonstrated how he uses his Usuba knife to peel vegetables and chop them finely using the Usugiri method. He used the same strategy on a radish, cucumber, and carrot before moving on to fish to make sashimi. For fish, Morimoto switched to using a Deba knife which is best for filleting fish properly. Using the entire blade of the Deba knife when cooking rather than using one area of it for a blunt chop helps to keep all of the best flavors of the fish.

The care and precision used for every single cut and slice are just a few of the reasons Morimoto has won the title of Iron Chef 26 times. It's never amateur hour in his kitchen, but learning about the exact tactics used for his dishes is impressive and inspiring for even the most inexperienced chefs.

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