Knife Christmas Present for Fish Fanatic Girlfriend

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by timcrawf88, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. timcrawf88

    timcrawf88

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Other
    Hello All!

    I've been hunting around on the web quite a bit the last few weeks looking for a suitable knife to get my girlfriend for Christmas. Long story short she works at a fish counter and absolutely loves preparing fish. She has also recently been considering further study in the culinary arts, hoping  to get a better job working with fish. All that aside, when she prepares fish at home to eat or practice she hates using any of the garbage knifes we have at home, because they are garbage.

    My only experience with blades is with wood working tools, so I immediately looked up Japanese knifes. I found a few that looked good, but then luckily I found your forum and learned that none of them were really worth the money. Such as the Miyabi Birchwood SG2 6-inch Chef's Knife, or the Shun Classic Flexible Fillet Knife.

    So finally the point, what knife could anyone suggest that would be a good all around knife for fish prep? One to use starting from whole fish down to steaks or sushi cuts.

    Any suggestions anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. foody518

    foody518

    Messages:
    1,061
    Likes Received:
    44
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    The knife to make sushi cuts will probably be separate from the knife to break down whole fish

    Do you have a rough budget?
     
  3. chefwriter

    chefwriter

    Messages:
    1,838
    Likes Received:
    393
    Exp:
    Professional Cook
         Does your girlfriend have any opinions on a particular knife she desires?  The next time she complains about home knifes would be a good time to start a discussion on what she thinks would make a good knife and ask if she has any brand preference. What kind do they have where she works? Does she think those are good knives?  If she does, you could stop by when she isn't there and ask the manager about them. 

          If she's at a fish counter, they may just have inexpensive knives with Sani-safe handles and get them sharpened weekly. It may be that you don't have to spend a fortune on a fancy knife. Just get a sharp one and a sharpening system for keeping it that way. 

    Anyway, I'd start with the girlfriends opinion first. 
     
  4. millionsknives

    millionsknives

    Messages:
    2,470
    Likes Received:
    462
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    There are basically two schools

    - Western style - flexible filet knife

    -Japanese you need a deba and a yanagiba.  Not flexible, single beveled, need training in usage and maintenance.  Cost more.  It only makes sense if she is specifically cutting the right types of fish for sushi.

    We have all seen people filet a fish with a chefs knife too.   Not as fast, and you might lose some product compared to a flexible knife, but with skills you can do it.
     
  5. timcrawf88

    timcrawf88

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Other
    Thanks for the input (I wasn't aware of that). I'm hoping to spend less the 400 on whatever stones/knifes I need.

    I found a sly way to bring it up yesterday (turned on the Bob's Burgers episode with the fancy knife haha) she doesn't seem to have many opinions on which she prefers. They do have the Sani-safe knives that are sharpened weekly, I believe she said the one she uses for filleting at work is flexible. However, she seems open to learning whichever would work "best".
     
  6. chefwriter

    chefwriter

    Messages:
    1,838
    Likes Received:
    393
    Exp:
    Professional Cook
    Best being relative, I'd start by two things. Get your home knives sharpened. Then a trip to the local restaurant supply store or kitchenware outlet, whichever you have at hand. See what they have. Stop by her work to see the knife she uses. Note the length, brand, etc. 

         There are numerous flexible knives out there of varying length, flexibility and price. What will really matter to her in the long run she will have to discover on her own. But really you just want to start her out well on her journey, not finish it for her. So dependent on what you have immediately available, you can buy her one similar to what she has at work. The important part right now is that it will be her knife. (and sharpening system)

    As time passes she can decide if she likes a rosewood or laminate handle, shape of the handle, bolster or no, damascus blade, prefers one brand over another, etc. etc. 

    So ultimately, I don't think you need to spend a lot of money or spend too much time sweating the finer details right now. It will be a thoughtful and appreciated gift no matter what. 
     
  7. foody518

    foody518

    Messages:
    1,061
    Likes Received:
    44
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    That Bob's Burgers episode cracks me up XD
    Chefwriter brings up an excellent point on the sharpening system- getting ideas or a plan for that as high priority