Japanese Knife

Recommended Japanese Knives for Vegetarians/Vegans

In Japan, there is a type of knife that is suitable for cutting vegetables. It is called a nakiri knife (“nakiri” 菜切 means cutting vegetables).

It has a wide, thin blade and can be used for everything from peeling to shredding vegetables.

Although there are many nakiri knives available on Amazon.com, most of them are not Japanese knives, but similar ones made in China.

Below is a list of authentic Japanese vegetable cutting knives, in order from highest to lowest (click on each image to go to Amazon.com).

  • Masamoto nakiri
  • KAI Shun nakiri
  • KAI nakiri
  • Tojiro nakiri
  • KAI Seki Magoroku nakiri
  • But in reality, not many people in Japan use nakiri knives. This is because it cannot be used for multi purposes (cutting meat and fish, etc.). Even with a nakiri knife, you can’t cut hard squash. It is mainly professionals who use nakiri knives.

    The most common type of kitchen knife used in Japanese households is the santoku knife. It has characteristics that are somewhere between a Western-style kitchen knife (called a gyuto in Japan) and a nakiri knife.

    The santoku knives can be used for cutting vegetables and as an multi-purpose knife.

    Therefore, if I were to recommend only one knife for vegetarians and vegans, I would recommend a santoku knife.

    The Japanese Santoku kitchen knife I recommend is here:

    By the way, the Santoku knife I use (top photo) is made by Tojiro, but it is hard to find on Amazon.com. Instead, you can buy a non all stainless steel type of Tojiro Santoku knife.

    See also:

  • Santoku Knife vs. Chef’s Knife (Gyuto in Japanese)
  • Ultimate Guide to Buying Authentic Japanese Knives