The Deba knife is a very traditional knife used extensively in Japan. It is the first knife a sushi chef would use when preparing fish because the Japanese Deba knife is traditionally used to clean and fillet whole fish. Due to its sturdy heel section of the knife, Deba can also be used for other kitchen tasks such as breaking down bones found in small and medium-sized fish and poultry. Of course, the Deba is designed to excel in the process of filleting fish.
However, don't use the Deba to chop through large bones as it may damage the blade. In a word, it is mostly used to make sushi, sashimi, beef and other foods that require high freshness.
Features of Deba knife
1. Thick-spined design
Deba means “short fat tooth” in Japanese, which indicates the shape of the knife- considerably different from most other knives, for its thickness of the spine and the weight of the blade. The Thick-spined design adds weight to the blade, makes it much easier to break apart a fish or ut fish heads in half or remove the legs and claws of crabs.
Traditional Japanese Deba has a single bevel cutting edge, which is only sharpened on one side, more suitable for precisely slice cut in process of separating whole fish into more usable components.
3. Highly requirements on the use and maintain
Due to its single-bevel design, you have to master some knife skills to use and sharpen it to fully enjoy most debas.
4. The tapered blade
The spine of the Deba tapers considerably along its length, thus, it has a pointed tip to touch bones sensitively and flexibly. The balance point between the tapered blade and the sturdy handle of the Deba is at the heel of the blade, offers a good overall balance for heavier work and a flexible thin tip for delicate work.
5. Available in different size
Japanese cuisine uses different sizes and types of fish and seafood, thus, different Deba is used in handling it. Typically, the blade length of Deba ranges from 5.5 inches to 13 inches. Home cooks usually choose 7- inch Deba while pro chefs prefer larger size Deba.