Among the diverse members of Japanese kitchen knives, sashimi knives are perhaps the most specialized. They have long, thin blades with an edge that is supposed to be sharpened to a microscopically small point. The knife is designed not for pushing into food items for slicing, but rather for pulling through fish and other meats that will be used for sashimi. As the fish is cut, the sushi chef pulls the knife toward them to produce the thinnest slices possible. Traditionally, the edge of this cooking knife is ground on only one side to provide chefs with the ability to make ultra-thin slices. This means that they are usually specifically designed for right-handed or left-handed chefs.
When choosing your sashimi knife, first consider the size of the knife. Larger sashimi knives are ideal for cutting into larger fish fillets, like snapper or tuna, while smaller sashimi knives should be used for smaller seafood creatures like anchovies or shellfish. Another important consideration is the edge type of the knife. For a traditional blade edge, go with a single ground edge. However, keep in mind that most single-ground edges are designed for right-handed chefs. So left-handed chef's should either go with a hollow ground edge or order a customized knife to suit their particular needs. Keep the edge of your sashimi knife honed to the sharpest edge possible, when preparing sashimi or sushi dishes, remember the cut is the cooking so a piece of fish prepared with a dull knife will not taste the same as one prepared with a sharp knife.