Japanese Cutting/Peeling Techniques
How to Cut Fish for Sashimi
Cutting fish for sashimi should be done just before serving in order to maintain freshness. Hira-zukuri is a cutting method used for young yellowtail (hamachi) and yellowtail (buri). Sogi-zukuri is used for white fish with firm flesh such as sea bream (tai). Fish with thin bodies such as Japanese needlefish (sayori) are cut using hoso-zukuri. Kaku-zukuri is suitable for fish with tender flesh such as tuna (maguro) and bonito (katsuo).
Hira-zukuri / Sogi-zukuri
For hira-zukuri, hold the knife with the blade slightly angled to the left. Using a smooth pulling motion toward your body, draw the knife through the meat using the entire blade from the base to the tip. Sogi-zukuri is used for white fish with firm flesh such as sea bream. Hold the knife at an angle to the right and make slices 2- to 3-mm thick starting from the left. For left-handed people, start from the right and angle the knife to the left.
Hoso-zukuri / Kaku-zukuri
For hoso-zukuri, thin strips are cut fish using the tip of the blade. This method is used for fish meat that is too thin to cut into hira-zukuri such as squid and Japanese needlefish. Fish with tender meat such as tuna and bonito are cut using kaku-zukuri; that is, cutting the fish into 1.5 to 2 cm sticks and then dicing the sticks. For left-handed people, start from the right and angle the knife to the left.