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In cutlery matter, ‘fish knife’ term is used for both kitchen knives and table knives, and covers a wide range of different knives.
Let’s have a look on these useful accessories !

The different types of fish knives

Kitchen fish knives

While cooking, fish knives are designed to respect the fragile, delicate flesh of fish. The type of blade you use will then depend on what you want to do: prepare the raw fish, fillet, cut, prepare a dish like a chef…

Table fish knives

On table, the fish knife accompanies the fish fork. This two-piece set completes the dinner set and is placed right next to it.

The fish knife has a short, broad blade ending in a point. This particular shape allows the skin and bones to be removed delicately by poking/sliding between the skin and the flesh, then the flesh and the bones. The table fish knife is not sharp.

The table fish set can be accompanied by fish serving pieces – a larger model of the latter, designed for table service – or a ‘table’ oyster knife and fork.
Unlike the ‘fishmonger’s’ oyster knife, which is designed for opening shells, the pointed blade of the table oyster knife will be used mainly to cut the base of the oyster and remove it from the shell.

Use and types of cutting

As we said earlier, there are a number of different fish knives, each designed for a specific purpose.

The serrated fish knife: Cutting off the head and taile

The serrated knife used in fishmongery is the equivalent of the meat knife used in butchery. It is used to prepare the raw fish and remove the head, tail and fins.

The flexible fillet knife: lifting fillets

The filleting knife has a narrow, flexible (yes, it bends) 13cm to 20cm blade that makes lifting fish fillets a breeze. The blade rests on the bones of the fish, making it easy to lift fillets without the flesh sticking to the blade.

The salmon knife: filleting big fish

The salmon knife has a narrow blade of around 30cm for cutting thin, even slices from large fish such as salmon. The tip of the blade is shaped to help penetrate the flesh of the fish.
Some salmon knives have a alveolated blade that prevents food from sticking to the blade, which is often the case with oily fish such as salmon.

Japanese fish knives: How to work fish beautifully

Among the wide range of Japanese knives, two are specially dedicated to fish.

– The Deba is the ideal Japanese fish knife for preparing whole fish (cutting off heads and tails, filleting, etc.) and breaking shellfish. There are several types of Deba knife, identified by their short, wide, rigid and thick blade. It strikes the fish.

– The Yanagiba, Japanese knife for cutting thin slices of raw fish. This is the knife used to prepare sushi, sashimi, maki, etc.
Thanks to its long, rigid blade with an asymmetrical cutting edge, the Yanagiba enables you to cut thin slices or pieces of fish with precision (especially for sashimi) by limiting the amount of fish flesh sticking to the blade.

As well as these two dedicated knives, don’t forget the multipurpose Santoku Japanese chef’s knife whose name means ‘three virtues’ which, in culinary terms, means vegetable, meat and fish!

What material to choose for fish knives?

Your choice of fish knife should depend on the type of use you intend.

Handle material

For professional chefs and/or intensive use, opt for fish knives with plastic or stainless steel handles. They are more resistant to corrosion in damp conditions and require less attention.

For personal and chef’s use at home, comfort and ergonomics are the most important considerations. The knife must fit comfortably in your hand to ensure precision and limit the risk of injury.
The material of the handle should also be comfortable for you.

Wood gives the knife a warm, stylish look and doesn’t slip;

Plastic and composite materials can add originality with their many colours (yes, it’s not all black!), while being very hard-wearing and easy to maintain;

Stainless steel is the most hygienic material.

Blade material

Choose a stainless steel blade, which is more resistant to corrosion, rather than a carbon or damascus steel blade. It will be easier to maintain.
The more carbon the blade contains, the faster salt water will cause rust stains.

Stainless steel offers good resistance to rust, a resistance that is enhanced by the quality of the finish: the better the workmanship and the smoother the blade, the better its resistance to rust caused by salt water.

Care of fish knives

To limit the effects of salt and water on the steel of the blade and the handle, whatever they may be, it is important to wipe your knife after each use and to wash the blade thoroughly before storing the knife. This is the only way to protect the steel of your knife from corrosion.
The handles of wooden knives, a natural material, should come into contact with salt water as little as possible. To protect them as much as possible, regularly apply a drop of linseed oil or olive oil to the wood.

Where to place fish knives on the table ?

On table, fish cutlery items are part of the larger cutlery set.

From the plate, place the table knife (on the right) and the table fork (on the left). The fish knife and fork are then placed next to each other.
The oyster fork will be placed to the far right of the knives; the table oyster knife will be brought along with the shellfish dish and its accompaniments.

Our range of fish knives by Goyon Chazeau

GOYON-CHAZEAU coutellerie offers quality fish knives in all its kitchen knife collections.

Discover our products dedicated to the marine world, such as filleting  knives, salmon knives and Japanese Santoku knives, all made in our workshop and therefore 100% made in France. Each blade has been designed with the needs of chefs in mind, both in the kitchen and at home!
You’ll also find fish and oyster cutlery in our Prestige range, available in the Laguiole and Thiers collections and in a wide variety of wooden, horn and stainless steel handles.

Looking for gift ideas? Our kitchen products are sold in window boxes and our cutlery in wooden boxes, in shop or on our e-shop for home delivery!

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