July 8, 2012

Whetstone, etc./砥石など

I finally brought a brand-new whetstone, together with a set of rust erasers (center) and a set of bottle of camellia seed oil and oil pot (left).
やっと新しい砥石、サビ取りのセット、椿油と油つぼのセットを買いました。
Whetstone #1000
#1000の砥石
A bottle of camellia seed oil and an oil pot:
椿油と油つぼ:
Using these items, I managed to regain the beauty of my Shigefusa kitaeji petty knife.
これらを使って、重房鍛地ペティナイフの美しさをどうにか取り戻しました。

Before:
ビフォー:
After:
アフター:
Not completely, though.
完璧ではないですが。
But, after I used the knife to cut two tomatoes, three furuzuke cucumbers, some furuzuke daikon, and some young ginger, the knife already had these stains.
でも、この包丁を使って、トマト2個、古漬けのきゅうりを3本、古漬けの大根、新生姜を切ったら、もうこんな汚れがついてしまいました。
It is so tough to keep a traditional Japanese knife beautiful.
日本の伝統的な包丁をきれいに保つのは大変です。

Edited to add: I got this whetstone and the other items online from Tachibana Sangyo, a wholesaler located in Yoita town, Nagaoka city, which deals in carpenter tools produced in Echigo (former Niigata) and elsewhere. I've been quite impressed with many of the high-grade planes, chisels, and other carpenter tools shown on their site.

NOTE: Tachibana Sangyo DOES NOT SHIP INTERNATIONALLY.

Yoita town is famous for its forged blades (Echigo Yoita Uchihamono). Some information can be found here.

追記: この砥石などは、長岡市与板町にある橘産業からネットで購入しました。越後などで作られた大工道具を扱っている卸売り業者です。サイトに載っている鉋、のみなどの大工道具には感銘を受けました。

注: 橘産業は海外発送は行っていません。 

与板町は打刃物(越後与板打刃物)で有名です。ここに少し情報があります。

15 comments:

Sissi said...

I have heard so much about the traditional Japanese knives... I still remember also the set of knivesyou bought several months ago.
I only have two good knives (not Japanese though): one metal, French knife and another ceramic one. The ceramic one was a gift from a friend and I must say I love it! It's certainly not something that will stay for years (if it falls it breaks or chips; I already have a chip), but it cuts perfectly well and doesn't require any sharpening. Maybe I'm too lazy to have a good quality, traditional set of knives? Just joking. I envy you a good traditional knife. Taking care of it must be a real pleasure. I have read a lot about Japanese knives and special whetstones (apparently different from the ones for European-style knives) and I intend to buy at least two when I go to Japan.
Talking about traditional kitchen tools, in the past year I got rid of the modern teflon coated, non-stick frying pans and now I have only steel ones. They do require lots of care, but I have got used to them and got attached to their traditional, eternal side. I have recently also bought a steel wok and I love it too.

Fräulein Trude said...

Why did your knife got rusty, is it due to humid air and you did you not use it for a long time? Ballistic oil (Ballistol) is quite good to prevent steel with much carbon from getting rusty. It is perfect for knifes too.

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: I've been thinking of writing about the knives and my other knives for months, especially my Shigefusa kitaeji petty knife because it never fails to fascinate me even now.

I have never used ceramic ones. They are probably good enough, but I just don't have the courage to buy one. Besides, I have already fallen for traditional Japanese knives.

Rid of non-stick pans?! You are a brave person! I wish I could do the same, but then I would have to worry about my fat intake.

Kiki: I use my Shigefusa kitaeji petty knife almost every day. It got rusty due to my carelessness. And, I left it rusty for a long time due to my laziness. I should have removed the rust as soon as possible. I will be a good boy and treat my beloved knife the way it should be treated.

Thanks for mentioning Ballistol. I didn't know anything about it. I'm not sure it's available in Japan. Traditionally, camellia seed oil is used for knives in Japan because it is a tasteless, odorless, non-drying oil.

YSC said...

Hi Hiroyuki, my dad is very enthusiastic about knives and is very skilled at sharpening them on a whetstone. He uses a variety of water stones and oil stones. Because of him, I also enjoy using knives, especially sharp ones. A sharp knife really makes a big difference when you're cooking!

Interestingly enough, I have never heard of using camellia oil to sharpen with. That is fascinating. I usually use a knife honing oil which I can buy at the hardware store, though even that is getting harder to find nowadays in the US. Most people don't know how to sharpen their knives by hand here.

I prefer to use carbon steel knives because you can raise a very sharp edge with them. I don't mind taking a little more care because the pleasure of using them is much greater than stainless knives. Mine are all Japanese knives, except for a very good Chinese cleaver that my father got for me from a small blacksmith. It is fantastic as it easily cuts through bones. Like the other knives, it is also carbon steel.

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, I put as much fat as I did with non -stick pans (the teflon coated pans producers made everyone believe traditional pans need more fat; which is false: believe me I do worry a lot about my fat intake). I put one tablespoon oil per a portion for two people. Just like before. I had spent two months reading forums and opinions on internet before I bought a first steel pan. No one I knows has it. (On the other hand the ceramic pans are just good for the bin; I have bought one on sales and by a very famous brand and it's useless).
The only problem with steel pans is that they have to be taken care of: quickly washed after each use, carefully dried and greased. Otherwise they get rusty. Oh, and they are really heavy (though my wok is very light).

Sissi said...

By the way, teflon will be forbidden in Europe in 2014 because it's toxic if eaten with food every day (this is what was my case: a teflon pan lasted about two years; at the end of this period the coating would be almost non-existent in the bottom and the pan started to stick which means probably I ate it with food...).
I wonder if they will invent another coating (or maybe they did) but I will never go back to any coating now.

Hiroyuki said...

YSC: I didn't know you were that enthusiastic about knives! I'd like to see your knives!

Camellia oil is NOT for sharpening a knife; it's for preventing a knife from becoming rusty after it's sharpened.

Sissi: The next time I have to buy a frying pan, I will think about buying an steel one. I become uneasy whenever I see someone (even professional cooks on television) using a non-stick frying pan for deep-frying!

muskratbyte said...

I also got rid of my teflon coated pans. I had a parrot (who's now living with my friend who loves parrots, and has enough time for him) for many years; when teflon is overheated, the fumes are toxic to birds. The more I read about them, the more I decided it was healthier to give them up. Now I use stainless steel pans and cast iron. I absolutely LOVE my cast iron. My work is carbon steel. I'll never go back to teflon!

Fräulein Trude said...

I used camelia oil for hair care (don't laugh) it is quite good if you have very long hair, but never used it for knifes. I have quite a few very good carbon steel knifes (for professional chefs) but I use them that often, I never had problems with oxidation. Ballistol is good for all steel tools as gardening knifes, scissors and so on but for kitchen knifes I would say wash them in soapy water before use because ballistol is "stinky". I think camelia oil does the same job pretty perfect. I sharpen my knifes with a sharpening steel but for a perfect hone I take them to a store, where they are specialised on selling and maintaining high quality knifes.

Intersting discussion about pans. I think one need different pans for different dishes. I use a cast iron pan for steaks and roasted potaoes and a ceramic covered nearly non stick pan (without teflon / unhealthy) for stir fry and fish and so on. And a small steel pan for eggs and pan cakes and a plain ugly steel wok for deep frying, chinese dishes. Thinking about I like my ceramic covered pan the most. It was very expensive but it is simply very good.

Hiroyuki said...

muskratbyte and Kiki: Thanks for your comments.
I guess I really have to think about replacing my non-stick pans in the near future.

Kiki, I laughed, for a different reason. In Japan, camellia oil has been used exactly for the same purpose for centuries!

Sissi said...

Kiki, it's very interesting that you like your ceramic pan. I have bought one (expensive too, good brand etc.) and I liked it for a very short time only. I took care of it properly etc. but it makes me angry because it shouldn't be washed while it is hot (and it cools down very slowly), so I cannot clean the kitchen straight away and I think for certain dishes the temperature goes much too high and is difficult to control (compared to a steel wok where the temperature is high but can be controlled). The food doesn't taste as good as on steel pans or wok (I made tests with fried eggs for example). It's non-stick and healthy certainly, but I prefer my steel wok and steel pans.
I have read afterwards that some people love and some hate ceramic pans. I have also read that they have to be thrown away after about two years, like teflon pans (they stop being non-stick) if used daily. I have had mine for a couple of months and don't use it often, so I cannot say.

Fräulein Trude said...

Sissi: I guess we are abusing Hiroyukis blog (すみません) but it is true, you have to treat ceramic pans a little different. I bought a pan from "green pan". It was on special sale. I cook with very little oil but with oil and I clean the pan with a stainless steel sponge, a soft sponge and soap water. The stainless steel sponge is important to ge the t rid of some roasted bits or it will loose the non stick powers - it is not 100% non-stick but it is somehow non-stick enough. But don't treat it roughly. Concerning the cooling down time: I just let it sit a few minutes. If I have no time at all I clean wipe the dirty pan with paper kitchen towels and put it in the oven until I have time to clean it.
True, I don't need much oil for my cast iron pan too. I use it since many years and it is way enough to just wipe it with a little oily paper towel before adding steaks and such.

Sissi said...

(Sorry Hiroyuki, I hope you don't mind our discussion...) Kiki, I also have the same brand, also bought on sales! I admit I don't use the stainless steel sponge because I'm afraid of ruining the pan... and yes there are some black stains and I have the impression the pan is a bit sticky now... I will try the sponge, thank you for the tip.
I suppose you cast iron is similar from many points of view to my steel pans. They are a bit lighter than cast iron, but still quite heavy.

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: I don't mind at all. I'm already thinking about replacing my biggest non-stick frying pan. I think I have to do an extensive search before buying another.

Sissi said...

Thank you, Hiroyuki. I hope when you buy a new pan you will touch it in a shop before. I bought my first one through internet and had a shock when realised how heavy it was!
The carbon steel wok I have needs similar care and is very light though!