One of the three iconic knives in the Japanese kitchen world is the deba
. The deba originated during the Edo period, in the city of Sakai. It was originally designed to cut tobacco for the Portuguese traders. Over the years it became more popular for general kitchen use picking up some refinements along the way to becoming the deba we know today.
The deba’s robust construction and blade thickness are mated to a more obtuse angle on the back of the heel. This allows the user to cut off the heads of fish without damage to the flesh. The rest of the blade is then used to ride against the fish bones, separating out the fillet.
The deba’s most obvious feature is the very thick spine and heavy weight. For all of its apparent bulk, it is a delicate knife in use, as the thin edge allows the chef to feel the bones and joints as the knife cuts through the flesh. Deba
knives come in a several varieties, including the longer Mioroshi-deba, the shorter Ko-deba, and the medium sized Ai-deba.
Unlike classic single-beveled deba knives, the Moritaka AS Deba 165mm features a double bevel grind with a 50/50 profile. This makes the knife easier to use and sharpen. Speaking of which, the core steel is a rather high 64 HRC which is at the upper end of the scale for Aogami Super
. So while this results in a very hard and somewhat delicate edge it is still a fairly easy blade to sharpen. And these Moritaka AS knives really do take a screaming edge!
Maker: Moritaka Hamono
Location: Yatsushiro, Japan
Construction: Hammer Forged, San Mai
Edge Steel: Aogami Super
Cladding: Soft Iron
Edge Grind: Even
Edge Length: 168mm
Weight: 8.2oz / 232g
Handle: Ho Wood Octagonal
Ferrule: Buffalo Horn