Kiru ... cutting food


Kiru ... cutting food

Cutting makes all the difference, it changes a dead fish into a fine dish of sashimi or sushi ... and so much more.

... kiri or ... giri are most of the compound words with KIRU.

Here we will explore the many ways used in Japan to cut food.

The most important thing is of course

Hocho, wabocho . 和包丁. Knife, knives (hoochoo, waboochoo)
Japanisches Messer, Küchenmesser

CLICK for more photos

During the samurai area of Japan, the word KIRU was avoided for food as best as possible, since it was a reminder of

harakiri 腹きり / seppuku せっぷく【切腹】
ritual suicide by cutting one's guts open

The word kagamibiraki was used, for example, for cutting the kagami mochi, a New Year decoration, which is traditionally cut and eaten in a ritual called "Kagami biraki" (mirror opening).
"Kagami biraki 鏡開き" (mirror opening)

. . . CLICK here for Photos of these celebrations !


Kiru 切る cutting

butsugiri ぶつぎり see rangiri below
in grobe Stücke hacken

hangestugiri, hangetsu-giri はんげつぎり【半月切り】 into half moons
often used for radish and carrots.
in Halbmonde schneiden

honegiri, honekiri, hone-kiri 骨切り "cutting the bones" of fish
hamo 鱧 / 海鰻 pike conger eel
His many bones are bothering when eating, so they must be cut very finely (honegiri 骨切り "cutting the bones") and the chef who prepares them must learn how to do that. In a span of one SUN 寸 (about 3 cm) you have to make cuts for 26 times in the flesh without cutting the skin below. A special hamo knife is used for this purpose. When it is then dipped into hot water it curls like a cherry blossom flower.
honegiri of hamo, pike conger eel

ichoogiri いちょうぎり【銀杏切り】 cutting in the form of a gingko leaf.
Especially for radish and carrots. A thin slice is cut into for parts.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

itozukuri いとづくり【糸作り】 cutting into strips
usually pieces of raw squid and fish, for sashimi.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
hauchdünn geschnittener Fisch

kakugiri かくぎり【角切り】 cutting in cubes, dicing, or square chunks
Often used for steak prepared on a hot plate.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Schneiden in Würfel, Gewürfeltes

kakushiboochoo かくしぼうちょう【隠し包丁】 "invisible cut" to make it easier for the heat or taste to penetrate a piece of meat or vegetable like eggplant, radish
also shinobiboochoo しのび包丁
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

kanokogiri かのこぎり/ 【鹿の子切り】 "spotted cut" like the back of a young deer (kanoko). cutting little squares.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

karakusagiri からくさ切り cutting of an ika squid

katsuramuki かつらむき(桂剥き)cutting a continuous thin peel
especially for radishes. Now there are also maschines to do this.
A good chef has to train this method for many years to produce very thin stripes of radish.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

CLICK for more photos
kazaribocho, kazari boochoo 飾り包丁 decorative cutting and slashing
. . . CLICK here for Photos of great decorations!

kazarigiri かざりぎり【飾り切り】 cutting out decorative figures.
There are special books on the market to study the design of decorative cuts for food.

kireme 切れ目 make a cut or more
usually for fish or vegetables before cooking, so the heat passes through the meat.

koguchigiri, koguchi-giri 小口切り  cutting into small rounds
Often used for leek.
in Ringe schneiden

kushigatagiri, kushigata-giri 櫛型切り "like a Japanese comb"
Often used for tomatoes and apples.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
kammförmig schneiden

matsubagiri 松葉切り cutting forms for the skin of yuzu citrons
ichimonji yuzu 一文字ゆず yuzu skin cut in one small strip "like the character for one"
matsuba yuzu 松葉ゆず to stripes, to look like pine needles
musubi matsuba yuzu 結び松葉ゆず(折れ松葉ゆず) three small stripes, to form a little triangle
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

matsukasagiri, matsukasa-giri 松笠切りcutting "like pine cones"
cutting the surface in little squares, often for ika squid or eggplants.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

mentori 面取り cutting and leveling edges

mijingiri, mijin-giri みじんぎり【微塵切り】cutting into very small pieces
Often used for ginger or carrots
in kleine Stücke schneiden

nanamegiri, naname-giri ななめ【斜め】 in diagonale Scheiben schneiden

ninjin no nejiri ume 人参ねじり梅 plum blossoms cut out of carrots
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

. ume ninjin 梅人参(うめにんじん)"plum carrot"  
and table decorations

rangiri, ran-giri  乱切り chopping into chunks
also called
butsugiri ぶつぎり
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Gemüse hacken

sainome-giri, sainome さいのめ【賽の目】 to dice potatoes
in Würfel schneiden

sasagaki ささがき【笹掻き】
a kind of sogigiru そぎ切る
feines schräges Schneiden, so dass feine Blättchen entstehen wie die das Sasa-Gras
feine Blätter abschneiden

sengiri せんぎり(千切り) "one thousand cuts"
shredding, cutting fine strips of cabbage, cutting carrots into juliennes
in lange dünne Streifen schneiden
... hosogiri ... thin stripes
... hyooshigi-giri ... cutting into rectangulars. It looks like wooden clappers (hyooshigi ひょうしぎ【拍子木】 ).

shiraga-negi しらがねぎ【《白髪》葱】 cutting the white of leek in small stripes
in feine Fäden schneiden

sogigiri そぎぎり (削ぎ切り) slant cutting
shaveing into slivers, for example the burdock roots

takeba kyuuri 竹葉きゅうり cucumbers cut like bamboo leaves

tanzakugiri たんざくぎり【短冊切り】 in breite Streifen schneiden

tazunagiri たづな切り(手綱切り) "cut like a horse bridle"
braid cutting
often done with konnyaku pieces

toofu o kiru 豆腐を切る dicing tofu in the hand

usugiri, usu-giri うすぎり【薄切り】 thin slice, cutting in thin slices
fein schneiden; dünn schneiden. in feine Scheiben schneiden
..... atsugiri, atsu-giri 厚切り in dicke Scheiben schneiden

usuzukuri うすづくり 【薄作り/薄造り】cutting in thin slices for sashimi
Mostly fugu globefish. The slice has to be so fine as to show the pattern of the ceramic plate below it.

wagiri わぎり【輪切り】cutting into round slices
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
in runde Scheiben schneiden

zaku-giri ざくぎり【ざく切り】 cut the Chinese cabbage (leaves) into big pieces
grob hacken


Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Just as you take your knife and prepare a dead fish, to make a delicious sashimi out of it, you take your cutting word to bring more depth, beauty and meaning, even rhythm and melody, to your Japanese haiku.

. Kire 切れ, the CUT in Japanese Haiku  



Related words

Chopping board (manaita まな板 / 俎板)




Hiruta said...

Dr. Gabi Greve san

How familiar you're with the Japanese culture!
You're more familiar than us Japanese.
Haiku has some cutting words.
I'm wondering now what relation haiku has with your article.
Maybe you've already known the answers.
I'm looking forward to your next article.
Thank you. Hidenori Hiruta

Gabi Greve said...

Thank you very much, Hiruta san!
俳句と料理、CUT はだいじですね。