A Visit to Korin + Giveaway

Korin

This is just one side of the knife section. There is an equally extensive display on the opposite wall.

Last Wednesday, I hopped on a double decker Megabus and rode to New York in order to learn about knives. Many months ago, I’d gotten an email inviting me to visit Korin, a Japanese tableware and knife store and finally the day had arrived for my trip. As a fan of good kitchen knives, I was incredibly excited to learn a little more about the breadth of knives available out there.

Korin

Located downtown near City Hall, Korin has been in the business of knives and tableware for 30 years. A family operation, the store was initially open only by appointment to the restaurant trade (they currently work with the likes of Nobu, Grammercy Tavern and Per Se) but in recent years, the shop has been open daily to the public as well.

Korin

In addition to selling an incredibly vast array of knives and tableware, they also offer sharpening services using a variety of Japanese water stones. They can sharpen and repair nearly any type or style of knife, save those with a serrated edge. Having seen what they were able to do with some of my more beat-up knives, I am a true believer as to what a good sharpening can do. There is no one that I know of in Philadelphia producing this level of edge quality. Happily, you can mail your knives to Korin should you not live near enough to drop in for sharpening.

Korin

Korin sells Western-style knives, traditional Japanese knives and a Japanese-Western hybrid. The difference between these knives is in the edge. Western edges are sharpened so that they have a symmetrical edge. This offers a blade that is fairly durable and relatively easy to maintain. Japanese knives are traditionally sharpened on just one side of the knife. This makes for an incredibly sharp edge, but not as easy for the home cook to maintain.

Korin

This is Knife Master Sugai, demonstrating the proper sharpening technique.

Then there’s the hybrid knife. Made of thin, high-grade steel, the edge is sharpened to an asymmetrical edge that leads to a sharper, more durable blade. The only issue with selecting a knife with an asymmetrical edge is if you have multiple cooks in your household who have different dominant hands. These knives are sharpened differently for righties and lefties. Just something to keep in mind.

Korin

This incredibly long blade is designed to be used to break down whole tuna. It's a two-person operation. One maneuvers the knife and the other moves the tuna.

One of the things that my hosts stressed when showing me through the knives was the fact that in Japanese culinary culture, there are different knives for different tasks. The giant knife with the extended blade in this picture? It is designed for cutting soba noodles. Thicker blades are designated for butchering, while thinner ones are for making more precision cut. Blade shapes also vary depending on region and maker.

Korin

One blade that I fell particularly in love with while visiting Korin was the Petty knife. It’s seen as an analog to the paring knife, as it’s both light and highly maneuverable. However, as you can see (it’s pictured below), it’s got a longer blade that you typically find on a Western paring knife. Since introducing it to my kitchen a week ago, it’s rapidly become my favorite knife for quick tasks like slicing up an apple.

Korin

The kind folks at Korin sent me home with two of these Petty knives (if you’re curious, it’s this one), one to keep and one to give away to a reader. If you’re interesting in a chance to win this gorgeous knife, here’s what to do.

  1. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post and tell us about your favorite kitchen tool.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Thursday, March 1, 2012. Winner will be chosen at random (using random.org) and will be posted to the blog on Friday, March 2, 2012.
  3. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian readers.
  4. One entry/comment per person, please.
Disclosure: Korin gave me two knives; one to keep and one for this giveaway. My opinions remain entirely my own. 

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1,057 Responses to A Visit to Korin + Giveaway

  1. 601
    Daniel says:

    I love my wok! I use it as much as I can.

  2. 602
    Tara says:

    I love your blog and I am excited that we just moved to Portland which you’ve written lots about. I love using my pancake pen from Williams Sonoma.

  3. 603
    Miranda says:

    I have to say that my favourite kitchen tool would have to be my mandolin. It just makes slicing veggies faster!

  4. 604
    Lisa Cardoza says:

    I think I love my Kuhn Rikon Swiss Peeler as my favorite the red one.

  5. 605
    Jessica says:

    My favorite? I love them all! Scoops and spoons, mixers and tomato corer. But I use my Wustof Santoku knife all day. It makes a showing in pretty much every meal and snack I make for my three boys and I. A great knife makes such a difference.

  6. 606
    Lynne says:

    My favorite kitchen tool has to be my library of cookbooks.

    After that I would have to say assorted knives, kitchenaid stand mixer, and 1970′s Dansk enamel cookware.

  7. 607
    Rebecca says:

    The tool I use everyday is my VitaMix blender. But I definitely love a great knife!

  8. 608
    Troy Adams says:

    Interesting article. After thinking about it a bit, my favorite kitchen tool is probably my chef’s knife. It’s the tool I pick up most often, the one I’d be lost without. Sure, there are other tools that are more fun, but I could live without almost all of those. But if I lost my knife, there would be no lunch or dinner!

  9. 609
    Barbara says:

    My favorite kitchen tool is my silicone spatula.

  10. 610
    Letitia says:

    My favorite kitchen tool is my tea kettle. I probably use it about 10-12 times a day: coffee in the morning–start the tea kettle, hot cereal for breakfast–start the tea kettle, feeling under the weather and want some citron tea–start the tea kettle, want to top off my water bath canner with hot water–start the tea kettle, making miso soup–start the tea kettle, need a cup of chamomile and lavender tea before bed…well, you get the idea!

  11. 611
    Stephanie Lushina says:

    My “couldn’t-live-without-it” tool is a rubber spatula. I have a favorite, and I use it for nearly every kitchen project.

  12. 612

    Wow, what an amazing place! My favorite kitchen tool right now is my new beautiful Kitchenaid Mixer. I have been begging hubby for a few years now and finally got the one I’ve been drooling over for Christmas. The best gadget ever!

  13. 613
    Rhonda says:

    My favorite tool is my OXO small mandolin. I slice salads, fruit, meat, nearly every thing with it. So I would love a good knife! Favorite use of it is slicing jalapeños for pickling.

  14. 614
    erica says:

    I love my Ninja blender and my cast iron cookware. I don’t have a decent knife, though!

  15. 615
    Regia says:

    My favorite kitchen tool is my cutco knife

  16. 616
    Shelly says:

    My favorite tool would be my gas stove. After cooking on a glass top electric stove for years I finally got a gas stove about a year ago. I love being able to regulate the heat as I need.

  17. 617
    Celeste Allyn says:

    My favorite kitchen tool is simply a wooden spoon that I use when I make my bread.
    I love all those mixers with their bright colors but I am not at the point where I want to purchase one. This wooden spoon sits in my container next to my stove top. I have had it for years.

  18. 618
    Sarah Skoczen says:

    My favorite kitchen tool is my kitchen aid mixer. I couldn’t cook or bake without it!

  19. 619
    Millie says:

    Other than a good knife, it’s got to be my immersion blender. Life is so much better (soup is so much better) when you don’t have to move hot liquids around and risk exploding the blender.

  20. 620
    Tia Bednar says:

    hhmmm….favorite kitchen tool……might have to be a grater. I feel like I can get along without other things, but a grater is something you can’t replicate the product from.

  21. 621
    Jennifer says:

    A good knife is my favorite tool!

  22. 622
    Stephanie Wakashige says:

    Heh- My favorite kitchen tool is my French Press! Though my favorite related kitchen tool is my Shun Deba.

  23. 623
    Anne Radecki says:

    One of my favorite hand tools is an old wood handled chopper I use for egg salad. It was given to me 45 years ago and now that I have chickens giving us their bounty it comes in very handy.

  24. 624
    Kendra says:

    These knives are absolutely stunning.

    Right now my favourite kitchen tool is a steamer/juicer that I received for my birthday (it’s this one http://www-podunk.com/ ). It’s perfect for juices and making jellies!

  25. 625
    Leona says:

    My favorite kitchen tool isn’t directly used for cooking: the container I use to hold all of my kitchen utensils (like spatulas, spoons, whisks, etc) is made from an old french press decoration. It’s been beaten up over the years, but it still holds everything exactly where I need it to be. It doesn’t fall over, it’s easy to move, and it’s still pretty.

    Gorgeous knives!

  26. 626
    ehme says:

    My kitchen shears are probably the most used, but my favorite is an old twirly rusty whisk that my Mom gave me. She got it for her wedding, and I consider it my family heirloom. It’s great for gravies and stirring tomato soup.

  27. 627
    Vicki says:

    My favorite tool is the Kitchen Aid mixer my husband bought me for my annual cookies swap.

  28. 628
    TC says:

    No lie – I’ve been wanting a noodle knife. Probably because it looks so awesome. lol!

    Right now, my favorite kitchen tool is my flexible bench scraper. I’ve been making a lot of bread recently. :)

  29. 629
    Megan says:

    My favorite tool is my cast iron pan. It was my Grandma’s and she was the best cook in the family! I love using a tool that she used, too.

  30. 630
    Dee says:

    My favorite kitchen tool is my milk frother so I can have cappuccino every morning.

  31. 631
    Eileen says:

    My fav kitchen tool is my microplane grater. I used to hate zesting citrus – now it’s super easy.

  32. 632

    Mine is probably my microplane Swiss vegetable peeler. It’s one of my least costly tools, but most useful!

  33. 633
    K says:

    My favorite tool, which is not necessarily the same as my most necessary tool, is my zester. There’s just something about its scalloped shape and the way it peels curving lines of zest as the citrus oils rise up.

  34. 634

    I love my cast iron pans. I have three that are very well seasoned, and I use them for almost everything.

  35. 635
    J. Anderson says:

    My favorite kitchen tool is my blue silicone spatula. It’s incredibly versatile, doesn’t ruin my pots and pans, and I use it every single day.

  36. 636
    christine weideman says:

    I love my cast iron pans. I use them everyday and will pass them down to my children!

  37. 637
    Pete says:

    Oh, my. Favorite kitchen tool? Probably that would be knives. Just about everything else can be improvised. Good knives have no substitute.

    If I could have only one, it would be a Gehring mid-sized knife. But an old, cheapy chef’s knife would be a close second.

  38. 638

    PRETTY SEXY STORE. PRETTY SEXY KNIVES. FAVE TOOL… CAST-IRON SKILLET.

  39. 639
    Jade says:

    I guess a cutting board and knife are the tools that I use nearly every time I’m in my kitchen. And I could use a new one of each!

  40. 640
    Wendi Niccole says:

    My favorite kitchen tool is a sharp knife. My hubby does the sharpening for me!

  41. 641
    Amy G says:

    There is nothing better than my good old cast iron. The older it gets, the better it is!

  42. 642
    Emily S says:

    My favorite kitchen tools are my cheese plane and apple corer. They never stay clean for very long as I use them each a couple times each day.

  43. 643

    My fav kitchen tool is my yellow Le Creuset pot. I made my first batch of Sweet Whiskey Marmalade in it last weekend! Little whiskey for the jam, little whiskey for the chef! Love your site.

  44. 644
    Lisa says:

    The chef’s knife that my husband gave me for my birthday back when we were still dating was a life-changer — and not just ’cause I decided to keep him!

  45. 645
    Andrea says:

    Love my kitchen aid. It is my nicest piece of equipment/tool in my kitchen so far and it gets lots of use.

  46. 646
    J Gottlieb says:

    A good knife is worth it’s weight in gold…of course …but a close second immersion blender ..it saves time and clean up

  47. 647
    Carolyn Elmore says:

    Probably my stick blender…. I honestly have no idea how I got a long with out it before.

  48. 648
    Amanda says:

    My ipad! I can look up tasty recipes and easily view them whilst cooking.

  49. 649
    Michaela says:

    Couldn’t live without a good kitchen scale!

  50. 650
    Jill Cee says:

    I LOVE my grandpa’s very well seasoned cast iron skillet! It’s awesome for so many things and I love that it has a bit of ‘history’.