Before you start cooking, having the right tools on hand is essential. In particular, working with a great knife will make prep work easier and safer. Here's how to choose the perfect knife for you:
1. What type of knife? For most home cooks, only one knife is necessary: a medium-length chef's knife (about 8-inches) that can handle delicate vegetable cuts and butchering chickens. A paring knife and a smaller utility knife great next steps, but most kitchen tasks can be accomplished with a single blade.
2. Set a budget: Knives can get expensive fast. If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, making an investment in a serious knife makes sense, otherwise there are great mid-price options. Talk to the sales person at the store about how often you'll be using it and your level of experience.
3. Fit: Everyone's hand is different, so try out a knife before you buy it. Make sure that your grip on the knife is comfortable. Weight and balance are also important criteria-cutting with the knife should not take a lot of effort.
Finding the right knife is a little like dating-compatibility is everything. Once you do find the right knife, making dishes like this Shanghainese stir fry is simple.