Tools They Use: Sushi on Oracle Chef Tommy Begay

Tools They Use is a new series that takes a peek at local food artisans, such as chefs, bakers, brewers, and more, with a simple photo displaying signature items and favorite tools.

On a desktop computer? Click the image to view at full size in a new window.

Tools from Sushi Chef Tommy Begay III at Sushi on Oracle (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Tools from Sushi Chef Tommy Begay III at Sushi on Oracle (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Makisu (Bamboo Rolling Mat)

The long pieces of bamboo ensure the rolls keep a uniform shape.

Purchase here: Sushi Rolling Kit

Uroko Otoshi (Brass Fish Scaler)

The Japanese fish scaler does an efficient job of removing scales while keeping the delicate skin and flesh intact.

Find on Amazon: Yoshihiro Fish Scaler

Moribashi (Plating/Garnishing Chopsticks)

These handcrafted chopsticks are traditionally used to handle sashimi and other sensitive ingredients.

See here: Plating chopsticks

30cm Yanagiba Knife

The long willow leaf-inspired blade is designed to cut nigiri and sashimi using long, single strokes. Begay primarily uses Masamoto high carbon steel, but uses his Global set as a backup when he doesn’t have the chance to sharpen his knife mid-shift.

“I purchased my Yanagiba when I hit my ten years of being a chef. It’s the most expensive and well-made knife I own.”

See here: Aogami Steel Yanagiba Sashimi Knife

18cm Deba Knife

The long, thick, heavy pointed cleaver delicately removes flesh from the bone while also being able to glide through bones with ease.

Kai Muki (Oyster Knife)

Sushi on Oracle isn’t an oyster house, but skillful oyster shucking is still a must. They go through one to two dozen oysters a day.

Purchase here: Stainless steel oyster knife

18cm Usuba Knife

This long, thin, and shallow Japanese cleaver is designed for chopping vegetables and the difficult task of column peeling, known as katsuramuki. When done on daikon, it results in ken, the noodle-like structure used to prop up sashimi.

“I think the greatest tool a sushi chef has is technique, being able to utilize the product at its peak in order to gain maximum potential to reach umami.”

Sushi Chef Tommy Begay III at Sushi on Oracle (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Sushi Chef Tommy Begay III at Sushi on Oracle (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He loves corgis and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com and his Instagram @jackie_tran_.

X