According to Chinese tradition, a knife is rarely used at the table when eating and chopsticks are the preferred choice. However, cutting is of the utmost importance in the kitchen, especially in Chinese cuisine. Everything is served in tiny pieces, with dishes containing all kinds of thinly sliced, chopped or minced vegetables and meats.
It will take a professional Chinese chef a large scale of time in the preparation, especially when stir frying, one of China's most popular cooking methods. Actually all of the preparation for a stir fry, such as cleaning, trimming and chopping, takes much longer time than the cooking itself, which is reason that a reliable and sharp knife is a significant tool.
It's all about control. You may be unfamiliar with a blade this broad. You may feel it will tilt at any time and you might cut yourself. If you're insecure you should avoid chopping carrots or similar hard and round root vegetables. The tip is to start small and cut some garlic cloves. Remember to keep your fingers safe.
Begin by holding your item with one hand and gently slice with the knife. Use the fingers on your holding hand as a guide for the blade. You know how to use a knife, yet this will feel a little different. It will feel good. It's heavy and it basically slices by itself. All you have to do is lift it for another go.
By slicing meat you'll quickly learn how thinly you can slice with this blade, provided that it's sharp enough. Go slow in the beginning and keep using your other hand as a guide and keep those fingers away from the razor-sharp edge. You'll find that the broad blade is really helping you now. Just chop repeatedly.
From the first impression of the knife being rather clumsy and heavy, this Chinese kitchen utensil is actually rather elegant and versatile. Once mastered, it might even be hard to live without. Real Chinese knifes are cheap and are usually worth the money. There are a number of different brands on the market, and you should be able to find them at your local Chinese grocery or supermarket. Happy chopping.