I am trying to grasp the very basics of using a (westernized) santoku knife. First things first: how to hold it.
This is my interpretation of "pinch grip"(grossly exaggerated). I imagine the remaining fingers are there purely to allow the handle to bounce off them when chopping soft foodstuffs like vegetables, mushrooms or herbs:
I know I should be placing my ring finger onto the balance point. As that feels too awkward here's a picture halfway applying that advice - middle finger on balance point, wrist as relaxed and natural as possible(looks like a death grip but ring and pinky are very much relaxed):
What bothers me is that the blade is sideways oriented - instead of in line with the hand like in a "death grip". I imagine this is going to put huge strain on my wrist/forearm when chopping(instead of sideways slicing). What am I doing wrong?
EDIT: @ all the commenters:
You guys are probably experienced chefs. "Do whatever feels best" works for someone who knows what they are doing but not for a kid like me! Please post an answer what works for you and I will try to replicate the technique.
EDIT: I'm starting to get the grip of it; after about a bucket of vegetables. A "death grip" feels so perfect about slaughtering steaks and carrots while a "ring finger at the balance point" feels awesome at murdering herbs and mushrooms. Gimme a week or two and I'll come back with final conclusions.