Wouldn’t you want to cook with a fungus knife?

Japan’s crazy knife-making YouTube star is at it again. The serial experimenter, now known as Kiwami Japan (though previously called “Attoteki Fushinsha no Kiwami”), has over 2.7 million subscribers simply because he makes sharp kitchen knives out of unexpected ingredients, like jelly, rice, and even underwear. This YouTuber shows you pretty much the whole process of making effective knives from unusual ingredients, from start to finish, using raw materials that you can pretty much find around the house. And, of course, some serious science.

His latest upload is a video of the process of making a knife out of fungus–yes, fungus. Check out the months-long, multi-step process of how you, too, can make a fungus knife–with the right conditions and tools.

Now, we’re no scientists, so do forgive us if we get any details wrong. Kiwami doesn’t narrate or subtitle his video, so without watching the video from start to finish, you might have no idea what’s going on. But our uneducated minds can at least tell that the first thing he does is add sugar to boiled water, and then let it cool. Then the fungus is added to the sugar mixture, poured into a rectangular container, and covered with plastic wrap, which is then ventilated with holes.

The container is placed in a cardboard box with a candle, which is meant to raise the temperature in the box to a toasty 36 degrees Celsius (96.8 Fahrenheit). The YouTuber leaves the mixture to warm for one month, then he makes another sugar mixture, carefully adds it into the already prepared fungi mixture, then pours in a dash of vinegar. It goes into a larger box with a larger heating mechanism, along with a second concoction, for another month.

After that, both formulas have become neatly gelatinous, though they are a little different from each other. They’re carefully removed from their rectangular containers, and the more solid form is cut into thin slices, like a slab of konnyaku, then added to a pot with the other fungus jelly. After being covered with water and boiled, they’re drained and pressed to release the liquid inside, which is tested for acidity and sugar content. Since it is found to be too acidic, with too much sugar, the pieces of fungus jelly are boiled, drained, rinsed, and pressed again, and the water is tested anew, with better results.

The pressed pieces of fungi jelly are placed on wire racks to dry out while the YouTuber demonstrates that a mixture of gum acacia and sugar-water added to a substance makes it harder. Once the fungus is dry, he reduces it to a powder and then adds the gum acacia mixture to it with a mortal and pestle, which forms a thick paste that almost looks like cookie dough.

That paste is formed into a small shape and dried, then banged around with a hammer. Surprisingly, it remains intact, and when sharpened to a point, can actually be hammered through wood! This proves that it can be durable enough and sharp enough to become a knife, so the YouTuber repeats the whole process on a larger scale to make a much bigger slab of fungi paste, which he then flattens out with a rolling-pin, dries, cuts, shapes, sharpens, and etches with a fungus-inspired design to produce the final product, a knife made of fungus that is sharp enough to cut vegetables.

And so Kiwami Japan proves to us once again that you can make a knife out of anything if you truly try–though it’s not, by any means going to be easy. Now for a more practical method of creating a sharp knife, check out Kiwami Japan’s video about turning a 100-yen shop knife into a really sharp and useful tool. Just make sure you’ve got tens of thousands of yen on hand to get the whetstones you need!

Source: YouTube/kiwami japan via Netlab
Images: YouTube/kiwami japan 
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