Back To Basics: Knife Cuts

While skimming through one of your favorite cookbooks or watching your grandmother stir up something amazing in the kitchen, you’ve probably stumbled across words such as “chop,” “julienne,” or even “chiffonade.” Whether you need to dice an onion for a flaky quiche lorraine or julienne carrots for a hearty beef stew, knowing the difference between these techniques can give your food the cutting edge for a spectacular dish. Here are a few steps to some of the most common culinary knife cuts.

—Cory Fernandez, fact checker at Baked Magazine. Follow Cory on Twitter @cory_fernandezz.

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To julienne carrots, cut large, flat rectangles then slice thin, matchstick-shaped strips about 1/8 of an inch thick and about 2 to 2 ½ inches in length.


To chop celery or a bell pepper, cut medium-sized chunks that don’t necessarily need to be square or cube-shaped—just somewhat similar in size.


When cutting leafy foods like basil or lettuce, start by stacking the leaves on top of one another individually and then roll the whole stack into a straw-like figure. Next, cut crosswise on the roll, with about 1/8 of an inch between each cut.


garlicTo mince garlic, take one peeled clove and, while holding the knife parallel to the board, press firmly on the clove to flatten. Take your knife and cut repeatedly over the clove, using the knife to bring the pieces closer together for a precise cut. Repeat until small minced pieces are achieved.


To dice an onion or a tomato, cut equal cubes about ¼ of an inch thick, similar to size of a normal dice.

This story was originally featured in Baked’s Fall 2014 issue. Grab your copy on campus today!

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