Chopping like a chef doesn’t have to be difficult. In this series, we partnered with Chef Knows Best and we show you how to chop like a chef. We’re starting off with a video series on how to chop carrots like a chef.
Before you start:
Always use a clean chopping board for each job and wash boards thoroughly between chopping.
Different ways to chop carrots:
This method involves cutting vegetables into small cubes.
HOW TO BRUNOISE A CARROT
Slice the vegetable into thin strips. Group the strips into a pile and slice across them to create small dice. Brunoise vegetables are used as garnishes in soups or sauces.
Dicing vegetables creates smaller and generally more precise pieces than chopping does. It produces larger pieces than mincing.
HOW TO DICE
Determine the size of dice you want. Using your chef’s knife, vertically slice your vegetable into panels. Neatly stack the panels and slice through them lengthwise to create uniform matchsticks. Line up the matchsticks and cut across them again to create perfect dice.
This method refers to cutting vegetables into fine, narrow sticks.
HOW TO JULIENNE
Determine the length of the julienned vegetables you need. Stack the vegetables, and using your chef’s knife cut them into sticks lengthwise. Julienned vegetables can be sliced as thin or thick as required. A thicker slice is called a baton.
This method refers to cutting food into uniform cubes.
HOW TO CUBE
Place your block of meat or cheese on a chopping board and cut into equal slices. Turn each slice around by 90° and slice into uniform cubes.
Chiffonade refers to finely cut strips of leafy vegetables or herbs.
HOW TO CHIFFONADE
Greens with large, loose leaves like spinach can be rolled up and thinly sliced. Smaller leaves like parsley can be stacked and rolled then thinly slice.
Chopping involves cutting food into pieces larger than brunoise or minced pieces. The pieces need not be uniform.
HOW TO CHOP
Hold your chef’s knife by grasping the handle with three fingers and placing your thumb and forefinger on opposite sides of the blade. Carefully, with a rocking motion and keeping the tip of the knife on the chopping board, slice down through the vegetables at regular intervals, using the full length of your knife. Curl the fingers of your other hand to avoid injury, then use your fingertips to grasp and move the vegetables towards the knife.
This involves removing any unwanted seeds from vegetables.
HOW TO DESEED
Top and tail the vegetables, then slice in half. Cut away the seeds and membrane and discard.
Mincing refers to cutting food into very small pieces.
HOW TO MINCE
Slice through a vegetable vertically, making as many parallel slices as you can. Try not to cut all the way through to prevent the vegetables from falling apart. Then, holding the knife blade horizontally, cut through the vegetable several more times. Now cut the vegetables vertically again, but slicing closer than before. This technique can also be used on garlic and tomatoes.