Knife Cutting Techniques, Not everyone is a culinary master in the kitchen. In fact, most of us barely know the difference between what it means to chop, dice, or mince food. However, if you want to improve your knife-cutting skills, we have included the seven basic cuts you can use to transform your amateur skills into professional ones.
- Large Dice
A large dice typically suggests a vegetable or other food item that has been cut into ¾-inch squares. This is usually the type of cut you will implement when a recipe calls for something large, such as potatoes, to be chopped.
- Medium Dice
A medium dice requires cutting ingredients into squares with ½-inch sides. If a recipe fails to specify what size dice is required, it is usually recommended to opt for the medium dice. Typical foods that require a medium dice are tomatoes, beets, bell peppers, and cucumbers.
- Small Dice
A small dice refers to an ingredient cut into ¼-inch cubes. Many recipes will ask you to dice foods like celery, carrots, onions, or bell peppers in this fashion when they serve as the base of your meal.
This French term simply means a dice that is even smaller than a small dice. In fact, when using this cut, slice your ingredient into ⅛-inch cubes. Although this cut is less common, it is often used for items that garnish a dish.
To julienne an ingredient means to slice it into the shape of a long matchstick that is approximately ⅛ of an inch thick. You will find a julienne cut atop a recipe like Chinese-style steamed fish or Southeast Asian papaya salad.
A chiffonade cut is applied to vegetable leaves. For instance, you stack the leave, roll them tightly, and then slice the leaves perpendicular to the roll, creating thin strips. A common ingredient to chiffonade is basil, especially when it is used for garnish.
When you mince an ingredient, you are aiming to slice it even smaller than a brunoise cut — approximately half the size. Since this cut is so fine, it tends to be less precise. Garlic tends to be the most commonly minced ingredient.
With these seven basic cuts in mind, you can now add extra finesse to your next meal preparation!