How to Chop Vegetables

Different chopping methods lend themselves to different types of vegetables and dishes. This article on how to chop vegetables outlines the different options and explains when to use them.

Vegetable Chopping 101

Vegetable chopping is an important skill to master as it will help you prepare meals more quickly and safely. Vegetables cut correctly for the dish you're making also taste better because they release flavour more efficiently and will cook more effectively. Properly cut vegetables will also improve the presentation of your meals. There are several basic cutting methods, and once you learn them, you'll start saving time and cooking more delicious, terrific-looking meals right away.

Julienne Method

Julienne is a great cutting style to learn because julienned vegetables cook more evenly and present well on a plate. Try it for carrots and you'll never look back. Julienne is also a good place to start when you're learning to cut vegetables because many of the other cutting methods build upon the steps used here. According to most standards, the julienne cut is 4mm x 4mm x 5cm.
 
Steps:
  1. Select your vegetable. Julienne works well with firm vegetables such as carrots and turnips.
  2. Peel your vegetables if required and then slice into 5 cm lengths with a straight cut.
  3. Sit the vegetables upright on the cut edge, hold firmly on the cutting board and chop off the rounded edges. At the end of this step, the vegetable should be square, with straight sides.
  4. Slice the vegetables lengthwise into strips of approximately 4 mm wide.
  5. Stack the pieces neatly as high as you feel safe cutting, then slice lengthwise again into 4 mm wide portions. The end result will be long pieces that resemble matchsticks.
 

Jardiniere Method

If the julienne method creates vegetable matchsticks, the jardiniere method produces batons. Jardiniere cuts are short and plump, with size ranges from 2 cm x 4 mm x 4 mm to as large as 4 cm x 10 mm x 10 mm. To chop vegetables jardiniere style, simply follow the julienne method but change the dimensions to reflect this method.

Chiffonade Method

Chiffonade is a vegetable-cutting technique well suited to leafy greens and softer vegetables that you want to cut into long, thin strips for use in a salad or as a garnish. The idea is to roll the leaves into a cigar-like shape and cut slices from the end. There is no standard size recommendation for this style, so it's a bit easier to learn. 

Brunoise Method

The brunoise method results in precisely diced vegetables, great for use as a consommé garnish or fine salad. Start by using the julienne method to create vegetable matchsticks. Then stack the pieces and slice them sideways into small cubes. The standard measurements are 4 mm x 4 mm x 4 mm 

Macedoine Method

The macedoine cut is similar to the bruinoise cut but produces larger, thicker
5 mm to 10 mm cubes. Use it to chop chunkier vegetables for a hearty soup or stew.

Paysanne Method

Paysanne is another method that builds on the julienne and jardiniere styles. After cutting your vegetables into strips, chop them sideways into thin slices. The paysanne method is great for sautées, soups and stocks when you want your vegetables to cook quickly and release a lot of flavour.

Vegetable Chopping Technique:

  1. Start by choosing your vegetable and deciding how you're going to use it. This will allow you to determine the most suitable cutting technique and the type of cutting knife required. You may wish to consider purchasing a knife set so that you have several options on hand for when you need them.
  2. Wash and peel your vegetable if necessary.
  3. Position the vegetable for cutting on your cutting board, chop off the ends and then cut it into the required lengths.
  4. Next, cut off the round edges until your vegetable lengths are rectangles. You can use the cut-away portions for something else such as soup.
  5. When cutting, hold the knife with your dominant hand. With your other hand, hold the vegetable firmly, ensuring that your fingertips are tucked in to avoid injury.
  6. Position your body so when you look down, you can clearly see on either side of your knife as you're cutting.
  7. Start your cut at the top of the cutting board and bring the knife down in an angled but slick movement, almost as if you're cutting with a paper cutter.
  8. Repeat this motion for each slice, while carefully moving the vegetable closer to the knife with your other hand.

Vegetable Chopping Tips:

• Go slowly while learning a new technique; once you're confident in your abilities you can increase your speed
• Always use a sharp knife because it will cut through the vegetable smoothly, whereas a dull knife can more easily slip free from the vegetable
• To prevent vegetables from rolling around on your cutting board, create a flat edge using the julienne method
• Always have first-aid supplies close by when chopping vegetables in case of an accident
Legal
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.

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