A good chef knows everything, including the size and types of vegetables cut. It depends on how easy it is to mix different ingredients and their taste, how quickly they soften during cooking or stewing, do not drain prematurely in the salad, and a whole series of tricks that can spoil or make the taste of the dish better. Professional cutting has even more advantages, it saves time and makes our food look beautiful.
Sweet couple: knife and board for vegetables cutting
In short: as for a traditional slicing of vegetables, a large or medium kitchen knife with a wide even blade without bends and a sharp end is suitable. The chopping board should be wooden or plastic, but in no case glass. Work on such a surface will ruin any knife, even the high-quality and expensive ones.
Top types of vegetables cut
In fact, there are not so many simple ways of cutting, here are the main ones.
Julienne.Used for cutting potatoes, carrots, beets and other raw vegetables before cooking or frying. Cut the potatoes into slices approximately 2-3 mm thick, lay them on top of each other and shred across with the same step of knife displacement - about 3 mm. Large root crops, cabbage and pepper are cut with ‘straws’ about 5 cm long. For carrots, it can be 1.5 - 3 cm, depending on its size.
READ ALSO: Fried rice recipe with egg and vegetables
Rough Julienne. The shape and technique of cutting is the same Julienne, but thicker. The length of slice is up to 4 cm, thickness - from 7 to 10 mm. Applied for cooking first dishes and stewing.
Large, medium and small dice.Cubes are obtained by transversely cutting of Julienne. Large and medium sized are suitable for subsequent heat treatment. Boiled vegetables for salads are cut in style of small dice.
Roundelle/Slice and Paysanne.These methods are good for cutting small round root crops. If necessary, they are additionally ‘grinded’ (this can be done even during cleaning, using a special vegetable knife), giving them a cylindrical shape. The circles are cut rather thin (within 2 mm) and used for frying, they can be thicker, especially if they are intended for soup.
READ ALSO: Types of Igbo culture food
Rings, semirings, cubes.Well, of course, we are talking about onions. It is not so easy to chop this capricious plant. The most common way of cutting onions is semicircles. With proper shredding, this is done completely safely.
Very rarely people use ‘full rings’ of onions style - mainly for meat dishes. There is a simple trick that greatly simplifies such work – get rid of its round shape. To do this, cut the thin slice from the side. Put the bulb on the resulting ‘bottom’ and do with it whatever you want, that is, cut in layers of 1-2 mm, which then will be changed into rings.
READ ALSO: Homemade baby food in Nigeria: best recipes
Circles and slices for salads, dice and Julienne for soups. However, tomatoes, with their juicy pulp and dense skin, require special treatment. Even with the most sharpened blade with a usual shredder, you risk crushing the fruit and squeezing out all the juice, so take a special serrated knife. This tool is recommended for slicing some fruits too: lemons, oranges, peaches.
Japanese cuisine pays great attention to grinding products. The main methods of cutting are the same: large, small dice and Julienne. There are also a few unusual techniques.
Sasagaki - sharpening. Carrots or burdock root should be kept in the hand and sharpened as a pencil. This method is also applicable to other rootlets, for example, horseradish, parsley, parsnip.
Katsura-muki - circular cutting. It is used for daikon, carrots and other root crops of similar shape. Take the knife in the hand, clasping the upper part of the blade by the palm. Rotate the daikon cutting it thinly from above. This is similar to how you would unwind a roll of paper, separating each next layer with a knife.
The technique of circular cutting demonstrates the need for a special knife for cooking Japanese dishes. It has a one-sided sharpening, a blade of the same width, but a kind of chopped edge. Along with tools of traditional shape, such knives are presented in different online shops, and fans of Japanese cuisine should pay attention to them.
And do not forget that a poorly sharpened tool with an uneven blade and an uncomfortable handle will not allow you to cut correctly. Get a quality knife to enjoy not only the delicious food, but also cooking.
READ ALSO: How to make vegetable sauce with ugu
Bonus: general principles of shredding
Not everyone knows that shredding and cutting is not the same thing. Even an amateur, who has only recently taken a knife in his hand, can shred products and put them into a boiling broth. But shredding needs knowledge: you should understand the technique of the process and, gradually increasing the speed, achieve real mastery.
Rule 1. Take the knife in hand as follows: the thumb is located on the side along the handle, and the index finger is on it, so that its first-second phalanx is on the top of the blade. This position gives complete control over the movements of the tool.
Rule 2. Do not raise the tip of the blade from the cutting board. Evenly raising and lowering the handle, move along and cut the product. Try to move the knife making the same step: it can be 5 mm (slices of potatoes for soup).
Rule 3. Do not strain! Keep the hand relaxed, otherwise it will get tired very quickly. During the training phase of cutting of vegetables, monitor the correct position of the hand and fingers, gradually you’ll make it. Start with slicing at a slow pace till you master the technique.
Preparation of most dishes begins with washing vegetables, cleaning them, and then slicing. Types of cut of vegetables are very important. You should cut them correctly, because the same vegetables get ready almost simultaneously, so they acquire a beautiful appearance and excellent taste during cooking.
READ ALSO: Best Okro soup recipe