Chopping onions in 4 easy steps
Onions, with their potent, eye-watering smells, are the bane of many a home chef’s meal prep. But the tear-jerking nature of chopping onions isn’t the only concern — cutting it correctly without dicing a finger is up there. Follow these steps to save your fingers as you chop.
The First Chop
- Place the onion on its side.
- Slice off the top and bottom, creating two flat ends.
- Stand it up on one flat end.
- Place the blade across the top, so the edge intersects the bull’s eye at the centre of the onion.
- With your thumb and forefinger, hold the rounded sides, making an arch with your hand over the knife.
- Slice straight down through the onion’s centre.
- Take one half (set the other aside); peel off the skin.
- Place it on its broad, flat side with the top and bottom facing left and right.
- Place the knife parallel to the “top” flat end, with the fingers of your free hand resting on the “bottom” end.
- Cut the onion crosswise, slicing off semi-circles parallel to the flat ends.
- Once you’ve cut the whole length, flip these semi-circles sideways to make a little stack.
- Hold the stack on the rounded side and position your blade parallel to the flat end — the stack will slide around a bit, so be careful.
- Slice down across the flat edge of the onion, creating “matchsticks” — the natural lines in the onion cause these matchsticks to fall apart into cubes.
- Continue until the entire stack is chopped.
The Final Chop
Not all of the matchsticks will separate; help them by chopping crossways across your pile until it’s all diced.
Repeat The Slice, The Dice and The Final Chop with the rest of the onion and presto: a chopped onion! That wasn’t too painful … *sniffle*
Want more in-the-kitchen education? Read “Slice, Peel, Devein, Hull – Using a Paring Knife” by Shannon Fitzpatrick.