How to Dice an Onion

[This was supposed to have been published yesterday, but somehow didn’t go through? The Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free! Cream of the Crops: Dairy-Free Delights round-up will be published tomorrow can be seen here!]

I borrowed The Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers from the library, prompted by reading The Butcher and the Vegetarian, which I mentioned in my last entry. I didn’t expect it to be such a hefty thing but size and weight aside, I’ve found some really good, simple recipes to make from it. One of the first things I tried out of it was dicing an onion. I’ve been chopping onions almost as long as I’ve been cooking, but never did I come across this technique of dicing an onion until I saw it in The Zuni Cafe Cookbook. I’ve practiced it already more times than I can count, and it’s my new favourite way of chopping up onions – so much so that I want to share it here.

It’s very simple and all it uses are two cuts. In the book’s instructions, it’s suggested that you switch to a chef’s knife for the dicing, but I just used the serrated knife I started with.

Watch the video or follow along with the photos below.

Cut off the ends of an onion, peel it, and slice in half, lengthwise. Don’t core it, as this is what helps keep the onion together.

Neatly slice one half, crosswise. I make my slices almost paper thin but it’s up to you.

Gently press down on the sliced half, until it lays almost flat, away from your hand, like pre-sliced ham.

Align your knife to the direction of the onion slices, lining up with the tips, and make a series of parallel cuts, starting with the knife angled toward 2 o’clock. After about one third of the way through, adjust the knife angle to 12 o’clock, continuing to dice. Two thirds of the way through, switch to about 10 o’clock and dice the remaining onion. These clock hand references are simply guidelines; as you’ll see in the video, I don’t think I kept strictly to those angles.

5 thoughts on “How to Dice an Onion

  1. I love these how-to’s! Even following proper technique though, I find it so hard to actually speed up cutting veggies. I am molasses … very thick molasses.

    The only thing different, is my husband taught me (he worked in kitchen prep) that you should (in the third picture) hold the onion with your finger tips pressing downward so that you have almost a flat knuckle even with the blade. This cuts down (no pun intended) on injury since your finger tips are shielded then.

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