If you really want to impress your dinner guests, how about demonstrating some slick knife chopping techniques in the kitchen? Follow our simple knife top tips for speedy slicing and delicate dicing to wow your friends with your clever veggie prepping skills…
When it comes to cutting vegetables like a professional, you need to invest in a quality set of knives. A good chef’s knife is your all-rounder in the kitchen, ideal for chopping, slicing, and mincing, and for transferring chopped ingredients from your board to the pan, while a smaller paring knife is perfect for peeling and finer cutting.
Keep your knives sharp using a proper steel and store them safely in a wooden knife block. Never slide vegetables off a cutting board using the edge of the blade. Turn the knife around to increase its lifetime.
If you’re slicing round vegetables such as carrots or potatoes, halve them lengthways to create a flat side. Hold the vegetable firmly on the board to prevent slippage. With a good sharp knife, slice with a smooth, clean cut. Push the vegetable forward or move your fingers back for the next cut to keep the slices even.
Know your onions
Here’s how chefs chop onions. Halve from root to stem before peeling. Place one half, cut-side down, on the board. Make horizontal cuts almost to the root end and then make vertical cuts from top to bottom. Finally, slice across to create pieces. Easy hey?
To peel thick-skinned vegetables like potatoes or turnips, use a sharp paring knife. Slice off any stem end and then simply peel the skin round and round skin in spirals.
Peeling garlic like a chef is easy. Lay the biggest part of the flat side of a chef’s knife on the unpeeled clove of garlic. Pound the blade lightly to smash open the clove. Remove the broken skin. With a chef’s knife, use a rocking motion with the blade to chop the clove. Keep pushing the garlic pieces into a pile until it is finely minced.
Knife Chopping Techniques by the Springbok Chef: