I never attended cook school but I am pretty sure that one of the first things they teach wannabe chefs is how to chop an onion.
Onions are used in so many dishes, sauces and soups and not a week goes by without me having to chop a good few of them. With a little bit of technique you will not only get more even cuts but you will cut down on the amount of wastage and also those onion tears!
- The first important rule is to half the onion through the root. Someone once told me that if you chop the onion through the root then it won’t release whatever it does that typically makes you cry.
- I then peel the outer skin from each half.
- Place one half of the onion and place it flat side down on your chopping board.
- I then chop off the little tip of the onion.
- Now second most important tip, do not chop off the root. The root is used to hold the onion together so will make chopping a lot easier.
- If you are after sliced onion you would at this point hold the onion by the root and make a series of cuts with your knife horizontal to the root until you get as close to the root as you can. You are then just left with the root that you can throw away.
- If you are looking to dice the onion you will again hold the onion by the root but this time make a series of cuts vertical to the root or at 90 degrees. Your cuts should close to the root but not go through it. Once you have done this if you pick up the onion by the root you will see that it is still held together.
- Now take your knife and cut vertically through the onion, again not cutting through the root. For really fine chopped onion and depending on the size of your onion you can try and get two or three cuts.
- Your onion should still be held together by that important root and now all you need to do is cut through the onion as you did for chopping.
For those of you wanting a visual explanation who better to demonstrate than Mr Gordon Ramsey.
So there you go a few tips to hopefully make your cooking life that bit easier.
Should you have the sudden urge to practice your onion chopping one great recipe to try is our French Onion Soup. 1kg of onions should keep you going!