Various Knife Cutting Techniques
By Shabir S Joosub
Chopping and cutting might not be the most relevant activity in the kitchen but it can make the life of the chef much easier and the food on the plate much prettier. There are some cutting and chopping techniques used regularly in the kitchen that can be learned by anyone.
This is the most basic cutting technique that anyone who works in the kitchen will know how to do. This technique is often used on vegetables such as baby marrows and cucumber. Depending on which fruit or vegetable you are slicing will determine which knife to use, namely whether it should be serrated or straight edged. Depending on what type of dish you are making the thickness of the slice will vary too.
This is a technique similar to slicing but not quite. The style leans more towards the cutting of strips. To achieve this type of cut, you would first need to top and tail (cut off both ends) the vegetable. The seeds will then need to be removed to cut the vegetable into rectangular pieces. After it has been cut into rectangular pieces you will need to cut it into strips along the longer side.
Dicing is another common cutting technique used by anyone who works in the kitchen. Chefs often use this technique on onions when making anything from pasta sauce to curries. There are also different sizes that you can cut the onion into depending on what you are fond of. Professionals prefer to leave the root of the onion intact when using the dicing technique. They do this so that they can keep the onion together during this process.
Use this technique when dealing with garlic. Many people prefer not to have pieces of garlic floating around in their food but love the flavour. Mincing is a way to get the flavour into the dish without having large pieces in the food. Crush the garlic with the flat side of the chef’s knife then constantly chop and repeat until you have miniature pieces.
This technique might sound complicated and difficult but it really is quite simple. Chefs often use this technique to create a presentable garnish for the plate. All you do is roll up the herbs or leaves such as basil or spinach and slice them to make coils of garnish.
The type of knife varies on the type of food you are preparing. Some knives can’t be sharpened normally such as serrated knives and birds beak knives. Always note which knife is best for certain vegetables, fruit or meat to avoid the fast degrading of the blade. A cash and carry wholesaler will have a wide variety of knives to complement your cooking methods.
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