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The Guide to Culinary Terms and cutting techniques


Professional chefs know that the size and shape of an ingredient is what can make or ruin a dish. Why? Ingredients cut in uniform size and shape cook better. Furthermore, the shape and size of the ingredients will effect their cooking time and outcome. Familiarize yourself with as many cooking techniques and practices as possible. As such, learning all the knig cutting techniques is essencial to your profession. Master the art of cutting and dicing with these 8 culinary terms before you prepare your next meal.

1. Brunoise

For a brunoise, you must julienne the food first. Then turn it quarter-turn and dice again. This will create cubes of approximately 1/8 inch. The brunoise cut is best for celery, carrots, onion, and leeks. It can be used on bell peppers as well as hard root vegetables such beets or turnips. Avoid this technique when you are preparing soft vegetables such as green beans or cauliflower.

2. Chiffonade

The best way to cut herbs in long ribbons is with the chiffonade technique. You can also use this technique to cut leafy greens such as spinach, collards and kale.

3. Chop

Chopping can be used for many foods. It is an informal, unrefined expression that means to cut the food roughly into bite-sized chunks.

4. Cube

Cubed ingredients can be cut into uniform sizes using a method more precise than cutting (e.g. The “1/2” cube “). is common in many food items, including potatoes, meats and bread .

5. Dice

dices are smaller than standard cubes and create uniformed squares that allow for an even cook and polished appearance. They can be used to prepare classic salsas or mirepoix, a mixture of celery, carrots and onions.

6. Julienne/French Cut

The ingredient is cut in long strips, similar to matchsticks, for julienne or French cut. Julienne is typically used to cut salad ingredients, green vegetables, such as cucumbers, bell Peppers and Zucchini, into long, uniform strips.

7. Mince

Ingredients are minced very finely. The ideal method for cutting aromatics like ginger, onion and garlic is to mince.

8. Cut

Slice is the general term for cutting across grain to produce thin and uniform pieces. Slicing is possible with almost any fruit or vegetable, and also other ingredients such as cheese and bread.

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