Knife skills: how to chop an onion

If you’re going to practice one knife skill, this should be the one. With so many recipes calling for sliced and diced onions, mastering the art of chopping one up could save you not only time but many a tear too.

Use a Chef’s knife and make sure that it’s sharp. A blunt knife is more likely to make you cry as it won’t cut cleanly through the onion cells.

1. To remove the onion peel, make a thin slice to cut the stem off. Stand the onion on the end where the stem used to be and slice down the centre. Take the peel off both halves of your onion.

2. Place the cut side of the onion flat on the board. With your knife parallel to the board, slice towards the root. Try to make your slice narrow so that you can get a very fine dice. Don’t slice through the root – the root is keeping your onion and slices together and generally making life a whole lot easier. Repeat the same process just raise your knife slightly.

3. Once you’ve finished your slices, rotate your onion and place your guiding hand on top of it. Slice downwards in thin strips (aim for the same thickness as your horizontal cuts) away from the root. Repeat.

4. Now for the dicing. Place your guiding hand on top of the onion. Cut down through the onion – the same thickness as you have used for the other cuts. Use your guiding hand – allowing the blade to follow it back towards the root.

And there you have it. Buy yourself a big pocket of onions and get to work practicing. French onion soup anyone?

Keen to learn more basic knife skills? Walk this way.