Chopping onions can be a frustrating thing because they trigger tears but did you know that there’s a way to minimize the tears? No? Then keep reading because this article contains great tips that can help when next you have to slice onions.
Cooking in a restaurant is not an easy feat. Most people think it is a fancy task but according to David Tanis, former chef of Chez Panisse and current City Kitchen columnist for the New York Times, it's mostly about chopping onions.
Given how much onion that will be, it is usually in the chef’s best interest to learn and get good at it. Cutting onions is recognized as a central and unavoidable task. According to chef Ignacio Mattos, “no onions, no food.”
Mattos and Tanis have compared two styles of cutting an onion. One is the traditional method and the other is a new style that culminated from the two experts.
The traditional method requires you to cut the onion in half before making several vertical and horizontal cuts with the root intact. Note that you need to hold the pieces together until the dice are ready to be released.
For the style Mattos and Tanis often use, you get rid of the root first then slice along the grain and push the slices down while cutting at a 45-degree angle. It leads to a fine dice but for those who may have issues replicating that, here are a few rules to be conscious of when cutting onions.