A Chef Says This Is the Best Way to Chop an Onion
A lot of recipes call for chopped onion, such as stir-fry, chili, curry, and even taco soup (not to mention it makes a great burger and sandwich topper). You may have never considered that there is a right or wrong way to chopping onions, and technically, there is no one right way—everyone has got their own technique and different methods. For example, maybe you use a vegetable chopper to get the job done, or maybe superior knife skills are your go-to method. If those two don’t apply to you though, there’s no need to fret, because there is a way to successfully chop an onion that just about anyone can do. We consulted head chef of Hello Fresh, Claudia Sidoti, for insight on how to chop an onion at home safely and with minimal tools. You’ll be dicing in no time!
What’s the best way to chop an onion?
Here’s how Sidoti recommends chopping the root vegetable.
1. Slice off the stem and the thin part of the root on the opposite end.
2. Cut vertically through the middle of the root all the way to the bulb.
3. Peel the skin off the onion. If necessary, you can peel off the outer layer if you can’t seem to get the skin off any other way.
4. Once peeled, take one half and place it on the cutting board. Make vertical cuts, making sure to leave the root intact.
5. Dice your onion using horizontal cuts (about 1/4 inch thick).
6. Repeat with the other half of the onion.
Not too hard, right?
What other tips may be helpful while cutting onions?
Piercing an onion inevitably invites a burn to your eyes, followed by a steady stream of tears. Fortunately, it is totally possible for you to cut an onion without crying. Sidoti suggests chilling the onion in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes before breaking out the knives and starting to dice away.
“This reduces the amount of the acid enzyme released into the air,” she explains. She then suggests soaking the onion in water, and, most importantly, she says it’s best to chop onions with a sharp knife.
“A sharper knife will cause less damage to cell walls, allowing fewer irritants to be released,” Sidoti says.
There you have it, instructions on how to chop an onion—and how do it without sobbing the whole way through. Can’t you just smell the onions cooking already?