Cutting techniques - 9 useful tips for beginners

Eating a lot of vegetables also means cutting a lot of vegetables and that can sometimes take a lot of time. In this article we explain various basic cutting techniques, so you can quickly cut delicious vegetables for your healthy meals.

Don't cut your fingers!

First of all, it is important to know how to hold the knife you are using. Grasp the handle of the knife with the palm of your cutting hand while your index finger and thumb grip the blade. You can cut with great precision this way. For example, knives that are ideal for cutting vegetables are multifunctional chef's knife , a Japanese one Santoku or the traditional Japanese vegetable knife: the Nakiri .

Naturally, you use your cutting hand to cut, and you use your other hand, 'the helping hand', to hold the product (vegetables). You can hold the vegetables with your helping hand in two ways: the claw technique and the bridge technique.

1. Claw technique

The hand with which you hold the product is your 'helping hand'. With this hand you make a kind of claw where you curl your fingertips and thumb inwards, your nails then slide under your hand. This prevents you from cutting your fingers. Your middle finger should be parallel to the product you are going to cut. This technique is often used, for example, for slicing vegetables.

Claw technique

2. Bridge technique

With the thumb and middle finger of your 'helping hand' you grip the product you are going to cut. Your hand now lies like a bridge over the product. With this technique you can cut vegetables into long strips or easily cut a tomato in half.

Bridge technology

Now that you know how to use your cutting hand and helping hand effectively and safely, it's time to use some basic cutting techniques. Read more below.

Cutting vegetables and herbs

Thin strips of cucumber and carrot, finely chopped herbs and wafer-thin slices of radish make your salads even tastier. In this part of the article you will learn some basic techniques that will make your salads or healthy meals even tastier.

3.Cross Chop

This technique is good for quickly and finely chopping herbs and small vegetables.

  1. Hold the knife with your cutting hand as you normally would. Place your helping hand on the spine of the blade, for example with your fingertips or your palm.
  2. While cutting, keep the tip of the blade on the cutting board, with your helping hand you can guide the manure. The more you practice this technique, the faster you will cut!
Rock chop

It chef's knife is most ideal for this technique. This kitchen knife has a convex cutting edge, which causes the knife to 'rock' over the cutting board Santoku knife is also suitable.

4. Rock Chop

This cutting technique is similar to the cross chop, the difference is that you now use your helping hand to push the product onto the cutting board. You use the claw technique while cutting.

Rock chop

5. Julienne Cut

Julienne is a French kitchen term, meaning thin strips. Julienne cut vegetables are suitable for soups, salads, sauces, etc. We use a zucchini as an example.

  1. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise using the bridge technique
  2. Place the zucchini cut side down on the cutting board
  3. Using the claw technique, cut the zucchini into thin strips of approximately 3 mm, starting at the back of the product and gently cutting towards you (see photo below)
  4. A real Julienne cut is 8 cm long and 3 mm thick
  5. And voila! Your zucchini is now Julienne cut!
julienne cut

Image by Woodenearth

6. Brunoise

Bronoise is also a French cooking term where vegetables are cut into small cubes. A perfectly Brunoise cut block has a size of 3mm x 3mm x 3mm. This technique is actually a Julienne cut with one extra step. Brunoise cut vegetables are often used in preparing sauces.

  1. Cut the relevant product Julienne
  2. Place the strips together in a bunch
  3. Using the claw technique and the Rock Chop you can easily cut the strips into small cubes.

7. The Batonnet

Are you making a delicious casserole or are you just craving raw pieces of vegetables? Then the Batonnet is a suitable technique. This cutting technique is often used for cutting vegetables for a vegetable dish or for fries.

This cutting technique is almost the same as that of the Julienne Cut, only this time you cut the vegetables a little thicker, namely 6 cm long and 6 mm thick.

batonnet cut

8. Pont-Neuf

Are you making a culinary dinner with potatoes, for example? Then apply the Pont-Neuf technique. This cutting technique is used for potatoes. Pont-Neuf cut potatoes are very thick fries.

  1. After the potatoes have been peeled and washed you can start cutting
  2. Cut the potato into strips of 7cm long and 2cm thick, again using the same technique as with the Julienne Cut
  3. The result is fantastic, a tasty and beautiful addition to your culinary dinner!
Pont Neuf cut

9.Pull cut

Fresh herbs are packed with vitamins and flavor. Do you want these vitamins and delicious taste to end up in your food and not remain on the cutting board? Then use the Pull Cut. This cutting technique is often used for finely chopping fresh herbs. Fresh herbs are very vulnerable. As an example we use fresh basil. If you fold a basil leaf, a dark green line is created in the leaf, the leaf is now damaged. The more damage the leaf has, the more moisture, therefore flavor and vitamins, the leaf loses. So make sure that the leaf is not damaged, this can be done using the Pull Cut as follows:

  1. Place a basil leaf with the rounded side down on the cutting board
  2. Stack a number of leaves with the rounded side down until you have a stack of 6 to 10 leaves
  3. Roll the stack up tightly, making sure the dark green side is on the outside
  4. Place the roll with basil leaves on the cutting board
  5. It is now time for the pull cut: cut thin strips from the roll without using much force, let the knife do the work. This prevents the leaves from being damaged.
  6. And voila! You now have freshly cut basil that still has all its flavor!

pull cut

Practice makes perfect. The more you practice these techniques, the easier it will become. Have fun cutting!