This week for Taco Thursday, we’d like to share a special skill we use a lot in our mexican-themed cooking- onion cutting. Onion is a crucial ingredient in almost all of our Taco Thursday dishes and since we’ve implemented this new technique, our prep has gotten considerably easier.
As a part of Sean’s birthday, we took a Knife Skills cooking class at Charleston Cooks in downtown Charleston. We learned tons of cuts that we use every week in our own kitchen. Today I’d like to share one of my favorites- the onion.
I LOVE onion. Everything we cook I always say – needs onion! So, I always do the onion chopping. Previously, I’ve always just haphazardly cut the onion into pieces. This leaves me crying (from the stink) and with a lot of different sized onion pieces. This new cutting technique is easy and fast and minimizes crying.
The part of the onion that makes you cry is the root. By minimizing your cuts thru the root, you can minimize the crying effect. Another suggested tip was freezing onions. By freezing them, the juices are solidified and you cry much less. Try combining these techniques for a tear-free experience!
- Cut the stem off of the onion. This is the end with white bits sticking out.
- Peel the skin off of the onion. I usually pull of the dry, papery pieces, and then also remove the first normal layer. This part is often dry or chewy and I prefer to just remove it.
- Now cut the onion in half. Note- this is the only time that you will cut thru the root. The root is where the “cry juice” is in the onion and by minimizing cuts thru the root, you minimize crying!
- Set the onion half flat on your cutting service. Stick your knife in, tip first, near the root about a quarter of an inch up the side of the onion. Roll the blade into the bulb, making sure you feel the cutting board underneath your blade.
- Move the knife up about a quarter of an inch and repeat. Repeat this all across the onion.
- Now you will dice the onion. Turn the bulb 90 degrees and begin to make straight cuts perpendicular to your previous cuts.
Ta-da! A perfectly diced onion!
Do you have any cool cutting techniques that speed up your prep work? We’d love to hear!
Cutting an onion can be confusing. Here is the easiest way to get the perfect dice - without crying!
- Cutting board
- Cut the stem off the onion
- Peel the skin off the onion
- Cut the onion in half - this is the only time you cut thru the root, which is the part that releases the smell that makes your eyes water
- Set the onion flat cut half side down on your cutting board.
- Stick your knife in, tip first, into the top of the onion right next to the root. Push until you feel the cutting board with the tip of the knife. Press the rest of the knife in to cut a slice all of the way (except leaving the root intact at the top)
- Move the knife 1/4" to the side and create parallel cuts along the whole onion.
- Rotate the onion and make perpendicular cuts to create your dice. You can make these as big or small as you want your pieces to be.