Dicing an Onion
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Dicing an Onion
When I teach a cooking class, I usually demonstrate how to properly dice an onion. No matter how many times I do this, there is always someone in the class who has never seen this technique. Learning the proper way to dice an onion will make your prep time in the kitchen go a little easier and faster.

1. Start with the whole onion – and DO NOT cut off the fuzzy root end. This is the first thing people usually do. DO cut off the stem end – the part that grows out of the dirt.

2. Cut the onion in half, down through the root so that half of the root is on each half. The root is going to keep the onion held together as you cut it.

3. Peel each half of the onion.

4. Place the flat cut side of the onion down on the cutting board. Assuming you are right handed, place the root end on the left side of the cutting board.

5. Use a slight sawing motion with your knife, gently cut ” up from the bottom of the onion, parallel with the cutting board. Cut through the onion, but not all the way through the root end.

6. Make a second cut, about ” up from the first cut, still parallel to the cutting board and not through the root.

7. Then make a perpendicular cut on the top of the onion, starting with the tip of your knife about ” forward from the root and cutting down toward the cut off stem end. Work from the backside to the front with successive cuts. Again, do not cut all the way through the root.

8. Finally start at the end where the stem was and cut all the way through the onion – this is where you’ll get the diced pieces. Cut all the way across the onion toward the root.

9. Practice this every time you dice an onion and soon it will be come a habit.

And, while we’re speaking about onions – what’s with those tears? I have tried just about every tip to prevent tearing and I’ve never found a fail-safe method. However, I have not tried swimming goggles – that might be the one technique that would keep the fumes from reaching your eyes. The age of the onion seems to have some impact on how strong it is and how many tears it causes. I do believe it helps if your knife is sharp.

Here are some of the tricks I’ve tried to prevent the tears:
•Wear contact lenses
•Light a candle – I’ve had a shrine of candles burning – no help
•Chill the onion
•Hold a piece of bread in your mouth as you cut the onion
•Breathe through your mouth
•Dice the onion in a well-ventilated area

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