How to Chop and Mince

How to Chop and Mince

Vegetables can be chopped or minced by rapidly moving a chef's knife up and down over the vegetable. This is simple to do, but there are a few tricks that make the process more efficient.

  • Chop a fairly large amount at once so you're using the entire knife blade. Unless you only have a very small amount of something to chop, it doesn't make sense to have only a small section of the blade doing the chopping.

  • Keep whatever it is you're chopping in an elongated pile parallel with the knife blade - again, so that the whole knife blade is in use.

  • You'll have the most control if you grip the knife as close to the blade as possible. In fact, your thumb and forefinger should pinch the sides of the knife blade, while the rest of your hand wraps around the handle.

  • Keep the tip of the knife blade firmly pressed against the cutting board while you chop to steady the knife and make it easier to control. Many cooks press on the back of the knife with their free hand to steady it, but if you keep the tip of the knife firmly planted on the cutting board, this won't be necessary, and you can then use your free hand to keep sliding whatever it is you're chopping under the blade.

  • For some chopping, especially of very soft foods and herbs, you may find it easier to use the knife in the same way as when slicing. Instead of holding the knife tip against the cutting board, move the whole blade up and down. If your hands get tired, you can switch to a third method. Hold the knife blade with both hands, one hand near the tip and one near the handle, and move the whole knife rapidly up and down.

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