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How to chop an onion the Chopping Block way

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This is for you, Food Network watchers. Surely you've seen how every other TV chef dices an onion (one of the few things they actually do still seem to do on "cooking shows" when afforded the opportunity), and you've probably committed that technique to memory.

Well, that's not how they do it at the Chopping Block.

Not that there isn't a right or wrong way to chop anything, says Chopping Block owner Shelley Young -- but there is a preferred way to an onion that she encourages all of her instructors to adopt. It's all about not cutting toward your fingers, Young says, and it's pretty genius (essentially, it is how every other aforementioned TV chef does it, but with one key tweak).

You can learn it by signing up for the Chopping Block's popular -- and, in my estimation, essential -- Knife Skills class (read more about the class in today's Food pages). But for those who need visuals first, here's a quick and dirty step-by-step:

You start the same way, by cutting off both ends of the onion, then halving it and peeling the outer layers.

Next, standing the onion half upright, make even cuts downward almost to the cutting board (leaving one end of the onion intact).
knife3.jpg

Now, lay the onion cut side down on the board and again, cut downward along the width of the onion, keeping that one end intact.
knife1.jpg

Turn the onion half so that the cuts you just made are now running horizontal, and proceed to dice.
knife4.jpg

Too wordy? Still don't get it? Check out the Chopping Block's "How to Chop an Onion" video here.

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Janet Rausa Fuller

Sun-Times Food editor Janet Rausa Fuller is always thinking about her next meal.

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This page contains a single entry by Janet Rausa Fuller published on August 4, 2010 9:45 AM.

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