Chopping, Mincing & Dicing
Chopping is a method of cutting vegetables, herbs or other food into small pieces. Make sure you have a knife about twice the size of the amount of food you are chopping.
To begin, you?ll want to slice larger food, like a carrot, into smaller pieces. So take a sharp knife and hold the handle firmly in your hand, while pinching the top of the base of the blade (just above the handle) with your forefinger and thumb. Keep the tip of the knife firmly pressed against the cutting board to keep control as you cut the food. Keep the food that you are cutting in a pile parallel with the knife blade so you can move the food under the knife. WATCH your fingers! You should be able to keep the tip of the knife on the cutting board comfortably as you move the knife up and down.
After you?ve sliced or cut the food, you?ll want to chop it - the professional way to chop is to firmly hold the top of the knife blade at both ends and chop with rapid up and down movements. Brush the ingredients into a pile repeatedly for best results. There is no exact size for chopping, but do make sure the pieces are as uniform as possible.
Mincing is similar to chopping, but means to chop into extra fine pieces. Typically used for mincing: garlic, shallots and onions. Mincing is done in the same fashion as chopping, but to finer pieces.
Dicing is the art of chopping food into square pieces, like dice, that are about 1/8 or 1 square inches. This will be more controlled than chopping. For dicing, use the knife in the manner of cutting, firmly at the base of the handle, and keep the tip on the cutting board as you cut the food.