Interesting way of cutting an onion

Chopping the onion in mid-air while holding it in your hand. I saw this on the PBS cooking show “My Greek Table” with Diane Kochilas. I searched for a video that would show it because I didn’t think I’d be able to describe it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljnqjGsKf-0 The video that loads after this one is pretty good, too. You have to have a razor-sharp knife and excellent coordination.

Has anyone seen this or done it? For some reason, watching this process gives me major league creeps… like it’s reminding me of something horrible that I saw once and mercifully have forgotten. It’s fascinating, however.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure if I tried that, the pile of chopped onions would be soaked in blood. At best. Or more likely, it would be a dropped onion and a pile of chopped fingers.

I’ve seen expert cooks do this. It’s fast and you don’t get onion all over your cutting board. You don’t have to do it that fast, it’s not difficult if you go at a comfortable speed. I never got used to it though, it’s easy enough to do it the common way.

The second video (Gordon Ramsay demonstrating how to dice an onion) is the method I started to use. But actually, now I’ve found that you can buy diced onion in most markets. At Trader Joe’s for instance, a ten-ounce bag of nicely diced onion is $1.69. So that’s what I’ve been buying lately.

As for the first video, that’s something that obviously took that guy quite some time to perfect.

Or you wear a chain mail or Kevlar glove.

The problem with chainmail is that if I had one, I would wear it everywhere. And be labelled a bigger nerd than I am already.

I saw a similar method that I thought was really clever. You cut the onion in half and lay it flat side down on the board, like Ramsay, but instead of vertical and horizontal cuts, you make downward cuts at a 45-degree angle, first one way, then the other. Then you make downward cuts to complete the dice.

No way! - if you’re a home cook, there’s no rush - that guy probably cuts up more onions in a day than I do in a year.

I discovered frozen chopped onion. Don’t have to worry about it going bad before you use it up.

Is that the Alton Brown method? I seem to remember him chopping an onion by cutting it in half but leaving the root end on. Then he cut the onion half at angles toward the bottom center, but not all the way to the root end, which held everything together. Then just vertical cuts crossways down to the root. I tried it that way a few times but it just seemed like more work than my normal onion chopping method.

I haven’t seen Alton Brown do it that way, but it sounds like what I was trying to describe.

Same here. Onions are about a buck a pound and are a staple of our cooking–we go through about two pounds a week, I think–so I’m not into the idea of buying pre-chopped onions for thrice the price. Takes the professional about fifteen seconds to cut an onion, takes me maybe two minutes (I hope less)–but I’m fine taking it slow, if it means I keep all my fingers and some extra cash :).

The Alton Brown method IIRC, is that you cut the stem end off, then cut the onion in half through the roots.

Lay it down on the cut side (roots still attached), at which point you make *radial * cuts through the onion. So the very middle cut is perpendicular to the board, and the ones about halfway between the middle and the outside are at 45 degrees, and so on.

Then you cut downward perpendicularly to the radial cuts, giving you nice diced onion.

This is a pretty good tutorial:

Time-saving isn’t my problem. My cooking is so erratic and sporadic that by the time I get around to an onion, it has sprouted into a tree in the cupboard where it has been living. Frozen chopped onions are safely suspended in time. “Thrice the price”? The difference between $.50 and $1.50-- I can handle that.

After Alex put out this video last year, I changed the way I dice onions.

I Learned How They Chop Onions On The Street…

I can’t do serious Olympic speed style or anything, but it is more efficient and I am much faster now than I was a year ago.

Yeah, fair enough! I’m not saying that frozen chopped onions are a sucker’s bet; I buy convenience foods too. Just that neither they, nor speed-chopping, are right for me.

Aside from the convenience, what I like about the pre-chopped onions I’ve been buying is that the dices are very uniform. Much more so than when I try to dice an onion myself.

My solution: own more than one cutting board.

Mine also; I have 4.

Did I mention that I’m also really lazy? :stuck_out_tongue: