When a cook book says “diced vegetables”, it means cutting them into small cubes. It can be in a ¼ inch to 1 inch size depending on how small you want them to be. If you are unsure, most instructions will specify if it is small, medium or large depending on the manner of cooking. The goal is to do it uniformly to get a nice output and consistent flavor. Just like any skill, it takes practice to perfect the task. But do not worry, this article will help you with it and give you some tips on how to dice vegetables.
Prepare the Materials
To easily remember the term, think cubes when you encounter the word “dice”. Start by washing all your vegetables with running water. If you need to peel, do it before starting the dicing. Prepare your cutting board and knife. Any type will do for as long as you are comfortable using it. Remember that the best dicing will be achieved when you have a sharp knife – the sharper the better. So before you begin, you have to sharpen the edge with a natural stone or coarse sand paper.
Cut into Strips
For most vegetables, you can dice easily if you cut them into strips first or in long sticks. Place the strips/sticks together and grab them in one hand while the other hand holds the knife. Cut them in small pieces and the result should be symmetrical. Round vegetables like carrots and onion and potatoes are more challenging. The key is to cut it into half lengthwise to prevent it from rolling. For other irregularly shaped veggies like broccoli and cauliflower, you do not dice them but they are broken into small “flowers”. Different vegetables can be diced differently. But once you know the basic technique, you can apply your skill to the rest.
Using a Food Processor
Another way to dice your vegetables is to use a food processor. It is a multifunctional kitchen appliance designed to easily do your tasks. Most amateurs prefer it especially when dicing onions. It does not require skill and it is safe for use. With the tool, you just do not dice but also chop, shred, grind and puree. You eliminate the stress associated with repetitive preparation time and in no time, you get all your ingredients ready and perfectly cut like a chef. Just make sure that you put in the food one at a time to get your desired results. The several types of food processors available come in different design, sizes and price. Shop around to find the most suitable one for your needs.
The Difference Between Dicing and Mincing
Remember that dice is different from chop and mince. It is in fact in between the two verbs. Chop is larger and less regular while to mince means to cut into very small pieces. Do not interchange the terms as they will result to different texture. If your recipe requires dice vegetables, follow the procedure. Otherwise, your vegetables may get overcooked or undercooked and you will not be able to maximize the flavor and consistency of your meal.
Use the right knife
You’ll rarely find the best brand names in local department stores as places like Walmart and Target cater to an audience not as likely to buy high end knives. With the decline of specialty stores across North America, it’s getting harder and harder to find high end gourmet kitchen knives in the physical world. Sites like Epicurious and Kitchen Collection now offer large selections of knives of every conceivable size and shape of knives.
Top names in the gourmet knife industry include
- J.A Henckels
In addition, Japanese Steel Knife manufacturers have built an best japanese knives in the world and brands including
It is only when a person finds their thinking graduating to truly enjoying food preparation that the pleasure of owning a set of fine knives becomes so apparent. Using a great knife is similar to driving a beautiful car – it turns the journey into part of the enjoyment and not just arriving at the destination. A high quality knife is an investment and with the right care and maintenance will last a lifetime. High quality knives are also safer to work with an require less effort to get the job done.
The material the blade is made out of is likely the most important factor. The best knifes are made of high carbon steel – and contain no stainless steel which just although makes the knife look shiny and pretty – it also makes the steel brittle and will subsequently lose their edges much quicker – stainless steel knives also can’t be sharpened so when they are dull it’s best to just throw them away. High Carbon knives require proper care and should always be washed by hand ( never in a dishwasher as they will rust ) but can be resharpened easily and will last you a life time.
A quality knife should also feel comfortable in your hand including the materials of which the handle is made of. This can include plastic, silicon, steel and even wood. Keep in mind that the handle should not become slippery if you have oil on your hands or the handle is damp.
The best knives have the fewest parts – maximum two is best being the blade and the handle. A high quality knife will be fully embedded in the grip / handle and be constructed to last. Knives made by companies like
Global are made of one piece forged steel and are nearly indestructible.
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