So many recipes call for dicing vegetables and on occasion meat. Any slow cooked, sauce or soup recipe calls for mirepoix, a combination of diced onions celery and carrots (ratio 2:1:1) as the foundation of the flavor base. Watch the video to learn How To: Dice!
Common sizes are ¼-inch and ½-inch dice. Take the onion and slice off a thin slice off the root end to get rid of the dirt and dried roots.
Then cut the top off, stand on the flat end and slice in half. Remove the skin and place the cut end flat on the cutting board. Place the heel of your chef’s knife against the top of the onion ¼- or ½-inch from the board and pull the knife back almost to the root end. Leave this small amount uncut to keep the onion intact. Repeat until you get to the top of the onion.
Turn the onion toward you with the root end on the far end. Make the same size slits across the onion without cutting through the root.
Be sure to tuck your fingers under you knuckles and keep your knuckles forward when slicing. The side of the knife runs into knuckles and your fingers are safely tucked away from the sharp blade.
Turn the onion back to it’s original position and slice the same size.
Here’s a shot of a 1/4-inch dice (background) and 1/2-inch dice (front).
Celery is pretty easy. Take each stalk and if they are long or slightly curled, cut in half to create two halves. For a ½-inch dice, slice these lengthwise in half and then in ½-inch cuts.
For ¼-inch dice, slice the celery stalks in half lengthwise and each piece in half lengthwise.
Carrots have an odd shape, very large at the top tapering to a narrow end. Depending on the length and diameter of the carrot cut in half or in thirds. Then cut each in half lengthwise until you get 1/4- or 1/2-inch sticks.
Cut each of these piece into ¼- or ½-inch sticks and then crosswise into a ¼-inch or ½-inch dice.