You are currently viewing Knife Skills Chop, Slice, Dice – Class Notes & Recipes

Knife Skills Chop, Slice, Dice – Class Notes & Recipes

Knife skills

Whether we are a professional chef or a keen amateur home cook we need our knifes to be in good condition. There are many expensive brands on the market, but before we go out and buys these knifes, we must first feel the weight of the handle grip.

In kitchens many French culinary terms are used for different cuts of vegetables and meats. There Brunoise small dice, Mirepoix Diced etc. Having a knowledge of these actually does help, Google and discover a little more of this world of cuts.

Knifes a little more information: Kitchen Knives are an essential part of any kitchen and you will normally find a selection of knives in most kitchens and homes. Why do we have a selection of knifes in our kitchens?

The knives we have in our kitchens are all there for different reasons. We have sharp knives for chopping as well as serrated knives for cutting bread as well as knives for eating a steak with. These are only some of the different knives found within a kitchen and there are many others for many different tasks

If you cook a lot, then you will understand the importance of having access to a different selection of knives whilst cooking. These are like different tools to a carpenter. Cooks tend to have different sets and types of knives but do not always care for their knives properly.

How do I care for my knives?

If you have purchased a set of kitchen knives, then invariably it will have also come with a storage block. This block has several different great benefits. The obvious one for most is that it is a great place to store their knives. Another great benefit is that it will store your knives in such a manner that the sharp parts are hidden and therefore makes them safe. A third benefit that many people overlook is that the storage of your knife set in the block will prevent the knives from being damaged and it will protect the cutting edge for you.

How Do I Know a Good Set of Knives?

A good set of knives are made from good steel and with a full tang into the handle. The handle is also made of a suitably strong material. And because of this you will pay slightly more for them. That said the knives, if looked after properly will outlast most other cheaper versions of knives.

Care For Knives:

Other ways you can take care of your knives is by the way you wash and dry them. I recommend that you only wash your knives in mild soapy warm water and to dry immediately. If you wash your knives in the dishwasher you need to be sure to remove and thoroughly dry them prior to putting them away. If knives are not cared for properly then they may show signs of oxidising and slight surface rust. Be sure to look after your knives.

Looking After Your Knives:

Storage of knives is also very important. If you do not have the luxury of a storage block, then you need to consider how you store your knives, so they do not get damaged. If they are stored say in a drawer with other utensils, then the knifes will knock together with other items and damage the cutting edge. The best way to store knives in the instance you do not have a block is to use a magnetic knife holder which will hold your knives and keep them from getting damaged.

The Cutting Edge:

In daily use of your kitchen knives, you will over time wear away at the cutting edge. This will happen by chopping, cutting and cutting against hard surfaces. You will need to consider the minor maintenance of your knives. To prolong the life of the knives it is best to use a suitable chopping board so you can protect the cutting edge.

Knife Maintenance:

In the event that you have purchase and correctly stored your quality knife set they will still need some maintenance. The use of knives in the kitchen, over time will lead to the cutting edges becoming worn. This is a simple task to fix and repair your cutting edges. A quick run through a knife sharpener will re-apply a sharp cutting edge for you in seconds. All great chefs understand the need for a sharp knife so keep the cutting edges in good condition.

Vegetable Cuts:

  • Allumette Cut (Matchstick) – Dimension – 1/16” X 1/16” X 2′
  • Julienne Cut (Double Matchstick) – Dimension – 1/8” X 1/4” X 2”
  • Batonnet Cut (French Fry Cut)- Dimension – 1/4” X 1/4” X 2”
  • Brunoise Cut (Square Allumette) – Dimension – 1/16” X 1/16” X 1/16”
  • Macedoine Cut (Square Julienne) – Dimension – 1/8” X 1/8” X 1/8”
  • Small Dice (Squar Baton) – Dimension – 1/4” X 1/4” X 1 / 4”
  • Medium Dice – Dimension – 1/2” X 1/2” X 1/2”
  • Large Dice – Dimension – 3/4” X 3/4” X 3/4′
  • Slice – To Cut into uniform cross cuts, Example Slicing Onions
  • Chiffonade – Roll up leaves of lettuce cabbage etc. and then slice

The above are the main cuts for vegetables

Recipes from the class

Vegan Sushi

Ingredients – Serves 4:

  • – 400g sushi rice, cooked, following cooking instructions
  • – 4 sheets of nori
  • – Wasabi paste
  • – Pickled ginger
  • – Soy sauce
  • – 1x avocado, sliced
  • – 1x carrot, shredded
  • – cucumber, de-seeded, cut into long batons
  • – Handful of coriander, chopped
  • – Mixed sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Cut the nori seaweed into halves, and then place half of the nori on the sushi mat shiny side down. As a golden rule, the shiny side of the nori seaweed should always be on the outside of the sushi.
  3. Place roughly 100g of sushi rice on the nori seaweed and spread across evenly. Flip the nori seaweed and sushi rice so that the nori seaweed is facing upward. Add a small portion of mayo, cucumber, tuna or any other filling in a centre.
  5. Start rolling from the bottom, tucking the edge of the roll to fully enclose the filling. Lift the edge of the mat and continue to roll forward until the sushi is formed into a firm cylinder.
  7. Slightly wet the blade of a sharp knife and slice the roll into 6 pieces. First, slice it into halves and then the halves into thirds. Clean the knife with a wet towel between cuts to prevent the rice from sticking to the knife.
  9. Serve with soy sauce. Feel free to garnish with other foods such as white / black sesame seeds, tobiko, chives, etc.

How to Cook Sushi Rice

  1. Use good quality Japanese rice.
  3. One  sushi roll needs about 100g of uncooked rice.
  5. You can soak sushi rice before rinsing for 20 minutes for more tender grains.
  7. Rinse at least 4 times under running cold water, until it runs clear.
  9. Rice to water ratio: 1:2…Precisely 250g of rice: 330g of water
  10. Place in a pan, cold, medium heat, no lid at this point, waiting to start simmer.
  12. After bubbles appear, place the lid on your pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
  14. Turn off  heat after 10 minutes and let rest for 30 minutes longer, do not remove the lid.
  16. Add seasoning and chill well in a refrigerator before using.

Sushi Rice cooked in a Rice Cooker

Ingredients – Makes 2-3 Rolls:

  • – 1.5 cup of sushi rice (we prefer Nishiki)
  • – 2 cups of filtered water
  • – ¼ cup of sushi seasoning


  1. Place the rice and water into a rice cooker. Cook the rice according to the “white rice” setting on the rice cooker.
  3. When the rice has finished cooking, rest it for 10 minutes to absorb all the extra moisture. Evenly pour the seasoned rice vinegar all over the rice. Toss the rice around to further distribute the rice vinegar, taking care to be gentle, and not mash the rice.
  5. It is now ready to be used for sushi.

Vietnamese caramel Chicken, egg-fried red rice

Ingredients – Serves 4

  • – 2 chicken breasts, sliced or hake fillets
  • – 1/2 cup / 80 g brown sugar
  • – 1 tbsp water
  • – 400 g / 14 oz coconut milk
  • – 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • – 2 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • – 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • – 1 shallot finely sliced
  • – 1/4 tsp white pepper


  • – 1 spring onion, sliced
  • – 1 large red chilli, finely sliced
  • – Coriander, chopped
  • – Lime juice and zest


  1. Place sugar and water in a skillet over medium heat. Stir, then when it bubbles and the sugar is melted (it looks like caramel), add the rest of the ingredients except chicken.

  2. Stir, then put the chicken in.

  3. Adjust the heat so it is simmering energetically. Not rapidly, not a slow simmer (I use medium high heat).

  4. After 5 minutes, turn the chicken.

  5. Once sauce and chicken are brown, remove from heat.

  6. Place chicken on serving plates, spoon over some sauce (don’t need much, chicken is infused with flavour + sauce is strong).

  7. Garnish with shallots and chilli, if using. Serve with rice or noodles.

Red or Black Rice

Ingredients – Serves 4

  • – 300g of red or black rice, boiled and cooled – allow to dry in a sieve or colander
  • – 1tbsp of oil
  • – 2 spring onions, chopped
  • – 1 red onion, sliced
  • – Handful of chopped coriander
  • – Soy sauce to season (tamari)
  • – 1 lime, juice, and zest
  • – 1 egg


  1. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan, add onion and fry until translucent. Add the rice, and vegetables, and once warm, push to one side of the pan and break in your egg. Scramble the egg quickly and mix through the rice. Serve straight away.

  2. Toppings/garnishes – Serve with some toasted cashews, chopped chillies and some extra chopped coriander.

Stir-Fried Udon Noodles

Ingredients – Serves 2:

  • – 2x ready to wok udon noodles
  • – 1 red onion sliced
  • – 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • – 1 red pepper, sliced
  • – Handful of tender stem broccoli
  • – 3tbsp of soy sauce
  • – 1x lime, zest and juice
  • – Vegetable oil for frying
  • – Handful of mint
  • – Handful of coriander


  1. Place a wok on high heat with a splash of oil and sauté the onion until caramelised, followed by garlic. Sauté all the other vegetables until just softened.
  3. Splash in soy sauce and lime juice and place the noodles on top to heat up.
  5. Toss together and finish with chopped mint and coriander.

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