How to Chop an Onion



I have been thinking a lot lately about how it seems like the people who can already cook, or sew, or whatever it is we want to be able to do (mine right now is drawing), it seems like they have been able to do it forever and it’s just easy for them.  Of course this is not true, they practiced right through the learning process, just like we will if we want a new skill.

As you know, I have been sharing some tips for beginning sewers (more to come!) and I’d like to do the same from time to time for those who are learning to cook.  It is awfully helpful if those on the “knowing” side of a particular skill share things with those on the “learning” side.

This is probably the most actual-chopping-time saving trick I know.

Cut your onion in half and chop off the tip.  Peel off the skin.  Now make long slices with the knife perpendicular to the rings (all the way back to the root if you are chopping the whole thing), but don’t chop them free of the onion, leave them attached at the root.  Make these slices as close together as you’d like your finished onion pieces to be wide.  They can be finer than the ones here, or larger.



Now, chop through all your slices parallel to the rings, and diced onion will magically appear!  Or, large chunks, whatever you need.


What’s your favorite kitchen tip?  If you are learning to cook, what questions do you have?  Let me know!


7 thoughts on “How to Chop an Onion

  1. I am going to take a wild guess here and assume “stem” means where the stem of the onion would be if it still HAD a stem? In other words you cut perpendicular to the rings, but not all the way to the top-or-bottom of the onion?

    Does the same trick work on the root side?

    It is confusing because your pictures show quarter-onions (or severely malformed onions). Or I am deeply confused about the shape of an onion….

  2. Yes, stem = root (at least in this post)! I’ll edit it so that is a little more clear.

    Sorry that the pictures aren’t working for you, that is half an onion . . . it’s the same onion from the first pic, but seen from the side. That’s just the way it seemed natural to shoot it, but if it doesn’t make sense I may need a new angle.

    It won’t work starting from the root because the root is what’s holding the onion together, holding all the slices until you cut them the other direction. Unless you had an onion with the whole stem still attached, then that would be holding it together too.

    Stay tuned for more pics!

  3. Pingback: Chopping Vegetables, or “Get a Big Knife” « Stale Bread into French Toast

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