Monday, December 13, 2010

How To Dice an Onion

During all the madness that was #snowmageddon, #snowpocalypes, and #SnowMG this weekend, I decided it was a very appropriate time to get some cooking done. Standing over a hot stove, stirring a pot made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

And when anyone so much as looked at me with a shovel I was able to avert my gaze, and quickly retort, "Sorry, can't, I'm making soup! Someone has to feed you when you come in from the cold!"

And they would walk away cursing me under their breath.

And I would beam them in the back of the head with a snowball.


I would only think about beaming them in the back of the head.

But only think.

To make a long story longer, this is not a recipe for soup.

What I am about to show you is one of the most important skills you will ever learn.

It's right up there with wiping your own behind, and knowing throwing wrinkled clothes back into the dryer with a dryer sheet for a few minutes allows you to avoid learning how to iron.

I am going to show you how to dice an onion. I do this every day. And while, any way you choose to cut an onion is really fine with me. I'm not the onion police. But I can't promise that I won't turn you into them.

This is the true, and proper way. The way I learned in culinary school. The way that I paid about $10,000 to learn. And I am teaching you for free.

You can thank me later.

First get an onion and a sharp knife.


Cut off the root, and stem ends.


Then stand your onion up on one of the cut ends...


and cut the onion in half vertically. If the onion were the world you would cut it in half along the prime meridian, or from the north to south poles.

Here on Hannah Lives I offer all kinds of free services, cooking, laughing, and geography.

Again, thank me later.

I missed a picture... or two. But at this point you will peel off the papery outer layers. Depending on the onion, the day, and whether aquarius is in the 7th house, the layers you remove could be 1 , 2, or 3. Just go with your gut.

Then you're gonna lay it flat on the last cut you made.


You are going to make horizontal slices in the onion. You will want to lay your palm flat on top of the onion, keeping your fingers out of the way. The pressure will help keep the layers intact.


My hand isn't there because I'm taking the picture. It's hard to believe that this is a one-woman operation with all of the epic photography, fantastic lighting, and unbelievable writing (please note the sarcasm). Make several horizontal slices in the onion without going all the way through.

(Remember what I said about epic photography? I am so proud!-and did the orientation change make you a little dizzy to? Sorry about that, one-woman operation... remember?)

Now you make vertical slices, evenly spaced, across the onion, without going all the way through.


So at this point the end of the onion looks like this. You see all off the itty bitty squares that will make a very nice dice? But notice that I am holding the onion at the end and it isn't falling apart? That is because I didn't cut all the way throught the onion! It's Genius!!

Take a moment and feel overwhelmed with pride by what you have just done.

Aaaannnnd.... That's enough.


Now, you can't see my fingers but they are tucked up, like a little claw. I need all 10 of my digits, you see, so I do that so I don't lose one while I dice like a crazy person.

Oh, and it you are crying at this point it is ok, it happens. Let it out. The only surefire way to avoid onion tears is to use a very sharp knife, grow your own onions, ensuring they are fresh as can be, and wear goggles.


Keep the tip of your knife on the board, slice the onion moving toward your fingers. These slices should be perpendicular to your vertical slices.

I offer geometry tutoring also. But not algebra. Bleh. Definetly not algebra. Don't ask me what X equals.... But I'm pretty sure it's 3.14123998373... Pie. No, Pi. But I prefer Key Lime.

Whoops, tangent.


See? Look! You are dicing an onion!

Now, this is where it gets dicey... badda bump!

Sorry, moving on...


This is what you are left with. A beautiful dice of onion, and a little nub of an onion. This is the piece that you didn't make cuts in.


So, at this point I lay it flat on my board, and make slices the long way.


Give it a little quarter turn, and slice again, into a psuedo dice.


And there you have it. A perfect (almost), flawless (nearly), dice. This is pretty much the foundation for everything that is good and right in the world. That is savory, that is.


Now that you know how to make a perfect dice let me suggest some recipes from some of my favorite blogs to allow you to hone your skills:

The Pioneer Woman's Sloppy Joes

Jenna's Mom's Homestyle Turkey Chili

Jaden's Creamy Whiskey Mushroom Sauce

Oh, and if you are planning on thanking me, you can make and freeze some of that Creamy Whiskey Mushroom sauce and send it to me... or just send the bottle of whiskey.

You're Welcome,
Your friendly bloggerhood educator

Tags: Tags: , , ,


  1. my eye liner is running down my face just looking at this post! teehee! I love the post! It's good to know the proper way to cut an onion vs. my chaotic knife skills. =)

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  2. I know, right! You should have seen me, I looked like my cat just died while in the kitchen working on this! taking pictures, trying to focus my camera while crying, I was a hot mess! haha, and thanks for stopping by!!!

  3. SERIOUSLY THANK YOU!!! I really did need to learn this. You are a professional!

  4. You are the sweetest girl in the world! And hilarious. Not funnier than me though, but since you are commenting on my blog I will be a gracious host, and not rub it in your face. That would be rude. xoxo


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog! It means the world to me!