Onions are a staple in so many dishes, yet for many of us, the thought of cutting up an onion ‘brings us to tears’ literally to our eyes or fills us with dread.  Partially due to lack of knowledge and secondly maybe lack of knife skills.  STOP!  That is now a thing of the past with these easy to follow steps that I thought I’d share with you, following similar techniques practiced at Leith’s cookery school and probably just about every other chef on the land will use a variation of this:

  1. Cut the top (not root edge)
  2. Peel the skin
  3. Take the onion and cut in half, straight through the middle of the root
  4. Turn it onto the flat edge (middle facing down)
  5. Hold the onion with your thumb and your longest finger as a guide and cut almost to the top edge (use the lines of the onion as a guide if necessary).  Not cutting to the very edge will keep the onion together and easier to handle
  6. If you need to dice the onion, turn around and holding from the top edges, cut twice horizontally through the onion (don’t cut to the very edge to keep the onion intact)
  7. Now you can cut down through the onion and you will have perfectly diced pieces
  8. Repeat for the other half

Top tip: By leaving the root intact, you will not get watery eyes (or require swimming goggles 😉 as the acid of the onion will not be released.

See the cutting onion video on © BBC Food’s website for the technique of slicing on onion.

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