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Knife Techniques

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In this Lesson you will Learn

  1. What is the difference between chopping and dicing?
  2. What is mincing?
  3. What does julienne mean?

The following terms refer to different ways of cutting your food.


Chop is a general term and generally refers to cutting your food into large or medium-sized pieces (depending on what the recipe calls for.)


The word "dice" means to cut something into small, uniform cubes.


Mincing refers to cutting your food very finely (pretty much into the smallest pieces possible). The term is often used for mincing garlic, onion, and fresh herbs. Although you can certainly buy a special mincing knife, you can also use your standard chef's knife to mince by frequently going over the food you are chopping with a rocking motion. 1 


Slicing is a very basic technique. To slice vegetables, meat, etc., lay the item on a flat surface, hold it firmly with your free hand, place the tip of the knife against the cutting board so the blade is above whatever you're cutting, and then pull the knife backwards and down to slice through. 2 


The julienne cut, otherwise known as the matchstick cut, refers to cutting vegetables or potatoes into uniform thin sticks by first cutting the food into a rectangular shape. 3 

Recommended Read

How to Cook Everything

If you are teaching yourself how to cook, this guide is a must have reference book.

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  1. Howcast - How to Mince Cut Parsley
  2. Serious Eats - Knife Skills: The 4 Knife Cuts Every Cook Should Know
  3. Howcast - How to Julienne


  1. Chopping is a general term for cutting food into smaller pieces. Dicing, on the other hand, refers to cutting food into small, uniform cubes.
  2. Mincing refers to cutting your food very finely.
  3. "Julienne" vegetables have been cut into uniform thin sticks.
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