How to cut an onion

A couple of years ago I took a knife skills cooking class and while I didn’t retain everything from the class (evident by the rather large cut on my finger from cooking last night), I use this little trick all the time.

It was explained that the “root” of the onion (the hairy end) releases and an enzyme when cut that causes the irritation. So if you save that part for last, you have less crying. Grab yourself an onion and follow along.

I started with this bad boy. Someone grew this massive thing in their garden! You have the pointy top, and the root on the opposite end.

Start by cutting off the tippy top.

With the root on the bottom, cut ’em in half right through where the pointy top was and through the middle of the root.

You’ve got two halfs. Lay one with the flat side down on the cutting board with the root away from you.

Start slicing vertically from the root to the other edge. PLEASE, for the love of God, don’t hold on to the onion like I am with my fingers out just waiting to be sliced. Knife skills 101 says curl those fingers under! How embarrassing.

And do not cut into that stinking root! Just start a little below it.

After you’ve worked your way around it should look like this. Purdy. If you want to dice instead of chop, make these cuts much closer together.

Now we’re going to slice going the other way. And stop before you get to that root! The root is our enemy people. Unless you need a good cry.

A bada bing! You have a perfectly chopped up onion with no (or at least minimal) tears. Now use all that onion for my Orzo with Grilled Vegetables.


2 thoughts on “How to cut an onion

  1. I love all of your posts, but this one just might be the most near and dear to my heart. My eyes are SO sensitive to onions that I literally BAWL when I am cutting them. After awhile, I just close my eyes, with tears streaming down them, and start chopping frantically away (and my fingers are definitely not folded under while doing this so it’s actually amazing I haven’t lost a finger yet!). I am SO going to try this trick tonight when I make my butternut squash/carrot soup (which is loaded with chopped onion)!! Thank you:)!

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