When it comes to chopping onions, it can be quite a chore. Belonging to the allium family, onions typically do not have an aroma until they are cut into (if they are fresh). When you do cut them, they can be fairly potent – the sulfuric compounds in the onion cause tears to form once sliced. The more you chop, the more tearing compounds are released.
As you can imagine, our in-house Recipe Developer does her fair share of chopping onions while developing recipes for our ever expanding product line. Here are her tips for chopping onions like a pro:
- Start with a refrigerated onion.
- Cut the top, or stem end of the onion off (not the root end).
- Cut the onion in half from the stem end to the root end. Peel the outer skin of the onion off.
- Lay the onion, flat side down, on a clean work surface. Without cutting all the way through the root end, make several cuts through the onion horizontally.
- Make several cuts perpendicular to the work surface from the root end to the stem end.
- Turn the onion 90 degrees and make several cuts across the onion, again perpendicular to the work surface.
- The size of the dice will depend on how close your cuts are to each other. Cuts about 1/4-inch apart will give you a 1/4-inch dice. Make your cuts 1/2-inch apart you will end up with a 1/2-inch dice.
- When shopping for onions, look for onions that are firm and do not have scars or blemishes. A fresh onion should have little or no scent before it is cut.
- Onions should be stored in a cool, dry, dark place. Once cut store onions in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Now stop that crying and get chopping!