On Chopping an Onion

I love onions. They add a delicious flavor to just about any dish. Unfortunately, there is the trouble of chopping them… the tears (caused by a enzyme in the onion) are quite annoying. There are specific onion choppers. But, I doubt if they’re worth their space or the trouble cleaning them. Anything in my kitchen has to work hard to earn it’s keep. But, there are ways of getting around the tears. Chopping the onion correctly. I learned this from the TV show Good Eats, and it has been an incredible blessing.

The root end of an  onion is stock full of the tear-jerking enzymes. The rest of the onion has it too but not nearly as much as the root end. The secret to crying less is to leave the root end intact as much as possible. This will drastically reduce the tears. This is a method that is not only quite controlled (no crazy hacking action), but easy.

I am using a Pampered Chef’s Chef Knife. These things are AMAZING. They are comfortable and easy to use. The knives do the work for you, meaning you guide the knife, not shove it. Something your shoulders and fingers will love.


1) Cut from the root to tail end.

2) chop off the tail of one side.
3) peel the half. 
4) Then you will chop off the roots and skin as close to the onion without fully taking off the root end. This will get little annoyances out of the way, but NOT set off the tear gas bomb. 
Now comes the fun part! Place your knife on the far side of the onion, close to the board. 
Using your knuckles to guide you…
… draw the knife through the onion. The tip of the knife should just barely miss the root.
Continue doing so across the onion. 
Then all left to do is just rotate the onion and cut through starting at the tail end. Once again use your knuckles to guide you, but you can’t really take a picture with two hands busy, so I am not pictured doing so.
When you get close to the root end turn so the root is up and finish cutting.
Few tears and no hacking. Just controlled cuts.
If you had a cup of this you could mix with 1/2 cup each chopped celery and carrots. This would be mirepoix. It is a delicious trinity. A great base for almost any soup or sauce.
Happy Chopping!

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