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How to dice an onion

Onions – they’re cheap, nutritious and available all year round. They feature in almost all savoury recipes. Onions are great for creating base flavour in sauces and are an essential ingredient for many staple dishes including soups, curries and the humble spag bol! However, many people struggle to prepare them, with the memories of sore, watery eyes putting them off from even attempting it.

No more tears

By following these simple steps, you can prepare your onions in minutes – and with minimal tears.

  1. Use a sharp knife. A sharp knife is essential for all food preparation, but particularly when preparing an onion. Keeping your knife sharp means you’ll quickly get through the onion, minimising the chance of stinging eyes.
  2. Start by cutting the onion in half from root to tip.
  3. Peel off the outer skin. You may also want to peel off the first layer of onion, which can sometimes be tough and difficult to cut and eat.
  4. Starting about ½cm from the root, slice lengthways down the onion half – the more cuts you make, the smaller your dice will be.
  5. Next, make two cuts from the tip towards the root.
  6. Finally, slice down from the top of the onion to the chopping board. Again, the more cuts you make, the smaller your dice will be.
  7. To make the most of the onion, when you get close to the root, tip it on its side and continue to slice downwards to cut the remaining onion from the root.

Your onion is now ready to use! Keep practising this essential food preparation skill and you’ll be creating smaller and neater dices in no time.

Did you know?

Teary eyes from cutting onions are caused by a chemical reaction to the sulphur they contain – the quicker you cut, the less time it has to irritate your eyes!

Thanks to our placement Nutritionist Shelley for creating these videos and blog posts.

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