Have you ever watched a professional chef work and wondered how they master the skill of chopping vegetables swiftly and neatly? It’s one of the most important practical elements any trainee chef will learn, to save time in a busy kitchen.  Straight from the professionals, here’s a little time saving tip to use at home, on chopping an onion efficiently. Which is a very handy thing to know,  since onions form the basis of almost every soup, stew, casserole, stockpot and sauce in the repertoire.

Firstly take your whole onion and neatly trim both ends, then peel.  Place on a chopping board and halve down the middle. Lay one half flat, with the stalk end toward your left hand if you are right handed – swap round if you’re left handed!  Hold the onion firm with your left hand – keeping fingertips out of the way! With the point of the knife facing the stalk end, make cuts down the length, evenly spaced apart, without cutting right through the stalk. Next, hold the blade of the knife horizontally , then cut from the top end of the onion into the onion layers.  Make two or three evenly spaced cuts towards the stalk end, without cutting right through. You now have an onion which should have several cuts along the length and two or three horizontal cuts, depending on size. Now hold the knife normally, then slice down through the layers, working from the top of the onion to the stalk end.  Keep your cuts close together for finely chopped onion. Slice right through down to the stalk, which you can discard when you get to the very last bit. Your onion should tumble into a pile of neatly cut neatly. Repeat with the other half of the onion. Do it enough times and you will soon become confident in your new knife skill and quicker with each onion you chop!