By now, it comes to no surprise that (most) of us are spending more time at home than ever before, no thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While we have the choice of ordering food online, doing so would burden our daily expenses in the long run. Which is why home cooking has since become a common sight even for those who barely cook in the past. Here, we will talk about these 5 Useful Tips For Prepping Vegetables The Right Way.
1) Always Wash Your Vegetables First
Here’s the first and most obvious step to do before you cut any vegetables. It doesn’t matter whether you just bought the fresh produce from the wet market or supermarket. Upon prepping your vegetables, wash them under running tap water to remove the dirt, debris and bacteria. Not to forget most vegetables that you bought contain the likes of pesticides, a type of chemical sprayed by the vegetable farmer to get rid of pests such as weeds and insects. Even if you purchase organic vegetables, that doesn’t mean you should skip washing them altogether. Although they are free from pesticides, organic vegetables still grow in dirt and contamination can happen. For your safety’s sake, it’s best to wash them first before proceed with the cutting process.
2) Keep Your Cutting Board From Slipping
Wet and slippery kitchen counters can be potentially dangerous if you are not careful enough. This is especially true if you place your cutting board on top of it. Imagine while you are chopping and dicing veggies, the cutting board somehow slips. Accidents can happen. But thankfully, we can prevent this from happening by ensuring your cutting board is well-secured. The solution? Place a damp kitchen towel underneath your cutting board. Doing so would keep it from slipping and you can do all the chopping and dicing confidently without worries.
3) Always Keep Your Knife Sharp
You may own some of the best knives in the world. But none of them really matters if they are dull and blunt. Put it this way, a dull knife is basically a disaster waiting to happen since you need to put more pressure during the chopping and cutting process. This, in turn, would cause the knife from slipping as you lose your grip and possibly cut yourself.
Which is why it’s always wise to keep your knife sharp. According to MasterClass, it is highly recommended to sharpen your knife every six to 12 months, or anytime you have trouble cutting through your ingredients (e.g. vegetables). Having a sharp knife all the time means you can chop, cut or dice effortlessly.
4) Knuckle Is Your Best Friend
When comes to cutting vegetables, it’s important to see where are the placement of your fingers at. An accident may happen if your finger slips and you might hurt yourself during the cutting process.
Fortunately, you can say goodbye to the annoying finger cuts by following this simple basic technique known as the claw grip. If you regularly watch YouTube cooking channels, you will notice many professional and celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay favoured the aforementioned cutting technique. It’s safer and more effective that you no longer have to worry about injuring your fingers once you get the hang of it. Not to mention the claw grip technique gives you a clean cut all the time.
- First, shape your hand in the form of a knuckle with the tips of your fingers resting on the food (e.g. carrot, onion). Make sure your thumb is placed behind your fingers.
- Next, hold down the food using your little finger and thumb. Your other three fingers rested on top of the food in the claw-grip motion would act as a form of stability. This is to ensure you are in better control during the cutting process.
- Now, hold your knife with your other hand and start cutting through the food. Start slow if you have to and gently move your claw grip away from the knife each time you cut through the food. You should find the knife lightly brush against your knuckles, which in turn, protect your fingertips from possible injuries.
- Keep practising and in time, you will improve your veggie-cutting technique more efficiently than ever before.
5) Stabilise Your Root Vegetable During The Cutting Process
Ever find yourself in a situation where you have a tough time stabilising a root vegetable like carrot, celery or onion? It either rolls or slips even if you have already mastered the claw grip technique during the cutting process. As it turns out, stabilising isn’t just restricted to placing a damp kitchen towel underneath your cutting board. But cutting a root vegetable doesn’t have to turn into a frustrating experience. Always cut off the top and bottom of the root vegetable beforehand. This, in turn, allows you to lay the vegetable flat on your cutting board. That way it stays still and won’t roll or slip as you cut through the vegetable.