Cutting Techniques
Submitted by: Jezebel Jen

To crush ginger or garlic, place it near the edge of the cutting board, lay the knife blade flat over it with the blade facing away from you, and with the heel of your free hand, give the side of the blade a good whack, being careful to avoid the edge of the blade.

Line sticks up perpendicular to the blade, and slice straight down across them, creating cubes.

Julienne and Shredding:
Stack a few slices, and use the slicing technique, cutting straight down through the stack to create sticks. For matchstick julienne, start with 1/8-inch slices, and cut them into 1/8-inch sticks. To shred food into fine slivers, begin by cutting paper-thin slices, then cut across them in the same way to create thin strip.

Start by cutting the ingredient into thin strips, then dice the strips. Hold the knife handle in one hand and, with the other, hold down the tip of the blunt edge of the blade. Using the tip as a pivot, raise and lower the blade in a chopping motion, moving it from side to side to mince everything evenly. Scoop up minced ingredients occasionally, flip them over, and keep chopping to ensure even mincing.

Parallel Cutting:
Used to cut broad, thin slices of meat or vegetables. Lay the food close to the edge of the board with the fingers of your free hand flat on top of it. Angle the Chinese chef's knife so that it's almost parallel to the board, slanting slightly downward. Move it slowly and carefully back and forth to slice the food, paying close attention to avoid cutting your fingers.

This technique is used for long vegetables, like carrots or zucchini. It makes attractive chunks and exposes more of the surface area of the vegetable. Hold the blade perpendicular to the board and cut straight down on the diagonal. Then roll the vegetable a quarter-turn, and cut straight down again at the same diagonal angle. Continue rolling and cutting in this way all along the length of the vegetable.

Holding the food and the Chinese chef knife firmly, cut straight down, using the knuckles of your free hand as a guide.

Use the blunt edge of the Chinese chef's knife to tenderize meat by pounding it in a crisscross pattern. It's even more fun to get out your aggressions by turning the blade on its side and slapping the surface of the meat.

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