Chopping veggies is pretty straightforward: grab the right knife and start slicing. Nothing to it!
However, the way you cut your food does affect the length of time it takes to cook, as well as how evenly it cooks. So the next time you need to get your vegetable from hard and crunchy to perfectly soft in mere minutes, give the oblique cut a try.
As Aïda Mollenkamp of CHOW explains in the video below, this angled cutting method ensures that every veggie piece cooks evenly by increasing the surface area that is exposed to heat. This causes the vegetable to cook more quickly as well.
The oblique cut, also known as the roll cut, is easy to master.
First, grab the oblong vegetables of your choice—carrots, eggplant, zucchini, and so on—and begin at the thinner end. Make your first slice diagonally across the vegetable.
Next, roll the vegetable 90 degrees. The angle of the cut you just made should now be flipped. Make your second cut.
Then, roll the vegetable 90° in the same direction again. Keep repeating this cut and roll pattern until you've chopped all you need.
Unfortunately, there is one drawback to the oblique cut: it doesn't do anything for foods beyond oblong vegetables. So, if you apply this angled approach on meat of any kind, fruit, or even vegetables like tomatoes, the length of time remains the same once you get cooking. The larger surface area won't make a significant, or even noticeable, difference.
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Additionally, the oblique cut isn't the ideal type of knife work for every recipe or every dish. It's best to employ this technique when you're working on a dish that requires quick cooking; The video suggests that the oblique cut is particularly helpful when you're stir-frying, which exposes vegetables to a high amount of heat for a short amount of time.
Even if this cut has a limit, it's still a valuable addition to your kitchen repertoire—and now you can impress your friends when telling them that they're enjoying "stir fry with oblique cut vegetables" at your next dinner party.