How to Slice Vegetables With a Santoku Knife
Many people who cook at home end up using a paring knife or steak knife to slice and dice vegetables. These knives are generally too small and not well balanced enough to make clean and even slices. The Santoku knife has a large, straight blade, and the handle is even with the top of the blade to leave plenty of room for the fingers underneath. The weight and balance of the knife work with you to make cutting easier. If you slice, chop and mince vegetables with a Santoku knife, you'll get perfect results, fast.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You'll Need:
* Cutting board Santoku knife
Place a cutting board on a sturdy, level surface. Wash the vegetables before cutting.
Hold the vegetable with one hand, and grip the handle of the Santoku knife firmly with the other. Place your index finger on top of the blade for extra control. Always start with the point of the knife touching the board. Line the blade up where you want it to slice the vegetable.
Bring the knife blade down towards the board, slicing through the vegetable. At the same time, gradually drag the knife towards you.
Continue the dual motion until the front half of the blade is touching the board. Then drag the point through the vegetable to release the slice, cutting through any outer skin.
Use your other hand for pressure to slice through tougher vegetables like onions. Keep your thumb on the onion, and rest the other fingers flat on top of the knife. Never curl the fingers or get them in the way of the blade.
Slice downward toward the board, using your fingers to push on the blade.
Place the palm of your hand against the top of the blade for chopping and mincing. Hold you fingers straight to keep them out of the way. Start with the point down, and the blade just slightly raised over the slices. Bring the knife down and push with your palm at the same time. Your palm exerts pressure and helps guide the knife. Your extended fingers also serve as a barrier to any flying pieces that jump away from the blade.
Bring the entire blade down flat to the cutting board, cutting through the slices. Lift the blade slightly, keeping the point on the board as you shift to the left or right. Bring the blade down again and repeat. Work in a continuous arc over the vegetables, never lifting the point. When you have completed an arc, push the chopped pieces into a mound, shift the angle of the knife, and start again. Once you get used to the Santoku knife, you'll be able to chop and mince as quickly as the pros you see on TV.