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Test Kitchen Tip

CUTTING ONIONS Chop, dice, and mince—what they are and how they differ can be confusing. Here’s a quick guide to help you.

For chopped food, think of gambling dice, roughly 5/8-inch cubes. It’s a good cut to use when making dishes that cook awhile, like stews, soups, and stocks. When dicing, keep the size of a pencil eraser in mind. You want cubes 1/4- to 3/8-inch on a side. If an ingredient is to be sautéed for short periods of time or eaten raw, as in salsa, then dice it.

Mincing is just cutting food into tiny bits. When you mince garlic or shallots, the small pieces spread throughout a dish, permeating it with flavor. To mince, first roughly chop or dice the food, then rock your knife back and forth over it until it’s small.

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