11/02/2011 10:57 am ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

How To Chiffonade Cut

For 60 years, The Culinary Institute of America has been setting the standard for excellence in professional culinary education. In this video series, experienced Chefs and educators share their tips on how to best tackle the most basic of cooking processes.

Watch this video to learn who to cut herbs and leafy greens into thin, ribbon-like strips.

Video Transcript

Chiffonade Cut

I'm Chef Eve Felder from the Culinary Institute of America, and I'm going to show you the kitchen basic, chiffonade.

Chiffonade is a ribbon cut, and it is used primarily with herbs.

We're going to start with basil. You're going to take your basil, and make sure you don't have any stems, so pluck it off the stem, and gently put it in a loose pile. As you can note basil is very, very tender; if you roll it tightly or aggressively cut it, it mashes, oxidizes, turns a terrible taste, and also releases moisture and you can't control it. So I'm going to show you how to do this.

Put the basil leaves in a gentle pile. We're going to roll our fingers to guide our cut. Your thumb goes underneath the roll of fingers; then we take our knife and have our middle finger up against the side of the knife. We're going to gently rock our knife back and forth to do a ribbon cut.

Right now I'm doing a rather a thick cut; I'll show you the thin as well. That's thick - it's a deliberate cut. And here we go with a finer chiffonade, which can be used in the exact same way. Please note my fingers; I'm using my index finger as my guiding finger and now we've got a finer chiffonade: two different cuts.