11/04/2011 11:16 am ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

How To Slice An Onion

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 show you how to tackle essential cooking techniques.

Watch this video to learn how to slice an onion into uniform strips.

Video Transcript

I'm Chef Brannon Soileau from the Culinary Institute of America, and I'm going to show you this kitchen basic: how to slice an onion.

We're going to slice this onion in half and make it stable. Then we'll cut a little bit of that end off, so we can peel it.

I'm going to take the core out, and I'm going to use what's known as a V cut to take it out. So I'm going to have a small V at the tip of that root, at an angle into the center of the onion down, and then I'm going to do the same on the opposite side down. Now we go back and I'm just going to remove that core.

It's important that you don't try to cut the onion freehand like this. It's not going to work. You have to use these curled fingers here as a guide. I make my first cut; I look over the side of the knife and I see the actual thickness that I have cut. So that's my model right there. My next cut in, I want to mimic that one. I move the knife back against my finger and I slice again to model that one, so that I have uniform slices all the way through the onion.

When you get down to the end of the onion where it is unstable -- this is a very good tip -- take your sliced product, move it away, and allow the unstable piece to fall, which makes it stable again. So I go again and I roll through with my knife.

What we'll end up with, hopefully, is perfectly sliced onions. They aren't clinging together in clusters, you see; they are uniform in shape, which will affect my final product in the recipe I want to use them in.