How to Chop an Onion — Video*
• Grip the knife correctly. Either use a pinch grip, or a modified version, as in the video. Your fingers should curl around the knife handle at a slight angle.
• In your non-knife-holding hand, use “the claw” to protect your fingertips.
• Cut into the flower end of the onion and leave the root end intact to hold the onion together.
1) Slice off the flower end of the onion.
2) Split the onion in half before peeling it. Score the skin, then peel.
3) Make about four horizontal slices into the onion half, making sure not to go all the way through. (It’s this step, specifically, which I find very hard to do with a dullish knife.)
You can apply this skill to dicing shallots. . .or anything else.4) Slice nine or ten vertical cuts while holding the onion together and keeping your fingers out of the way. (Some people rather do the vertical first, and the horizontal second. Pro: Doing the vertical first, reduces the vertical pressure on the knife when you do the horizontal. Con: But it does give you the added challenge of having to keep those vertical slices together when doing the horizontal.)
5) Make the final vertical crosscuts nice and thin. (You can apply this skill to dicing shallots or garlic or anything else.)
Remember—learning how to chop an onion with a sharp knife can make all the difference. Without a sharp blade, it can be a struggle and you run the risk of endangering your fingers when none of that’s necessary. This is what sharp kitchen knives were made for!