How to Cut Vegetables on the Diagonal

Diagonal sliced vegetables
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  • 01 of 07

    Cutting Vegetables on the Diagonal

    Rhonda Parkinson
    Chicken in Ginger

    You may have noticed that many Chinese recipes call for vegetables to be cut "on the diagonal." Diagonal cutting is a simple Chinese cooking technique that can be used with many vegetables. Cutting vegetables on the diagonal exposes more of the vegetable's surface area to the heat. Besides making the vegetable cook more quickly, it also allows it to absorb more of the sauces and seasonings it is cooked with. This type of cut also makes the finished dish look pretty. In this photo of...MORE chicken with ginger, the thicker parts of the scallion have been cut on the diagonal.

    Following are instructions on how to cut a carrot and leek on the diagonal, but you can use this technique for several different types of vegetables.

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  • 02 of 07

    Cutting a Carrot on the Diagonal

    Diagonally Cut - Carrots
    Rhonda Parkinson

    After peeling the carrot, place on a cutting board or chopping block. Holding the carrot firmly, use a sharp knife or a cleaver to cut the food at a 60-degree angle.

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  • 03 of 07

    Continue Cutting the Carrot

    Cutting Vegetables on the Diagonal - Carrots
    Rhonda Parkinson

    Continue cutting the carrot on the diagonal, trying as much as possible to make the pieces uniform in width.

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  • 04 of 07

    Finished!

    Cutting Vegetables on the Diagonal
    Rhonda Parkinson

    The carrot is now ready to use in a stir-fry.

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  • 05 of 07

    Cutting a Leek on the Diagonal

    Cutting Leeks on the Diagonal
    Rhonda Parkinson

    First be sure to clean the leek, ridding of any dirt. Then place the leek on a cutting board or chopping block and hold firmly. Take a sharp knife or a cleaver and hold it so that you are cutting the leek at a 60-degree angle.

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  • 06 of 07

    Continue Cutting the Leek

    Cutting Leeks on the Diagonal
    Rhonda Parkinson

    Continue cutting the leek on the diagonal into uniform-sized pieces.

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  • 07 of 07

    You're Done!

    Vegetables Cut on the Diagonal
    Rhonda Parkinson

    The carrots and leeks are now ready to be cooked. Once you've gained experience in diagonal cutting, you might want to try using the roll cut technique to cut larger vegetables such as larger carrots, turnips, and zucchini. The advantage of roll cutting is that it exposes three sides of the vegetable.