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Cutting Vegetables on the Diagonal
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... 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.Continue to 2 of 7 below.
02 of 07
Cutting a Carrot on the Diagonal
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.Continue to 3 of 7 below.
03 of 07
Continue Cutting the Carrot
Continue cutting the carrot on the diagonal, trying as much as possible to make the pieces uniform in width.Continue to 4 of 7 below.
04 of 07
The carrot is now ready to use in a stir-fry.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Cutting a Leek on the Diagonal
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.Continue to 6 of 7 below.
06 of 07
Continue Cutting the Leek
Continue cutting the leek on the diagonal into uniform-sized pieces.Continue to 7 of 7 below.
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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.