Julienned vegetables are used in all kinds of cooking. Also referred to as the allumette (or matchstick) when used on potatoes, the julienne measures approximately 1⁄8 by 1⁄8 by 1–2 inches (0.3 cm × 0.3 cm × 3 cm – 5 cm). In Japanese cuisine, it's the closest thing to the 細切り hosogiri cut, in which the width varies between 0.3 cm and 0.5 cm.
Although it may be easy for experienced chefs, for those of us who only occasionally cut their vegetables into thin strips by hand (or have never tried it at all), it can prove to be a challenge. Sometimes, the vegetables slip and scatter, making it difficult to cut them into the desired shape.
An easy way to julienne carrots
Japanese chef and Twitter user 麦ライス Mugi Raisu (@HG7654321) posted an easy and fool-proof way of julienning carrots, which became somewhat of a hot topic.
Note: This method assumes you are right-handed, but simply reverse the left and right indications in the instructions below if you are left-handed.
First of all, after peeling your carrot, hold it vertically with its base on the chopping board and cut a slice (around 1/4th of the diameter) from the top to create a flat surface that will allow you to keep the carrot stable when you lay it horizontally.
Cut the carrot into two or three pieces to create the appropriate lengths: 3 to 5 cm for a julienne cut, 4 to 5 cm for the hosogiri cut.
Holding one of these cuts with your left hand, make 0.3 cm slices working your way from right to left.
Line up these slices as you see in the photo below.
Then, press down on the carrots with your hand to release the air between the gaps. By making the gaps between the carrot slices snug, they are less likely to slip out of place while being sliced.
Now, all you have to do is slice the carrots evenly into 0.3 cm strips as you work from the right side.
Mugi Raisu says that you can easily cut carrots into thin slices without using any additional tools, just by following this technique.
The post elicited comments such as, "Wait, so you don't need to create vertical stacks of slices? That's great!" and "I appreciate the explanation with pictures!"
Julienned carrots can be used in various recipes. In Japan, they're used in everything from salads to stir-fries.
Depending on the dish, this lifehack can be applied to cucumbers, daikon radish, and other vegetables as well.
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