A julienne cut is a fancy sort of cut that can add appeal to almost any dish. Some recipes call for vegetables to be julienne cut specifically, but it is a technique that you can use to improve the presentation of many dishes. It also allows vegetables to cook more evenly so you end up with better tasting food as well as better looking food. Use it for stir frys, salads, desserts and more.
Julienne is not a type of vegetable, but rather a way of preparing them. They are often included in a meal that is French in origin but are also used for Asian dishes or salads. You can even julienne an apple or chocolate for that special homemade dessert. The main vegetable being sliced is usually quite hard because these types of food produce the best results. Veggies such as carrots and zucchini are easily sliced into the tiny sticks that are the finished product. If done traditionally it can be quite a task. In order to do it right and get good results, you need to have the right kind of knife and a certain amount of skill. It can take a decent amount of time to do correctly if you are slicing with a regular knife, but a specialized tool can make the task quick and simple.
What does it look like?
A julienned vegetable has four sides and basically looks like a long stick. The original fruit or vegetable is divided into rectangular slices and then chopped into stick-like pieces. These resulting “matchsticks” are usually an 1/8″ – 1/4″ thick and about two inches long. You will typically see them on a plate as a series of long, thin strips. These vegetables may lie under the main dish or next to it, depending on the chef’s preference. They can be used as garnish or as an integral part of a recipe.
HOW TO DO IT
A sharp, non-serrated knife works best. A serrated knife will saw through food.
- Clean your knife and cutting surface
- Peel fruit or vegetable as desired
- Trim away any roots or stems prior to slicing
- If the food you are cutting is round, slice it in half first and place it on the flat side to prevent rolling
- Cut the edible part of the vegetable into slices about 1/8″ – 1/4″ inch thick. Cut around or remove seeds as needed
- Take these slices and cut them again to create 1/8″ – 1/4″ thick sticks.
- If desired, trim sticks to uniform length ( about 2″ long)
CAUTION: The above method requires a sharp knife and a careful eye. If one or more of these requirements are not met, you may be in trouble. The knife must be sharp enough to cut through the vegetable without using so much force that you end up breaking the vegetable. Also, due to the small size of the final result, you must be able to work the knife close to your fingers without cutting yourself. Be careful and practice with an easier vegetable, such as a zucchini, before moving on to more difficult vegetables like a green beans or carrots.
SIMPLY GOOD METHOD:
Why use a big dangerous knife, when you could spend less time and frustration with a specialized tool. Sure they are only good at julienne cutting and a regular knife is so much more versatile, but when you take the hard part out of the job, you may find that you actually julienne vegetables when it is called for rather than decide that it is too difficult. A julienne peeler or julienne slicer can make the job a quick and easy task, so you won’t mind doing it. In just a few seconds you can do enough carrot for your salad or stir fry.
- This Swiss made gadget is perfect for small jobs or to quickly jazz up any dish. It produces thin sticks that are 2-5 inches in length. They will be uniform in width, but length will usually vary. To use this tool, simply run the peeler along your veggie to create perfect uniform strips in a flash. Light pressure is all that is required because the blade will do the bulk of the work. Jobs like shredding carrots for a salad topping are easily performed using this peeler. The super sharp blade and ergonomic design make it easy-to-use. It is dishwasher safe and requires absolutely no skill.
- This one is best used for larger jobs, or in kitchens that julienne a lot of food. The size of the stick will be about the same as with the peeler, but the length will be a bit more uniform. This one still produces a pretty thin stick, so it is perfect for stir fry or vegetable salads. This commercial quality unit cuts in both directions to make the job super quick. It is a German made gadget that is incredibly sharp and works great. It sort of looks like a mandolin slicer, but it is specialized for just the julienne cut. This device produces a thinner stick or shred. When examined closely, it will be a bit longer, thicker and more uniform than what the peeler makes, and it will do more veggies in less time. For a thicker cut, or fatter sticks you will want to go with an actual mandolin slicer.
- This is the ultimate tool for thicker julienne vegetables like for carrot sticks, celery sticks and shoestring french fries. It won’t shred as fine as the two tools above without getting extra blade inserts, but it will be the tool that produces the most traditional looking julienne cut. This will give results similar to what you could achieve with a knife, but it will allow you to do faster and easier. It comes with the ability to do a 3.5mm or 7mm thick cut, but additional blades are available to achieve 1.6mm or 10mm as well. The included blades should prepare you for any standard veggie you want to slice. The thinner extra blade will be similar to the slicer above or the peeler. Because it is more suited for high volume, things like shredding cabbage for coleslaw will be easier. The thick, 10mm extra blade insert will let you do really thick sticks, so it is perfect for preparing stuff like steak fries. This tool makes the task easy, but it can be used for more than just julienne slicing.
How does it work? – This mandolin slicer has a v-shaped blade that spans the width of the tool. The blade inserts mentioned above will add additional blades that are aligned vertically across the face of the device. As you slide food up and down, it will be cut in two directions at once. In this way it will be easy to get perfect looking sticks. They will be the exact same thickness, side to side and top to bottom, and cutting them up is as easy as sliding your vegetable up and down. Buy it to make that job easy, but continue using it for other slicing jobs like traditional slicing or dicing. It is a powerful tool that will save you time and effort, and it make it easy to have professional looking vegetables.
Discover a quicker, easier and safer way to julienne vegetables. Stop cutting with a knife, or not cutting because you only have a knife. These affordable alternatives offer a specialized method to create professional quality cuts. Improve the look and taste of your favorite dishes, and open yourself up to new dishes you never though would be possible due to the difficulty.