Photo by Unsplash
Julienne a Carrot
By Tehya Nicholas
Slice and dice like a pro with these simple steps.
In traditional French cuisine, carrots chopped into thin strips resembling matchsticks are known as julienne. If it sounds fancy, the aesthetic is even fancier: perfectly uniform, wafer-thin veggies that makes every dish look restaurant quality. These little guys often pop up in stir-fries and as garnishes in salads, making them a staple for your home cook.
Thankfully, you don’t need to be a chef to master the technique. With a little guidance, you’ll be julienning til the cows come home. Pro-tip: use a sharp knife. Anything blunt and you will butcher your humble carrot, not to mention endanger your average finger count.
+ Peel and trim
If you’re an avid vegetable peeler, start here. Removing the carrot peel is only really essential if you’re steaming as it tends to go tough, dry and extra chewy, otherwise there is minimal difference in terms of flavour and look. If you opt to keep the skin on, just make sure you give your carrot a thorough scrub to remove any dirt. Then chop the tops and narrow tail of the carrot root and discard.
+ Create smaller pieces
Cut your carrot crosswise into pieces about 5cm long. Depending on the size of your carrot and how long you want your matchsticks, you can be creative about the piece length. The idea is to make everything as similar as possible, so your juliennes are uniform.
+ Square off your carrot
To make a stable and flat surface, square off your carrot by slicing each side - about 5mm will do. You’re essentially transforming your carrot from a cylinder into a square, which will make your julienning a breeze.
+ Start slicing
Cut the carrots lengthwise into planks about 3mm in diameter. If you have a thicker carrot, you will probably yield about five planks. Stack a few of these on top of each other and slice lengthwise into strips the same diameter as before. Et viola! You have the perfect julienned carrot.
Your next challenge is the cucumber. We believe in you.