The carrot is the great vegetal shape-shifter, from diaphanous ribbons in a light carrot salad to sturdy matchsticks in a vinegared Japanese Daikon salad to tiny dice for a sofrito. And yet, a long, thin cone doesn’t offer much surface area to work with—at first glance. Milk Street’s knife geek (and creative director for recipes and products) Matt Card demos simple cutting techniques to tame this unwieldy shape into uniform planks, matchsticks, dice, coins, bias cuts, roll cuts, ribbons and julienne strips.

How to keep the carrot from rolling and protect your fingers

  1. After trimming off the end and tip, cut the carrot in half.
  2. Slice a thin length of carrot off the side- this is called a “cheater bar.”
  3. Flip the carrot over on the now-flat side for stable cutting. Hold the carrot with the claw grip, forming your hand into a claw shape in order to protect your fingertips.

How to cut a carrot into planks

  1. After following the steps above, hold the carrot with the claw grip, and slice lengthwise.
  2. When you run out of room, pinch the sides of the carrot and slice the last few planks lengthwise.

How to cut a carrot into matchsticks and dice

  1. Cut the planks lengthwise for matchsticks.
  2. For dice, turn the matchsticks horizontally, and chop.

How to cut a carrot into coins?

  1. Cut the cheater bar for stability
  2. Roll the carrot onto the flat side, and chop perpendicular to the carrot

How to cut a carrot on a bias

  1. After trimming your carrot’s top and bottom, and cutting a cheater bar, cut the carrot in half.
  2. Angle the carrot at a 45-degree angle.
  3. Cut at a 90-degree angle, inching the carrot towards your knife as you cut.

How to roll cut a carrot

  1. Cut the tip of the carrot at a 45-degree angle.
  2. Roll the carrot a quarter turn.
  3. Cut again at a 45-degree angle, and repeat.

How to shave and julienne a carrot

  1. Hold the carrot sideways in your palm, with wrist angled up out of the peeler’s path.
  2. Hold the peeler with your arm angled away from your carrot.
  3. For shaved carrots, use a Y-style peeler; for julienned carrots, use a Y-style, serrated julienne peeler.

For more knife knowledge, find out whether your cutting board is killing your knives, learn how to dice an onion like a pro (game-changing), and how to break down a pineapple.

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