Knowledge Base > Dan Marek - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Dan Marek - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

This event was on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 at 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern

Join Chef Dan Marek in his virtual office as he welcomes all of your questions. This event was created for you and we encourage you to Ask Anything – from cooking techniques to cours… Read More.



How do you stabilize round vegetables like cucumber and zucchini when you want to dice them small?

— Charles Zittin


Well, Charles, I'm glad you asked because Patrick actually has lined up a video just for your question here on how to stabilize things like cucumber and zucchini when you're cutting them. So here's a video on some knife skills on rounded vegetables, uh, like zucchini and cucumber. Patrick, I'll let you. Now let's look at long round shapes. Trying to slice a long shape evenly down the middle can be more difficult for some, so you may want to first cut it into smaller pieces, then slice off a thin piece to create a stable base. Now that it won't roll around, cut it into slices. It's a bit large to use the rolling technique. So use the up and down slicing technique cutting with the center of the blade. Keep your fingers tucked under and be sure to anchor the knife to your guide knuckle before you start each new slice. When you reach the end, pinch the ingredient to restabilize it and then slice in between like this to dice, stack the slices and cut them into strips. Don't try to stack too many at once and make sure the stack is flat, not unstable like this. Now restack them neatly. Pinch the strips together to stabilize, anchor the tip of the knife to the cutting board, then use the rolling technique to dice with your fingers tucked under. For Some ingredients you may want to keep its round shape and not level off the base. In this case, pinch the ingredient and apply a bit of downward pressure to stabilize it. Then carefully insert the knife and cut downward. Notice that if you were to slip here, your fingers are safely out of the way. You can also cut circular slices from any long round shape. Just be careful and go slowly. Use an up and down cutting motion. Hold the product firmly so it won't roll. And anchor the knife to your guide knuckle. Each time you slice. For many soft round ingredients, the slight downward pressure from your guide hand is enough to stabilize the base because the tomato is large. Use the up and down slicing technique anchoring the knife against your guide knuckle. When cutting soft round items, you'll need to use a bit of back and forth song motion to help the blade slice through to dice, stack the slices, making sure they're not too high like this, otherwise they could slide around when you cut. Now, stabilize the slices and cut into strips, then pinch the strips together and dice for harder ingredients like potatoes. Create a stable base by cutting off one side. As it's a larger shape, the up and down technique will work best. Just remember to anchor the knife against your guide knuckle between each cut for the last cut, pinch the last piece to stabilize it, and slice in between. To cut the ingredient into dice. Again, stack cut into strips and dice. Notice that for most ingredients, we are using slicing to break them down to the point where we can use the most efficient cutting technique. The rolling technique. All right, Charles. So I hope that helped out. Now that's actually taken from one of our, our classes as well. I think it's in the Forks Over Knives class, but I know it's in Pro Cook as well. But, uh, it's a wonderful, um, you know, just example and refresher on stabilizing vegetables, uh, when you're cutting them as well.
Dan Marek

Dan Marek

Director of Plant-Based Culinary & Dev