Learning how to cut carrots diagonally is not hard at all. Diagonal-cut carrots are a staple in many Chinese & Asian recipes. In this tutorial I’ll walk you through the details of making this cut, step by step!
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What does it mean to cut carrots diagonally?
First of all, let’s address an important question: why should you be cutting carrots diagonally anyhow? What is the point?
Cutting carrots on the diagonal helps with a lot of things.
First of all, it exposes more surface area of the carrot, which will allow it to absorb heat better, and therefore cook faster.
This makes a diagonal-cut carrot great for stir fries.
Secondly, it also makes for a pretty dish! If you’re thinking about nice presentation for a carrot dish, diagonal cuts are a great choice. They look very elegant compared to the most typcial cut, which is slicing the carrot into “coins.”
What is a diagonal cut?
Now, if we’re being technical, a diagonal cut refers to a cut where the knife is inserted at an angle, usually between 45 and 60 degrees. When cutting carrots, you can change up the angle to get the result you want. I’ll get into this more soon.
What You Need to Cut Diagonal Carrots
Before starting, there are two essential tools you need to cut carrots on a diagonal. Without these tools, it would be very hard to do.
First of all, you’ll need a chef’s knife. This is the type of knife used in 90% of cutting. Make sure your knife is nice and sharp. It will make the entire process easier (and did you know that it is much safer to cut with a sharp knife than a dull one?)
Second of all, you need a good cutting board. A wooden or plastic one should do the trick fine.
Another optional thing to use is a kitchen towel, or non-slip mat to put under your cutting board. This will aid you in focusing only on the cutting, without having to worry about the board slipping around.
How to Cut Carrots Diagonally
So, are you ready to learn how to cut diagonal carrots? Let’s get straight into the step by step tutorial. Watch the video below or keep reading for tips and photos.
Angle the carrot away from you. Pro tip: It is easier to angle the carrot than have to twist your arm weirdly to angle the knife.
How much should you angle the carrot?
It all depends on how long your want your diagonal cuts to be.
If you angle the carrot sharply, the cuts will turn out much longer. So in advance, think about how you want the presentation of your carrots to look. You can feel free to experiment with angling to see what you like best.
Below, I’ve angled my carrot at about 60 degrees. I began to slice on this angle. You can see in the second photograph how my diagonal cuts turned out.
The Difference in angle
While a technical “diagonal” cut would be between 45 and 60 degrees, you can really angle the carrot however you’d like to get the exact size you need.
Below you can see some different sizes of diagonally cut carrots. The left pile I angled more sharply, while the right I only angled a little bit. Of course, the thickness of the carrot will also determine the size of your cut. But the angle alone determines the length.
Diagonal-Cut Carrot Recipes
So if you’ve been practicing and you want to use up some diagonal cut carrots, I have some recipes for you to try!
First is the Sweet & Smoky Carrots Recipe. This uses honey and smoked paprika for a delicious side dish.
Second is the Garlic Basil Carrots. This one uses fresh herbs for another yummy snack/side!
Cutting at an Angle With Other Vegetables
The cool thing about learning this diagonal cut is that you don’t have to stop with carrots! You can make diagonal cuts on a variety of different veggies and even meats.
Think things like celery, leeks, and sausage. The technique is exactly the same! Just angle the food to your desired angle, then insert the knife and slice.
More Reading on Carrots
It is not hard to cut carrots on a diagonal, and the result is a quicker-cooking carrot that looks beautiful! So don’t wait—start practicing your diagonal cuts, and then try some carrot stir fry recipes. You will love the finished product!