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How to Small Dice

Cubing isn’t just for math geeks anymore. Just ask your local sous-chef, who probably cubes more items in a single night than all the 10th graders in America.


  • Step 1: Wash & peel Wash and peel the vegetable, if necessary.
  • Step 2: Grasp knife Grasp the knife in your dominant hand, holding the handle close to the blade with three fingers: your middle, ring, and pinkie. Curl your forefinger around one side of the blade while holding your thumb on the opposite side.
  • Step 3: Hold vegetable With your non-knife-wielding hand, hold the vegetable firmly on the cutting board close to the area you will cut.
  • TIP: Curl your fingers so that the tips are firmly planted on the vegetable and the knuckles point outward—in the food world, this is called the 'claw grip.'
  • Step 4: Cut off ends Cut off the ends of the vegetable.
  • Step 5: Cut off sides Cut off the sides of the vegetable. It should now resemble a block with 4 long flat surfaces—this will make it easier to cut uniform pieces.
  • Step 6: Slice lengthwise For a small dice cut, you are aiming to make dice, or cubes, that are ¼ inch on every side. Begin by slicing the vegetable lengthwise into uniform slabs ¼ inch wide.
  • TIP: Keep the point of the knife on the board and use a steady rocking motion to slice—not saw—the vegetable with the full length of the blade.
  • Step 7: Stack & cut Stack the slabs on top of each other and again cut them lengthwise into 1/4' wide sticks. You now have a 'wood pile' of ¼ inch-thick sticks.
  • Step 8: Make crosscuts Line up the pile of sticks, and make ¼ inch crosscuts along their length, creating ¼ inch cubes.
  • FACT: A pair of ivory dice discovered at the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes dates to 1,500 B.C.

You Will Need

  • A chefu2019s knife
  • A cutting board
  • And a vegetable to cut

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