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.