strange seeming knife technique


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
In the video below when she chops onion and such, she seems to use the heel of the blade as the offset from the root end and thereby keeps the onion together for the crosscuts.

Any insight or commentary on the technique?

She pulls it off very naturally.
Last edited:
Joined Mar 1, 2017
Unless my eyes are deceiving me, she's using a classic Western technique that involves the middle to back portion of the blade. Asian techniques tend to favor the middle and front of the blade. The knife looks western style, and I would bet that its a Japanese made.

If you look very closely when she finely dices the shallots and garlic, she uses the back inch or so of the knife blade to make the lateral cuts like we would otherwise do with the tip of a knife taking care not to cut completely through. She uses the center of the blade to make the horizontal cuts and finishes the dice once again using the back inch or so of the knife blade. She's incredibly efficient.

I think she's either created or was taught a variant of the Western knife techniques. Either way, her knife skills are quite extraordinary.

Thanks for sharing. :)

Joined Apr 29, 2019
interesting, but frustrating how the video editing cuts out some of the more slow-paced nitty gritty aspects of the dicing, such as the lateral cuts on the shallot before the final dice.

i prefer to see the whole hog when it comes to things of very precise detail. its the equivalent of throwing milk sugar and eggs in a pot and skipping forward to the finished creme anglaise

its a cool knife technique though. the great thing about cooking is sometimes people make the mistake of thinking something can only be done one specific way, and then they are reminded that people before them thought the same thing while doing some other technique that is now considered obsolete - there is always new ways of doing things. cookery is always innovated by new generations, philosophies and technologies.


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
No bolster. But if you have a knife with a bolster, you can do something similar. Cut an onion in half leaving the root side intact. Lay the flat side down on the cutting board. Now "chop" the onion with the bolster coming down on the side of the root but don't let it go all the way through. Then dice the onion the normal way.
Joined Dec 13, 2018
I made my own version of a Panang Curry risotto a couple weeks ago and it was delicious but I used a store bought curry paste since it's impossible to find fresh lemongrass, thai chilies, or kaffir lime where my parents live.

The knife technique is new to me but I know I'll probably start using it for garlic and other small least to try it out. Thanks for sharing.
Joined Apr 25, 2017
phatch - I found that to be very interesting and would not have seen it if you hadn't posted this. Thank you for that - I am going to give it a go to see if I like it.
Joined Nov 5, 2007
Can't really say anything about her technique that hasn't already been said. I've been wanting to do some duck breasts again, and will try her overnight salt drying technique. It's what I often do for beef steaks or 'dry brining' pork chops, have not tried it on lamb.

Joined Sep 5, 2008
That video freaked me out a bit the first time! At the very beginning, she first scores the skin of a duck magret, then to me (the first time) it appeared that she was cutting the tip of her finger into thin slices! :eek: Only after a split second I realized it was a shallot, not her finger. PPffffffew.
Joined Jul 13, 2012
A lot of Japanese knives have very little flat on the edge. It's usually the last few inches, or so with the rest being a gentle curve up to the tip so shy might be compensating for that issue. I do it myself with some knives because they are not overly flat only I tend to sweep cut more than just chop.
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