Learning the proper cutting technique can make all the difference when prepping food. Carrots, with their hard texture and uneven shape used to cause me anxiety when I had to cut them. That was until I learned how to julienne a carrot in a safe and efficient way from our friend, culinary instructor Lynn Novo.
Start by cutting the carrot crosswise to a manageable length of about three inches. Make thin slices lengthwise on all sides of the carrot to square it up so it lays flat on the cutting board. Cutting lengthwise again, make slices that are about 1/8" thick. Stack them and slice lengthwise about 1/8" thick to julienne. Cutting the carrot so it lays flat on the cutting board is an important step for controlled cutting and for safety.
The knife to use to julienne carrots is a sharp straight-edge prep knife. Cutco's 5" Petite Santoku knife is a good choice and so is the 7-5/8" Petite Chef. Both have sharp, hollow ground blades that will easily move through the carrot. They also feature a ergonomic handle for comfort and control while cutting.
A julienne cut is often referred to as a matchstick cut and technically is about 1/8" x 1/8".x 1/3". I don't get caught up too much into the exact size, I really just think about a matchstick and gauge my cuts on that. It is, however, important to cut them as uniform as possible for even cooking.
Use julienne carrots in salads, sautes and soups.
Watch the video to see the entire process.
How to Julienne a Carrot
- Using a 5" Petite Santoku knife, cut the carrot crossways to about 3 inches in length.
- Trim the sides by taking a small slice from each side of the carrot to square it up so it lays flat on the cutting board.
- Make slices along the carrot lengthwise, about 1/8" thick.
- Stack two or three of the slices and cut lengthwise, about 1/8" thick, to julienne.