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The best way to chop an onion (and reduce tears)

Don't pay triple the price for 'tearless' onions - here's a quick and easy way to chop that keeps tears to a minimum

An onion has a root (the hairy bit at the bottom) and a tip (the pointy bit at the top). You want to keep the root on as it helps hold the onion together when chopping. You can dice it (chop it into squareish pieces) or cut it into wedges; just follow these simple steps.

  1. Place the onion on a chopping board and then, using a sharp knife, cut off the tip.
  2. Next, place the onion cut-side down, and cut it in half through the middle of the root.
  3. Peel back the skin from each half, and throw it away. Then clear your chopping board of any bits of skin or trimmings (so they won’t get mixed in with your chopped up pieces).
  4. Place both halves cut side down, to limit the impact of the fumes
  5. Now, working with one half at a time, cut in straight slices, towards the root, but not through the root. Aim to leave a baby finger width gap between the root of the onion and the tip/end of the knife.
  6. To dice into small pieces, cut around 15 to 18 slices. For bigger pieces, aim for five or six thicker ones.
  7. Then turn the onion 90 degrees and cut across it, again making lots of thin slices for small pieces, and thicker slices for bigger ones.
  8. Cover the chopped half with kitchen paper, to keep the fumes in, while you repeat the process with the remaining half onion.

If you want to cut the onion into wedges, rather than to dice it, follow the above up to step 5, cutting thick slices. Then, instead of step 6, just cut away the root, and your wedges will fall out.

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