In culinary school I learned a very standard technique to chop, dice or mince onions. This process involves cutting an onion in half, placing it cut side down on your board, placing your hand on top and making horizontal cuts toward your arm! This has always felt a bit terrifying and insane to me.
The beauty of not having chef instructors watching my every move when I’m cooking at home for my family is that I can cut my onions however I want! This is the way I’ve adapted to my fear of sharp things moving speedily in the direction of my limbs while still achieving a sufficient and evenly sized cut.
How to Chop an Onion
Slice off the top (sprout end) of the onion making a flat surface.
Place the cut end flat on the board and cut the onion in half through the middle of the root.
Place one of the halves on the board with the middle cut side down and cut the root end off leaving as much of the onion as possible. At this point it’s easier to peal off the papery outside layers since they are no longer attached to the root.
Stand the half up on the cut sprout end and make 1/4 inch cuts parallel to the middle cut side straight down to the to the board.
Lay the onion down on the board being careful to keep the pieces in tact. Make 1/4 inch cuts through the root and sprout ends toward the board.
Make 1/4 inch cuts parallel to the sprout and root ends. Your final cuts will make the whole onion fall apart into a perfectly sized dice.
Repeat all of the steps with the second half of your onion. You can adapt this method for shallots and garlic as well. Give it a try and save your digits.