Japanese Cutting Techniques 野菜の切り方

Discussion
  • This tutorial (with video) will show you the unique style of Japanese Cutting Techniques for vegetables.

    Japanese Cutting Techniques | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Since I started sharing recipe tutorials on my YouTube channel, I’ve received a lot of feedback from my viewers and readers about the way I cut vegetables and many of you told me you learned a lot about different Japanese cutting techniques from watching my videos.

    So Mr. JOC and I made a tutorial video compiling basic cutting techniques that Japanese use in our daily cooking.  This tutorial does not include every single Japanese cutting technique, especially if it is only used for specific dishes such as holiday recipes.  However, we thought it’s fun to put together and share.

    Video Tutorial: Japanese Cutting Techniques 野菜の切り方

    The Japanese has specific names for Japanese Cutting Techniques. Cutting the vegetables a certain way accentuate its look, flavor, and texture.

    What’s So Unique About Japanese Cutting Techniques

    Most likely, you and I cut the tomatoes and slice cucumbers the same way.  So what’s so unique about Japanese cutting techniques?

    There are some cutting techniques that are very specific to Japanese cooking, and certain dishes tastes and looks better when the ingredients are cut a certain way.  However, you’ll notice for the most part that it’s the same way you cut.

    But what I realized is that we have a name for each cutting techniques in Japanese cooking.  It’s not the descriptive words, such as “slice into 2 inch” or “cut into small chunks roughly” or “slice diagonally and thinly”.  Each name for Japanese cutting techniques describes the cutting styles precisely.

    Basic Japanese Cutting Techniques

    Usugiri | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Usugiri (薄切り) – “Thin” Cut

    • Cucumber, ginger, onion, eggplant, garlic, negi (green onion)
    • Crisp texture
    • Good for stir fry, simmered dishes, salad, pickled dish.

    Nanamegiri | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Nanamegiri (斜め切り) – “Diagonal” Cut (Read more)

    • negi
    • Cut against grain/fiber diagonally

    Naname Usugiri | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Naname Usugiri (斜め薄切り) – “Thin Diagonal” Cut 

    • negi, celery
    • Good for salad

    Wagiri | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Wagiri (輪切り) – “Round” Cut (Read more)

    • cucumber, daikon, tomato, eggplant, carrot, lotus root
    • Thickness varies depends on recipes
    • Good for simmered dishes

    Rangiri | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Rangiri (乱切り) – “Random Shape” Cut (Read more)

    • carrot, cucumber, daikon, eggplant, lotus root
    • Cut into random shape, but the same size
    • Create more surface so it will cook faster

    Koguchigiri | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Koguchigiri (小口切り) – “Small Round” Cut (Read more)

    • negi, green onion, cucumber
    • Thickness varies depends on recipes but roughly 2-3 mm

    Kushigatagiri | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Kushigatagiri (くし形切り) – “Comb Shape” Cut (Read more)

    • cabbage, onion, tomato, lemon
    • Cut into wedges

    Mijingiri | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Mijingiri (みじん切り) – “Minced” Cut (Read more)

    • onion, carrot, ginger, garlic, negi
    • Cut into small pieces from Sengiri

    Hangetsugiri | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Hangetsugiri (半月切り) – “Half Moon” Cut (Read more)

    • cucumber, daikon, tomato, eggplant, carrot, lotus root
    • Good for soups and simmered dishes

    Ichogiri | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Ichogiri (いちょう切り) – “Gingko Leaf ” Cut (Read more)

    • daikon, carrot
    • Good for soups and simmered dishes

    Hyoshigigiri | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Hyoshigiri (拍子 木切り) – “Long Stick” Cut (Read more)

    • daikon, carrot
    • Good for stir fry and simmered dishes
    • Cut into 5 cm x 1 cm x 1 cm cubes

    Sainomegiri | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Sainomegiri (さいの目切り) – “Diced” Cut (Read more)

    • daikon, carrot, cucucmber
    • Cut into 1 cm x 1 cm x 1 cm
    • Good for soup and salad

    Hosogiri | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Hosoghiri (細切り) – “Slender” Cut

    • cucumber, gobo, potato, daikon, carrot, negi, bell pepper
    • Generally 4-5 cm x 3 mm

    Sengiri | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Sengiri (千切り) – “Thousand” Cut (Read more)

    • cabbage, ginger, daikon, carrot
    • Generally 6-7 cm x 1-2 mm

    Zakugiri | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Zakugiri (ザク切り) – “Rough Chop” Cut

    • cabbage, green vegetables, tomato, chives
    • Generally 3-4 cm width
    • Roughly chop, not in uniform way
    • Good for stir fry and hot pot

    Butsugiri | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Butsugiri (ぶつ切り) – “Chop” Cut

    • negi, cerely
    • Chop into convenient size, usually 3 cm pieces
    • Good for hot pot and simmered dishes

    Tanzakugiri | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Tanzakugiri (短冊切り) – “Strip of Paper” Cut (Read more)

    • daikon, carrot
    • Good for salad and soup

    Sasagaki | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Sasagaki (ささがき) – “Bamboo Leaf” Cut (Read more)

    • gobo, carrot
    • “Shave” like sharpening pencil with knife

    Sogigiri | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Sogigiri (そぎ切り) – “Angle Slicing” Cut (Read more)

    • mushrooms, napa cabbage
    • Works best for thick (part of) ingredient and helps to cook faster and evenly
    • Slice at a 45 degree angle

    Hana Renkon | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Hana Renkon (花レンコン) – Flower Lotus Root (Read more)

    • Lotus root
    • Cut the lotus root into flower shape

    Carrot Hanagiri | Japanese Cutting Technique | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Kazarikiri (飾り切り) – “Decorative” Cut (Carrot, Shiitake Mushroom)

    • shiitake mushroom, carrot, lotus root,
    • Flower shape on vegetables
    • Used as an accent and decoration

    Cutting Against or Along with Grain for Vegetables?

    The texture of the vegetables will be different based on the direction you cut.  If you want to leave nice crisp texture, cut the vegetables in the same direction as the grain.  If you want to make the vegetable tender, then cut across the fibers.

    If you cut parallel to the fibers/grain, the vegetable will be less wilted when being cooked.

    Japanese Cutting Techniques (Hanagiri) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Does your cuisine have a name for all the cutting techniques?  If it does, please share in the comment! 🙂

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