Feb 5
2011

How to: Julienne a Carrot (Matchstick Style)

How to: Julienne a Carrot (Matchstick Style)

(If you are here in hopes of seeing a Nutella recipe in celebration of World Nutella Day, a holiday well worth honoring, head to yesterday's post – I couldn't wait – for Chewy Nutella Oatmeal Bars.)

Julienne. No, it's not your neighbor, Julien's sultry French cousin. Rather, it's the fancy term for chopping vegetables into thin, even strips. Perhaps you refer to carrots cut in this way as matchstick carrots. Whatever you call it, julienned vegetables cook evenly and look a heck of a lot prettier than the haphazard chopping I used to do. In keeping with the theme of "easy and doable" for my weekly how-to tutorials, this post takes you through the steps of achieving perfect julienned carrots.

According to The Professional Chef, written by the team of chefs at the Culinary Institute of America (I’m inclined to think they know what they are talking about), the julienne cut ranges in size. Fine julienne measures 1/16 x 1/16 x 1 to 2 inches, julienne measures 1/8 x 1/8 x 1 to 2 inches, and batonnet refers to cuts 1/4 x 1/4 x 2 to 2 1/2 inches. That might be a little too much information for the average home cook, but the point to take away is that the thickness of the cut is balanced to insure even cooking. Now let’s take a look at how easy this is.

How to do it:

Using a 1 1/2 to 2-inch piece of peeled carrot, cut off the four sides to form a rectangle. Trim the ends to make the piece even. The leftover pieces can be used for stocks, soups, or nibbling.

Cut the carrot into equal slices, lengthwise. The size of the matchsticks will depend on how thick these slices are. If you want thin matchsticks, then be sure to cut thin slices. The same reasoning follows for thicker matchsticks, also known as a batonnet cut. The thickness may vary from 1/16 to 1/4 inch.

Julienne Carrot Collage

Stack the slices evenly, then cut through the stacks to form matchsticks. The slices should be the same thickness as the previous step so that the thickness is even all around the matchstick.

HowToJulienneCarrot3

Continue with the remaining pieces of carrot until you reach the desired amount. See, wasn’t that easy?

HowToJulienneCarrotLS

Check back next Saturday for another how-to tutorial.

Other how-to tutorials:

Chop an Onion
Hold & Cut with a Chef’s Knife: Knife Skills 101
Make Turkey Gravy
Roast a Bell Pepper

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Megan February 5, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Great tips, thanks for sharing! I honestly didn't know how to julienne a carrot properly so this is good info for me.

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2 Pegasuslegend February 5, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Great instructions! I never can cut things without cutting myself! this is perfect!

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3 Cookin' Canuck February 6, 2011 at 12:22 am

Megan – Thank you! I hope you are able to put this skill to good use.

Claudia – Keep those fingers tucked under, my friend.

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4 Kay Heritage February 6, 2011 at 1:03 am

Perfectly done! As always. :)

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5 Leanne February 6, 2011 at 1:32 am

You make it seem so easy! Time to get back on the chopping horse, i think.

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6 EatLiveRun February 6, 2011 at 2:14 am

they look so pretty and perfect! I never take the time to make my knife cuts pretty looking but you are inspiring me to do so :)

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7 Victoria February 6, 2011 at 2:41 am

Very cool! Would the same logic apply to cucumbers? I find they're slippery devils. I don't often use julienned carrots but I use matchstick cucumbers for Japanese salads and it's often a frustrating process. :)

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8 Cookin' Canuck February 6, 2011 at 3:47 am

Kay – Thank you!

Leanne – You can do it.

EatLiveRun – It doesn't take any extra time to make the knife cuts even. In fact, once you get on a roll, you'll find it's easier. Good luck!

Victoria – Yes, I have used the same methods with cucumbers. Cutting the sides so that they're flat will make the cucumbers sit more steadily on the cutting board.

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9 Monet February 6, 2011 at 5:27 am

Yes! It was easy…and such a better method than what I've been doing these past few months. My knife skills are very rusty, so I'm loving all of these cooking/cutting basics! These carrot sticks would be perfect on the top of my chicken stir-fries. Thank you for sharing, sweet friend. May your Sunday be one of peace and love.

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10 Nicole February 6, 2011 at 7:02 am

Thanks for the great tutorial. I have terrible knife skills. I feel pretty confident in the kitchen, but when it comes to knife skills I am all thumbs (that's cause I have cut the tips of all the other finger off). :)

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11 Emily February 6, 2011 at 7:45 am

I'll love to be able to julienne a carrot correctly. I agree that it does make a dish looks better when you do so. Thanks for the tip and it helps to have a step-by-step photo instructions. :)

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12 warmvanillasugar February 6, 2011 at 12:38 pm

I've only ever seen instructions for this on TV, and it's always too fast to follow. Thanks for the hints!! I love this new section. Now my onions and carrots can be beautiful :)

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13 Cookin' Canuck February 6, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Monet – Yes, preparing carrots in this way works very well for all types of Asian dishes.

Nicole – Ouch! Tuck in those fingers.

Emily, Warmvanilla – Thank you!

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14 Drick February 6, 2011 at 5:24 pm

nice pics and great instructions – did not know the term batonnet as used here…

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15 marshowl February 6, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Thank you so much for the weekly lessons. These tips on knife skills are greatly appreciated. This method is so much easier than the way I usually Julienne a carrot. Thanks again

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16 Belinda @zomppa February 6, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Great tutorial! Thanks. I'm getting my new knife soon so I'll have to learn to do these better!

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17 marla February 7, 2011 at 12:21 am

Thanks for another fabulous tutorial! You are really teaching me a lot & I am grateful for that.

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18 Torviewtoronto February 7, 2011 at 12:52 am

lovely pictures and tutorial

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19 sara @ CaffeIna February 7, 2011 at 2:37 am

Once again, thanks for the how-to. I feel my cutting skills are improving these days :)

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20 Lizzy February 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Great info! I never have cut all the sides off to start…what a wonderful idea!! THANKS.

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21 Jenny February 7, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Great tutorial Dara!!

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22 ravienomnoms February 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Thanks for the great tips!

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23 Maria February 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Great tips Dara!

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24 Paula February 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm

oh, thank you for this tutorial! looks awesome!

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25 Sprinkled with Flour February 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Thanks for the great tip! My current method of juliening (is that a word?), involves a very dull julien blade on my mandolin, and frequent near maiming of my fingers. This method seems much safer:)

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26 www.kevinandamanda.com February 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Great tutorial!

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27 Tracy February 7, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Great information that I will definitely be putting to use in my kitchen!

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28 Eliana February 12, 2011 at 2:22 am

Look at those perfect cuts! Thanks so much for sharing.

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29 Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker February 14, 2011 at 11:56 pm

This is an awesome tutorial! I will definitely be referring to it!

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