How To Chiffonade Step-By-Step Guide
What is Chiffonade?
Chiffonade is a cutting or knife technique that employs a special technique to cut or slice leafy vegetables.
This culinary technique is usually used to cut these vegetables to present an attractive appearance to the vegetables.
It's also a great technique that can be used to easily chop these kinds of vegetables that usually like to "move around" quite a bit while you're trying to chop them.
Veggies cut by the chiffonade technique can be used many different ways.
How To Do Chiffonade
The technique is really quite simple. The idea is that you want to have the end result come out in fabric-like strips. Some chefs call these rag strips.
-What you need for chiffonade:
- Leafy vegetable or herb
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
-Chiffonade cutting technique:
- Wash vegetable or herb carefully.
- Spin dry thoroughly in salad spinner.
- Let air dry for a few minutes on paper towels.
- Place several leaves of an herb such as basil layered or stacked onto the cutting board. If using a large leaf such as a cabbage leaf, just do one leaf at a time.
- Roll the leaves (or leaf) pretty tightly into a tube.
- Hold firmly with one hand and begin slicing through your tube with the other hand with your knife.
- Cut the strips as wide or as narrow as you'd like.
- They will uncurl naturally after cutting.
- Fluff gently and put into bowl for use or leave on cutting board.
- They will begin to wilt after a short period of time or change color a bit, so best to do your chiffonade (if for presentation) right before adding to your dish or recipe.
Watch my short video below for more on how to do this simple cutting technique.
Step 1: Wash and dry fresh basil leaves.
Step 2: Stack the basil leaves in a nice lined up manner.
Step 3: Turn them over as a stack to get ready to roll them.
Step 4: Roll into a tight "cigar" for cutting. Hold onto it because it will unravel~
Step 5: Cut across the roll/cigar with a sharp knife into short, thin slices--don't cut lengthwise but across the roll like you were cutting cookie slices.
Step 6: Continue cutting through your roll until you've cut it all into thin slices. Fluff up and use where called for in recipes. Remember that this can be done with all kinds of other leafy vegetables besides basil!
Uses for Chiffonade Vegetables or Herbs
There are many uses for your chiffonade cut ingredients but here are just a few:
- Add your strips of veggies to soup
- Use cabbage chiffonade for coleslaw
- This is a great way to do basil for recipes such as pomodoro
- Use spinach or other chiffonade for garnish
- Any kind of mint can be done in chiffonade technique - smells wonderful and makes a beautiful presentation
- Use cabbage, chard, kale or spinach chiffonade for adding to salads
How To Make a Basil Chiffonade
Best Herbs and Vegetables for Chiffonade
- All types of sage with large leaves
- All types of basil with large leaves
- All types of mint with large leaves
- Green cabbage
- Purple cabbage
- Red leaf lettuce
- Romaine lettuce
- Iceberg lettuce
- Any varieties of lettuce with large leaves
- Variety forms of cabbage with large leaves such as Asian varieties
- Spinach, regular and baby leaf
- Beet greens
- Any other leafy vegetable or herb with medium to large size leaves
Remember that to chiffonade, the herb or vegetable has to be able to be rolled up and cut through the "sausage" or roll.
Watch the short video on how to chiffonade kale below.
Herbs that Don't Work Well for Chiffonade
These herbs don't work well because they are very tiny in terms of their leaves. Even with pieces of stems and leaves, they will not roll easily which is what you need them to do to be useful with this cutting technique.
How to Make a Kale Chiffonade
Try basil chiffonade as a garnish for a healthier version of Chicken Parmesan.