wikiHow to Julienne

Two Parts:Prepping VegetablesCutting Julienne-Style

To julienne a vegetable means that you cut it into thin, uniform matchsticks. This technique is often used with salads, garnishes, stir fries and soups. Perfect your knife skills with plenty of careful practice.

Part 1
Prepping Vegetables

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    Wash your vegetables thoroughly. You usually julienne fresh vegetables, like carrots, zucchini, potatoes, cucumber and red peppers.
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    Drip dry your vegetables, or pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.
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    Set your vegetable on a cutting board. Cut off the ends with a chef’s knife and discard them.
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    Peel carrots or potatoes before you cut them. Thick skins on zucchini or cucumber can be cut off with a knife.

Part 2
Cutting Julienne-Style

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    Grasp your knife in your dominant hand. The index, middle and fourth fingers should wrap around the handle of the knife. The thumb should rest on the side of the blade, well above the sharp edge.
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    Hold the vegetable in your other hand.
    • Optional: Use a claw grip to protect your fingers from the knife. Place your fingernails on top of the vegetable, with your knuckles in front of your nails.
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    Cut the vegetable into two-inch (5-cm) sections. This is a standard length for julienned vegetables, but you can cut them to almost any length.
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    Trim the edges of your vegetable lengthwise to make a flat surface. Repeat on three sides, so that you have a four-sided block, instead of a rounded vegetable. Your vegetable will no longer roll on your cutting board.[1]
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    Slice lengthwise down the vegetable. Work from one end of the block to the other. Focus on slicing every one-eighth to one-sixteenth inch (0.3 to 0.15 cm) for a traditional julienne cut.[2]
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    Stack your slices. Repeat slicing lengthwise every one-eighth to one-sixteenth of an inch. You will have thin matchsticks.
    • Repeat with your remaining two-inch sections.


  • For a shortcut, use a mandolin slicer to make your first lengthwise cuts. Then, stack them on top of each other to slice into matchsticks. Most mandolins have a setting where you can choose the thickness of your slice for even more uniformity.
  • Julienne cutting is also sometimes referred to as matchstick, French, allumette and bayonet cutting.[3]

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh vegetables
  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Water
  • Towel
  • Peeler
  • Mandolin slicer (optional)

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