The Julienne cut, or matchstick cut, is a way of cutting vegetables that results in long, thin strips, similar to matchsticks. This results in similarly sized pieces of food that cook evenly and quickly. The shape allows the ingredient to easily integrate into dishes such as soups or stews, and the refined shape makes a beautiful garnish or delicate salad.
How to Julienne
Generally, when julienning a vegetable, you'll first cut it vertically into slices, and then lay those slices horizontally and cut them into strips. Make sure that you're cutting slices of even size, which will ensure that the final result is correct. In professional kitchens, Julienne cut vegetables measure precisely 1/16 inch wide by 1/16 inch tall by 2 inches long (3 mm by 3 mm by 5 cm).
What Foods Should You Julienne?
Most commonly, the Julienne technique is applied to firm vegetables such as carrots, celery, and potatoes. It can also be used with other ingredients, such as meat, fruit, and even herbs like basil, but this is much less common.
A food is a good candidate for the Julienne cut if it's one solid piece and is firm enough to hold its shape. Onions, for example, cannot be easily cut into a julienne due to their multiple layers. Similarly, tomatoes are soft and lose their shape if handled too roughly.
How to Julienne Celery Root
Your meal delivery kit may ask you to Julienne celery root, but do not be afraid! This often overlooked vegetable has a mild taste and is excellent both raw and cooked.
Celery root is an excellent candidate for the Julienne cut. It's a hard, firm vegetable that keeps its shape. It works excellently as a garnish or an accent in a raw salad. The crisp white adds a beautiful color contrast to salad greens and the bright colors of other vegetables.
To start, first peel away and discard the rough, bumpy, brown outer skin of the celery root.
Then, lay the celery root on its side on a cutting board. Cut off the top and the bottom to form flat ends.
Working from right to left if you're right-handed, or left to right if you're left-handed, slice the celery root vertically into rounds that are 1/16 inch (3 mm) wide. If you can't manage that, it's okay – just do the best you can and focus on making each of your rounds the same width, even if it's not precisely 1/16 inch.
Once your celery root is sliced into even rounds, stack several similarly sized rounds on top of each other. Make vertical cuts 1/16 inch wide in the same manner as before. (If cutting through multiple rounds at once is too difficult, it's fine to cut each round individually – it'll just take a little longer.)
The result of these simple cuts is long, thin matchsticks—the Julienne cut! Remember, with the Julienne cut, precision and accuracy are important. Focus on making your cuts even rather than quick. You might even get out a ruler until you get the hang of how wide to make your cuts. And, as always, practice makes perfect.
Put Your Skills to the Test
Now that you know the in’s and outs of this cutting style, it’s time to put your skills to the test. Julienne to your heart’s content with these four meal kits!
Curry Spiced Lamb Burger
Ever thought about putting mango on your burger? New York Times Cooking has challenged the status quo of the typical burger to put this juicy lamb burger on your radar. You’ll julienne a mango to create the perfect topping that gives each and every bite a sweet and savory flavor.
Try it: Curry Spiced Lamb Burger by the New York Times Cooking
Chili Glazed Grilled Kauai Style Shrimp with Mango & Jicama Slaw
We’re all used to the same ingredients in a slaw. Chef David Olsen has recreated this popular summer side into a vibrant and flavorful meal. By julienning crunchy jicama, fresh mango, and carrots, you’ll whip up a light and refreshing bed for the chili glazed shrimp to lay upon.
Try it: Chili Glazed Grilled Kauai Style Shrimp with Mango & Jicama Slaw from Chef David Olsen
Thai Chili Shrimp Ramen
Ramen is the ultimate comfort food. In our signature Thai Chili Shrimp Ramen, you’ll julienne mini bell peppers and carrots to give your savory bowl of fluffy noodles a bit of a crunch.
Try it: Thai Chili Shrimp Ramen from Chef’d
Spicy Ahi Tuna Salad
Bell peppers can completely transform a dish. Atkins has made this restaurant-worthy dish easy to cook for any level chef. By simply tossing in some julienned red bell peppers, you can give this basic salad a kick of flavor. The flavor and crunch complement the rich flavors of the lightly seared ahi tuna.
Try it: Spicy Ahi Tuna Salad by Atkins