Here are the steps to take when you want to know how to julienne a carrot.
To “julienne” (JOO-LEE-ENN) means to cut into thin strips. You may be familiar with cans of “french cut” green beans—they have been cut into julienne, or “julienned.” Notice how they are thinner than “whole cut.”
What is julienned carrots?
Julienned carrots are also called matchstick carrots, used in recipes such as this pretty Julienne Carrot Salad from NYT, or as a way to get more plants and fiber into your diet with this recipe for Glazed Thyme Julienne Carrots. Julienne cuts are generally smaller in length and width than, say, carrot sticks, but are sometimes terms used interchangeably in kitchens.
How to julienne a carrot into small strips
Prepare your area with a clean cutting board and sharp knife. A lightweight, long-blade knife is ideal for cutting julienne carrots. Here Renee’ is using a Wusthof Carving knife.
Step 1: Wash, pat dry, and peel only the number of carrots you will need for your recipe.
Step 2: Trim the top and bottom ends from the carrots.
Step 3: Cut your carrots across the width. Consider how long you want your julienne cuts to be: A carrot cut in half will have long julienne strips. Cut into thirds and you get a fairly traditional length used in recipes. Cut into fourths, and each section will be about two inches long. Remember, too, the smaller the chunk, the faster that carrots will cook, so plan accordingly. If you are just practicing the julienne cut, just cut off one three-inch end.
Step 4: Firmly grasp the cut end of the carrot and with the knife, keeping fingers clear of the sharp edge, then cut slowly lengthwise to split the carrot into two. Lay the flat side of the remaining chunk down, and slice again slowly. You should now have three pieces of carrot from this one chunk.
Step 5: A stable carrot makes for a cleaner, safer cut, so when possible, turn carrot pieces so the flat side is always against the cutting board. Turn, cut, turn, cut, and so on. The trick to a good julienne cut is to take it slowly if you are new with knife skills.
Use cut carrots in your recipe right away or store in fresh water in the refrigerator for up to give days. Pat dry when you are ready to use in a recipe.