Japanese Cutting Techniques

In Japanese cuisine, the way in which ingredients are cut or sliced depends on a variety of factors; for example, the final desired doneness and flavor intensity of a particular food, its texture, the cooking method are just a few considerations that have led to Japan's unique cutting techniques. Two of these are rangiri and katsuramuki.
Rangiri is a way of cutting cylindrical vegetables such as carrots or cucumbers, and consists of random, diagonal cuts made while rotating the vegetable one-quarter turn between cuts. The large, evenly cut surfaces allow for absorption of flavor, making this method particularly suitable when simmering.
Katsuramuki is a challenging technique used primarily by chefs to peel daikon. While rotating the vegetable, it is cut into a long, continuous, paper-thin sheet. The garnish found on sashimi is made of julienned katsuramuki daikon.

Simmered chikuzen-ni

Simmered chikuzen-ni

  1. Rangiri
    When cutting carrots, rotate a quarter-turn between cuts into easy-to-eat sizes. If the carrot is very thick, cut in half lengthwise before rangiri. Rotate and cut burdock, as with the carrot. (photo1, 2)
  2. Katsuramuki
    Hold and slowly rotate a peeled daikon about 10 cm long, while carefully moving the knife up and down in broad, lengthwise strokes to peel off a very thin layer. This peeling should create a continuous, smooth and nearly transparent sheet of daikon. Place thumb on the sheet of daikon over the knife blade to control thickness while cutting.