TOP AND TAILING ONION
Before you peel an onion, you need to ‘top and tail’ it. This means that you use a knife to cut a little bit off the top where the leaves grow from and then a little bit off the bottom where the roots come from.
CUT AN ONION IN HALF
An easy way to peel an onion is to top and tail it, then cut it in half from top to bottom. The outer layers of skin can then be pulled off easily.
PEELING AN ONION
To peel an onion, start by topping and tailing it first. Then, using a small paring knife, grab the papery skin between the tip of the knife and your thumb to peel the skin away. Ask an adult to show you how first.
CUTTING ONION RINGS
If the recipe asks for onion rings, keep the onion whole and use a knife to slice the onion from one end to the other. The rings will separate from each other ofter you have sliced them.
The easiest way to slice an onion is to cut it in half first. Then, put the cut side down on a cutting board. Use one hand to hold the onion and the other to cut it into thin slices.
To chop onion, cut it in half first then put a piece, cut side down, on the board. Hold the onion with one hand and use the knife to cut the onion into slices from top to the tail. Then, still holding the onion, cut the onion the opposite way to make small pieces. Ask an adult to show you how.
FINELY CHOPPED ONION
Finely chopped onion means that it is cut into very tiny pieces. The easiest way to do this is by using a small food processor. Peel and cut the onions into chunks before putting it in. Blend until the pieces of onion are the size that you need.
CHOPPING SPRING ONIONS
Spring onions have white stems which are firm and green leaves which are soft. Both need different cooking times so keep them separate after they have been cut. To cut, hold several spring onions together on the board, trim off the tails then start to slice the stems to the required width.
HOW TO STOP CRYING
As you cut onions the chemicals are released as gases that react with the water in your eyes, making you cry. There are lots of myths about what will stop the eyes crying but the best ways are to wear ‘onion goggles’, refrigerating the onions first or chop them under water (that last one’s not so easy!). Some people believe that if you hold water in your mouth it will help to dilute the gases when they float into your mouth and eyes. Tell us your best trick!