Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Word of the Week: Chiffonade


A chiffonade is a technique in which herbs or leafy green vegetables are stacked, rolled and cut into thin, long strips or fine ribbons to add flavour and elegance to a dish. I've seen my chef do it during my restaurant internship. I've enjoyed being a witness to how a heavily-tattooed guy could suddenly become so tender with the herbs. He did it with a sort of finesse and gentleness, transforming himself to another being different from the one clinking-clanking pots and pans. It's not an exaggeration to say he's almost like a ballerina in motion- so smooth and graceful.

Since then, I've tried to chiffonade on my own. Definitely needs more practice but I enjoy doing a copy-cat of my chef. See my chiffonade below.

Place each basil leaf on top of another.
Roll them cylindrical
Gently roll the top of your knife and in a rocking fashion, slice them into ribbons.

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