A diced vegetable is cut into small cubes. It's easy to dice quickly and evenly once you have the knack. Just think "slices, sticks, and cubes."
Tips for Dicing Vegetables:
- A "small dice" is generally considered to be a 1/4-inch cube, a "medium dice" is about 1/2-inch, and a large dice is between 3/4 and 1 inch.
- Save any scraps from cutting for vegetable stock or use in other recipes.
- The best, cleanest dice is made with a sharp knife. The sharper the better.
- This technique will vary for specific vegetables, but you will almost always be aiming to get the vegetable into strips, which you can then easily cut into cubes.
- Vegetables made up of flowers, such as broccoli and cauliflower, are not typically diced, but broken into "flowerets."
How to Dice Vegetables:
- Clean your cutting board and knife.
- Peel the skin from the vegetable, if necessary, and discard it.
- For round vegetables like carrots and potatoes, cut in half lengthwise and lay cut-side down on the cutting board. This will keep the vegetable from rolling.
- Cut the vegetable lengthwise into even slices, then stack the slices and cut them into long sticks. (Long vegetables like celery and leeks need only be sliced into sticks.
- Gather the sticks and cut them crosswise into cubes. Make sure to get the cubes as even as you can.
- To dice a tomato, cut it in quarters vertically, through the stem. It is not necessary to cut the stem out just yet.
- Cut away the inner pulpy part of each tomato quarter, cutting away the stem with it. Discard it or save for another use.
- Slice the remaining outer flesh into thin strips, then cut the strips crosswise into a dice.
- To dice cucumber, peel the skin with a vegetable peeler and slice the cucumber in half lengthwise.
- Using a teaspoon, scrape the seeds and pulpy interior from each half.
- Slice into thin strips and then cut crosswise to dice.