Kitchen Secrets: How to Chop Soft Herbs Like a Pro

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July 12, 2014

Not everyone knows how to handle herbs. What’s the best way to cut them? How do I finely chop parsely? Can I use the whole thing or just the leaves? These are common questions, so you’re not alone. Dan Gilmore, executive chef at Seattle’s historic Sorrento Hotel, shows us just how simple it is to handle soft herbs like parsley, cilantro, mint, basil and more (stay tuned for handling hard herbs like rosemary). And, don’t throw those stems away! They’re excellent for flavoring stocks, soups and stews.

Watch the short how-to video below and be sure to subscribe to Foodista’s Kitchen Secrets for more how-to tips and tricks. Click here to watch how to chop hard herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and oregano, like a pro!

Video Transcription

This is Dan Gilmore, executive chef at the Sorrento Hotel in Seattle, Washington. Today I’m going to show you how to work with soft herbs, in this case we’re using Italian flat leaf parsley as a demonstration.

First thing you want to do is just very quickly pull the leaves off. The stems are completely edible, they can just be a bit fibrous. You can use them to season stocks, soups…there’s no reason to throw them away.

Now at this point we’ll actually do parsley salad sometimes, so at this point you can use it as a lettuce.

You just want to fold the herbs into a bunch, bring your knife in and tuck it in close to your fingers. And if you’re looking for a rough chop, it’s literally once through with the knife. At that point, on top of meat the larger pieces are fine. If you need it a little bit finer, fold the herbs up a bit more, run through one more time with the knife.

And that’s pretty much as fine as you need to get with an herb.


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