A Trick for Cooking Onions

I learned something about an onion this week.  It wasn’t life changing but it took me 40 years to learn and it probably changed the way I’ll cut them forever.

A Trick for Cooking Onions Onion Cooking Tip

I used to cut onions any way I felt.  I’d make rings, strips or random bits.

When you cut onions lengthwise (as opposed to in ‘rings’), they are more likely to stay together during cooking.

This is something I casually observed but didn’t think consciously of when eating anything stir fried in many Chinese restaurants (who almost always cut strips).

The secondary benefit?  Each piece remains approximately the same size.

Am I the last one to find this out?  :)


  1. They are also sweeter when cut in that direction. The less the cell membrane is disrupted, the sweeter the onion.

    • Very cool to know Cat – just wish I knew that when my father made me less than popular with onion and cheese sandwiches at school every spring. :)

  2. hahaha no not the last :)) I taught this to the chef i was working under last summer, I only found out a couple years ago … watching a random cooking show, was a tid bit of knowledge that happened to stick :)

  3. i don’t understand, this is only when you want them to stay together while cooking, right?

    • Hi Kate!

      Rings will fall apart into smaller bits of onion if cooked the same length of time as ‘vertical’ strips; i.e. if you want to keep the onions in the shape you cut them, they are more likely to stay the way you cut them if in strips (so yes, while cooking).

      Of course if raw or if cooked for a short duration (like onion rings), they will stay the shape you cut them either way. :)

      Does that help? j

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