Cooking Term: What Does "Rough" Chopped Mean?

This is the cut you have probably been using when in a hurry.

IMAGE Shutterstock

Using a knife in the kitchen is one of the most basic skills you need to learn when learning to cook. Learning how to use and choose each kind of knife means the difference between using a whole potato in your stew and large diced chunks. Without one, you might not be able to prepare vegetables, meat, and even fruit properly. 

There are several vegetable cuts you might have heard or read in recipes. These are the basic vegetable cuts to know: 

  • • baton
  • • batonnet
  • • julienne
  • • dice 
  • • brunoise 

These French terms define the size and shape of the cuts that you make using your knife when preparing vegetables. A baton is a long thick strip that looks like a thick-cut French fry. A batonnet is similar to a baton but thinner. A julienne is even thinner than batonnet that it looks like a matchstick. A dice is a result of cutting a baton, batonnet, and julienne into cubes. A baton results in large cubes, batonnet medium cubes, and julienne, small dice. Even smaller than the small dice is the brunoise which is the result of cutting a fine julienne cut into very tiny cubes. 

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These potatoes are cut into batons.
Photo by Pixabay
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However, there is one vegetable cut that isn't in this list but is probably the most used in home kitchens and is commonly used in pro kitchens, too: the rough chop. The rough chop is the easiest and definitely one of the most used knife cuts you make when chopping vegetables. Even pro chefs do it! 

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What does "rough chopped" mean in cooking? 

Simply put, there is no definite shape the vegetables need to look like. It's basically making random cuts along the length or width of the vegetable and cutting it until the pieces are roughly the same size. While there is no particular shape that you're aiming for, you are still aiming for chopping the pieces into roughly the same size so these will still cook at moderately the same time. 

If you want to level up your knife skills, here are tips on how to keep your knife sharp. Plus, here's how to make the knife cuts in video form so you can watch and learn how to do them: 

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