Day 15: How To Chop Herbs

Herbs are my second favourite thing in cooking after salt!

They add so much flavour to meals, can be easily grown both indoors and out in your garden, and like their leafy green long distance relatives have plenty of nutritional value.

Over the next few posts I’ll be going over more back to basic techniques including how to roast the ultimate chicken and how to cook rice. At the end of it, I’ll be showing you how to make a delicious Herby Roast Chicken and Wild Rice Salad perfect for a sunny lunch outside!

When To Chop Your Herbs

If you’re prepping a meal in advance, it’s important to know which herbs can withstand chopping and which can’t.

Coriander and basil for example will wilt pretty much straight away. So if you want to keep your meals looking fresh or maybe you’re throwing a dinner party and want to prep garnishes, leave these until you’re just about to serve.

Other herbs such as parsley, thai basil, mint and chives are a little more robust.

When it comes to woody herbs, normally these would be used in cooking rather than in something like a salad because they can be a little tough to chew on so you don’t have to worry about timings.

Another helpful guide is how to keep them fresh and I’ve covered that here if you fancy it!

Chopping Your Herbs

While you get two types of herbs, leafy and woody, the technique is the same. What changes, is the shape.

First, start by practicing your knife skills.

  1. Using a sharp chef’s knife, gather your herbs ready and firmly slice your herbs moving your knife forward, then bring it back and repeat.
  2. You shouldn’t hear any sound coming from the knife and the action should be smooth, an almost circular motion.

Then you can either:

  • Chiffonade/thinly slice your herbs – gather your herbs so they’re uniform and thinly slice. You should end up with thin ribbons.
  • Finely chop – this takes practice, and you need to chop your herbs multiple times in the beginning sometimes to get it fine.
  • Roughly chop – gather your herbs and chop a few times so they manageable but still hold their shape.

Practice Makes Perfect

Like everything, it takes practice to not only get the shape and technique right but also the speed.

It’s an extremely fun journey though and one that will impress your friends at your next cook off!

Much like a cocktail master throwing bottles in the air, being able to chop is an art in itself.

Let’s Connect!

Along with the daily journal posts here, each Wednesday at 12pm BST I’ll be going live on my instagram @therebalancechef to recap on the week’s progress and show you around my kitchen. Depending on the weather you might even meet my rescue hens!

The main point of this challenge is to have fun with it, learn new skills and refresh old ones.

I want to see your creations so don’t forget to tag me and show off what you’ve been doing!

I’m taking part in the Rebalance May Cookery Challenge! Check it out here