Kitchen Secrets: How To Chiffonade Like a Pro

July 9, 2014

Chiffonade is simply a fancy term for thin ribbons. When you want an easy yet elegant garnish on a dish, try a simple chiffonade of leafy herbs or greens. In this quick how-to video, Chef Dan Gilmore from Seattle’s historic Sorrento Hotel shows you how to create these beautiful ribbons for your dishes. Try a chiffonade of basil on tomato and other vegetable salads or even as a garnish on soups, and a chiffonade of fresh mint is lovely on summer fruit salads. Watch the video below and soon you’ll be chiffonading like a pro!

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Video Transcription

This is Dan Gilmore, Executive Chef with the Sorrento Hotel in Seattle, Washington. I am going to show you how to chiffonade basil. Chiffonade is a cut that's used with leafy herbs, also vegetables, and it's just thin-fine ribbons. They’re used as… a lot of time on garnishes and tomato salad.

First you just want to pick the leaves off and try to get as little stem as possible. You can just stack them up. And, again, a sharp knife, any time you use herbs, is necessary. Otherwise, you just tend to squish the herbs rather than cut them.

And what you're going to do is you're just going to roll them into a tight bundle and as thick as… a lot of restaurants I've worked at they like to have very fine chiffonades. The bigger the leaves, say kale, I would cut them thicker, but for basil, a nice, fine feathery chiffonade is… and this takes a fair amount of practice.

Then once you get towards the end, you’ll end up with some, and that can just be torn up into soup or whatever you want. But then you just get a nice, pillowy, little ribbons of basil, and you only want to do this as close to service or when you're going to use it as possible. Any time you apply a knife to basil, it's going to start oxidizing very quickly.

And that's it. That's the chiffonade.

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