If you’re unfamiliar with cooking terminology, you may find that understanding recipe directions can be challenging. The difference between mince and chop, for example, has frustrated many beginning cooks. Although related, mincing or chopping an ingredient can make or break a dish.
What does ‘mince’ mean?
Mince is simply a cook’s way to say, “cut your food ingredient into very small, fine pieces.” Minced foods are cut much smaller than chopped foods. Mince ingredients when you want to them to closely bond with the other ingredients in the dish, adding more flavor than chewable substance. In fact, mincing is often used with flavoring ingredients such as fresh herbs, garlic, ginger, and celery because it more evenly distributes flavor. Mince meat tarts and cookies, pâtés, sauces, and gravies are common recipes that require minced ingredients. Using a rocking knife or another curved blade knife can make mincing ingredients effortless.
What does ‘chop’ mean?
Chopping food is cutting your ingredients into bite-size or smaller pieces. Many food recipes clarify what size is needed for the dish. If all else fails, 1/2″ pieces tend to work well in almost all dishes. Although I prefer using a knife for most small meals, when I’m required to chop large amounts of food, I use a food processor such as the Bosch Food Processor.
This is the first post in an article series relating to often confused cooking terms. Would you like a cooking term clarified? Let me know in the comments below.