Julienne is a French cooking term for thin strips of vegetables, meat or fruit. The origin of the term is uncertain, but may derive from the proper name Jules or Julien. It is well known as a a culinary knife cut in which the food item is cut into long thin strips, similar to matchsticks. Sometimes called ‘shoe string’, e.g. shoestring fries, common items to be julienned are carrots for carrots julienne, celery for céléris remoulade or potatoes for Julienne Fries.
The strips are usually about 3 inches long and 1/16- to 1/8-inch thick. To make them, follow these steps…
How to Cut Julienne Strips:
— Stack a few slabs at a time and cut lengthwise with the chef’s knife into 1/16- to 1/8-inch-thick strips (the same width as the slabs).
— Peel the vegetable, if necessary, and cut it crosswise into 2-1/2- to 3-inch lengths. If the vegetable is round, cut a thin slice off one side to make a stable base.
— Thinly slice lengthwise with a chef’s knife or a hand-held slicer into uniform 1/16- to 1/8-inch-thick slabs, reserving any rounded side pieces for another use.
A “potage julienne” is composed of carrots, beets, leeks, celery, lettuce, sorrel, and chervil cut in strips a half-ligne in thickness and about eight or ten lignes in length. The onions are cut in half and sliced thinly to give curved sections, the lettuce and sorrel minced, in what a modern recipe would term en chiffonade. The root vegetables are briefly sauteed, then all are simmered in stock and the julienne is ladled out over a slice of bread.
Have you ever used this technique? Let us know in the comments below…