Means of cutting vegetables
Every chef always keeps his knife sharp and ready for use. If a knife is blunt one will need extra effort to cut such solid vegetables as carrot or pumpkin. Also sharp knife makes smooth cut. If while cutting leek blunt knife is used its cells are damaged and that makes eyes trickle. That won't happen if a knife is sharp-ground.
When you cut do not push a knife downward but move it back and forth. Then you won't need much effort and vegetables will be beautifully cut.
While slicing cucumbers it may so happen that rings do not separate. It happens if a cutting board is not smooth.
Wagiri (cutting in rings)
This means is used while cutting longwise long and rounded vegetables, for example, Japanese radish daikon, batata, carrot etc. Vegetables cut by this means are generally used boiled or fried. Cucumbers and daikon are used for salads and pickling. Thickness of rings depends on a dish.
Hangetsu giri (in half-moon)
Rounded vegetables are first cut longwise and after that in half-moons. Such vegetables are used for soups and other boiled dishes. When vegetables with different thickness (daikon, for example) are boiled the thickest park can be cut in half-moons and the thinnest one - in rings. Then vegetables will be boiled in the same way.
Ichogiri (cutting in ginkgo leaf form)
While using this means half-moons are cut in two and you get pieces which from is similar to the one of ginkgo leafs. Usually a necessary vegetable is cut longwise in four pieces and then sliced broad wise. Often daikon and carrot are cut like that for soups and other boiled dishes.
Nanamegiri (diagonal cut)
This is a means of cutting carrot, gobo (burdock), onion and other oblong vegetables. They are to be cut diagonally to get ellipses but not rings. Cut pieces are to be of the same thickness. Gobo cut like this is used for boiling, leek - for sukiyaki.
Rangiri (cutting in rotation)
This means is used to cut long, rounded vegetables such as carrot, cucumber, gobo etc. First a diagonal cut is made then a vegetable is turned to 90 degrees and cut so that to get approximately equal pieces. These movements are repeated not once. So that to get equal pieces a thicker part is preliminary cut longwise in two. Vegetables cut like this are used mostly for boiled dishes.
Tanzakugiri (cutting into stripes)
First a vegetable is cut longwise into 4-5 cm pieces. Then these pieces are cut broad wise into 1-1,5 cm pieces. This is repeated several times. In that way you can cut carrot, daikon, eatable udo, cabbage, celery and other vegetables for garnish, salads, fried dishes etc.
Hyoshigiri (cutting in bars)
First a vegetable is cut longwise into 4-5 cm pieces. Then these pieces are cut broad wise into 1-1,5 cm pieces. Until this moment hyoshigiri is similar to cutting in stripes. But at the end vegetable is cut in 1-1,5 cm pieces so that you get bars. This means is used for cutting carrot, gobo, daikon and other vegetables.
Sainomegiri (kakugiri) (cutting in cubs)
1,5x1,5 cm bars got as a result of hyoshigiri cutting are cut longwise in 1,5 cm cubes. This means is used for cutting carrot, bamboo sprouts, potato and some other vegetables. Cubes are used in salads, garnish and boiled dishes.
Usually to get hashed vegetables they are first cut in straw (sengiri). Cut leek in two, put the cut part down on a cutting board and first make cuts 5 mm away from each other. Then the edge is turned horizontally and the same cuts are made. Holding a leek's head cut it starting from the edge. The distance between cuts is 5 mm. If you want to get more hashed vegetables you need to push the edge and move the handle up and down, chopping them. While hashing you need to make several cuts longwise starting from a root.
Hashed leek is used for preparation of curry sauce, rice with chicken and spaghetti, carrot - for decoration. Onion, ginger and garlic - for Chinese and Italian dishes.
Sengiri (cutting in straw)
If you cut daikon or carrot you need to devide it into pieces of 4-5 cm, which are to be cut in thin pieces. Put the slabs one upon another and cut in straw. Take only the white part of leek which is first cut into 4-5 cm pieces and then into long stripes (straw) and soaked. Vegetables cut in straw are used almost in all dishes. Most often they are used as decorations.
Kogutigiti (cutting from the thin side)
It is a means of cutting leek from the end of feathers at right angle to fibers. Leek cut like that is served as a seasoning for soba noodles. The same thin cutting used for cucumbers is called ushugiri, for carrots - wagiri.
Sasagaki (shaping of bamboo)
This means of cutting is used for carrot and gobo. Peeled gobo is taken in the left hand and is shaped. While doing that burdock is constantly turned around as if you whittle a pencil. Shaped gobo is thrown into water.
Men-tori (smoothing of angles)
Acute angles of thick cut daikon and carrot can break away. To prevent these angles are cut beforehand. It especially concerns festival dishes.
Kakushibotyo (hidden knife)
On one side of thick cut rings decussate cuts are made so that vegetables boil thoroughly. When served vegetables are put with cuts down. This cutting is used for dishes made of boiled daikon and meat stewed with vegetables.