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I've found that the julienne cut is an important subject when talking about knife skills, but in my recipes (from books, internet etc.) I've never found a suggestion to make a julienne cut.

Which are the applications of a julienne cut? It's just decorative stuff?

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3 Answers 3

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I don't know if I'd consider the cut I use for stir fries to be a jullienne, as I tend to make 'em a little larger, as I like a little bite left in my vegetables. (I consider julienne to be at most 1/10 of an inch / 2.5mm across ... I cut my carrots for stir fries at maybe 5mm across)

I tend to julienne when adding vegetables to cole slaw-like salads (or even apples and other firm-fleshed fruits).

If you like really crispy fried potatoes, you can julienne the potato before frying to make 'matchstick potatoes'.

Many professional chefs will have a mandoline, and so if they're preparing large amounts of something, they'll use that, rather than a knife. (and you can get longer strips that way ... the full way down a large zucchini or long cucumber, which would be difficult with even a long knife).

Julienne is also just a step before finely diced items, so technically, I'll pass through that phase when cutting up carrots for mirepoix.

... all that being said -- you're probably most likely to encounter the term when dealing with fancier french cooking or "gourmet" type recipes where you're trying to impress a dinner party. "Home" cookbooks are less likely to get into complicated knife tasks.

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Brunoise--which is the cut you are getting when you dice a julienne--is awful small for (almost all applications of) a mirepoix. How does that work for you? –  daniel Sep 11 '10 at 7:34
    
@roux : it works great; especially when cooking for children who turn their nose up at vegetables, as for slow cooked foods like tomato sauce, the vegetables just about melt away. –  Joe Sep 11 '10 at 11:16

I find the julienne cuts work best in stir fries eaten with noodles as all the elements are long and thin and this seems to make them mix better.

but this might just be my imagination wanting it to be better...

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Good call - I was actually coming here to add an answer about stir fries. Even if the mixing part is just your imagination (which means it's in mine too!), julienne cuts help longer-cooking vegetables cook a lot faster, which is great for stir fry! –  stephennmcdonald Sep 8 '10 at 14:39

I like to use a small amount of julienne-cut raw zucchini in my zucchini soup. Of course it's part decoration, but it definitely adds something to the mouth feel as well.

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