This Super-Simple Hack Will Make Cutting Celery a Breeze Every Time

published May 10, 2022
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

Whether you call it a mirepoix like the French or soffritto as the Italians do, when a soup or stew recipe calls for the flavor base from a trio of celery, carrots, and onions, I call it a pain. Slicing is easy. Dicing can be tedious and difficult — especially when it comes to using a fibrous vegetable like celery. 

Luckily, Made With Lau has addressed my stress over the task. On his popular TikTok account (with 198,000 followers) that shows classic Chinese dishes by Daddy Lau, he posted a clip of his dad mincing a ton of celery “as fast as a Chinese chef.” His trick is to perform a simple action to make celery easier to cut: You pound it first.  

Place the celery stalks into a clean bag, then grab your mallet (or use the wide side of your knife) and pound them. This simple action breaks down the fibers for easy cutting. Once you remove them from the bag, they’re partially broken down and ready to be minced further and tossed into whatever recipe you have waiting for them. Ingenious? I think so!

Eager to try the new trick on a delicious recipe? This recipe for ham salad is perfect for your upcoming outdoor picnic, or you can try this cozy turkey stew for when the temperatures dip in the evening.