How to Perfectly Dice Any Tomato

updated Aug 22, 2022
summer
How To Perfectly Dice Any Tomato

The trick here is to treat the tomato like an apple.

Makes1 perfectly diced tomato

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tomatoes on a cutting board
Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

Diced tomatoes are paramount to everything from salads to seven layer dip. This benign task is easily overlooked, however, in part because there really is no wrong way to dice a tomato.

With a little understanding of tomato anatomy and the right tool, it’s easy to learn how to dice a tomato properly — resulting in uniform interiors and minimal tomato jelly spills. The trick is to think of the tomato as an apple.

Tomato Anatomy

Like apples, tomatoes have a fleshy core that runs from the stem to the bottom. To dice a tomato as you might dice an apple means working around the core. Instead of slicing through the tomato vertically, which would puncture the tomato’s jelly pulp and seed cavities and make a small mess, cut the sides of the tomato off in four sections, working around the core. Then, dice the sections.

The Right Knife

The best tool for slicing and dicing tomatoes is a serrated knife. A very sharp chef’s knife will work, but the teeth of serrated knives help slice through tomato skin easily. A serrated steak knife can work in a pinch, too.

How to Dice a Tomato: A Visual Guide

1. Prep the tomato: Rinse the tomato and pat dry. Place the tomato stem-side up on a cutting board and remove any green stem and leaves.

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

2. Cut long slices: Cut off the longer sides of the tomato (if there are longer sides), making sure to leave the core in place.

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

3. Remove the core. Place the core piece cut-side down on the cutting board and cut off the 2 remaining side pieces around the core. Discard the core.

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

4. Cut into strips: Cut all the pieces you separated from the core lengthwise into 1/4 inch-wide strips. 

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

5. Dice. Cut the strips crosswise into 1/4-inch dice.

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

How To Perfectly Dice Any Tomato

The trick here is to treat the tomato like an apple.

Makes 1 perfectly diced tomato

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe large or medium tomato

Equipment

  • Cutting board
  • Serrated knife

Instructions

  1. Prep the tomato: Rinse the tomato and pat dry. Place the tomato stem-side up on a cutting board and remove any green stem and leaves.

  2. Stand the tomato up: Set the tomato on a cutting board, stem facing up.

  3. Cut off the sides: Cut off the longer sides of the tomato (if there are longer sides), making sure to leave the core in place; set aside. Place the core piece cut-side down on the cutting board and cut off the 2 remaining side pieces around the core. Discard the core.

  4. Dice: Cut each section of flesh lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips, then cut these strips crosswise into 1/4-inch dice.