How to Cut Carrots to Flower Shapes
Now and then, I have readers asking me how I did the garnishes for my dishes – for example, cutting carrots to flower shapes, or slicing spring onions to wispy strips. I’m going to tackle the carrots one first since Chinese New Year is around the corner, and a lot of people like to cut carrots in this manner as flowers are an auspicious symbol, representing richness (花开富贵). This is not just useful for CNY, but all year round too, as I’m sure any dish can be jazzed up with the pretty flowers. This tutorial will work for daikon (radish/white carrot) too.
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Method 1 (Vegetable/Cookie Cutter)
This is a short cut method using vegetable cutter. I bought the above at Daiso Singapore for S$2. You can also use cookie cutter as well, and they come in many designs besides flowers. Since carrot is a hard vegetable, do use metal cutter rather than plastic ones.
Using vegetable/cookie cutter is really straightforward. First cut the carrot to slices, position the cutter on top of each slice and press down (I place a cloth on top for more support and to cushion the sharp edges). Discard the outer trims and push out the cut carrot. With this method, it is not necessary to peel the carrot beforehand. I try to find bigger carrots that will fit into the cutter.
Method 2 – Carving the Flower Petal
Each slice of the carrot will give you a nice flower. My knife skills are not good so you can see that the petals are not symmetrical or perfect, but I’m happy with them. These pretty carrots are now ready to jazz up all kinds of dishes!
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