If the onion is large, and I only want a small amount of chopped onion, I’ll simply cut a few slices, not using the first slice, but the next one. Then I cut the slice in half and chop along the edges. This is an easy way to slice an onion, but if you need a large amount of chopped onion, it is time consuming. When I need a lot of onion, I am tempted to use my food processor. The food processor does not produce uniformly shaped square pieces. If that matters, I have to chop them by hand.
First I cut the end off in about a radius of one inch. That will leave the inside of the onion exposed.
Holding the onion firmly and paying attention to the location of my fingers so not to cut them, I slice downward toward the stem on the other end, but not all the way through, which helps the onion hold together. I keep making parallel slices all the way across the face of the onion. Next, I turn the onion around to make slices perpendicular to the first slices. (See the photo.)
The chopped onion pieces are fairly uniform and small, according to how close together I have made the slices. Notice the shape of the pieces of chopped onion. This is a great way to slice onions for a salad or any dish where the onion pieces will be seen and should look attractive.
If an onion is very large, this method is more difficult for me. I will lose control of the onion, which must be held firmly. If the onion is not held firmly, which is difficult with a very large onion, the pieces will start to thrust outward. It is then that I wish I’d not used my mother’s method. I’ve learned to use it only on small to medium onions.