Opposing cut or chigai-giri: The easiest ever decorative cutting technique for bananas, cucumbers and more

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A couple of people asked about the twist-cut banana slices that were tucked into a corner of the scotch egg bento. This is actually a very simple decorative cutting technique that can be done in a couple of minutes, even if you are a beginner. I learned how to do this cut back in my first year of middle school (7th grade in U.S. school terms, or when I was 12-13) in home economics class. It’s usually called chigai giri (違い切り) or ‘opposing cut’ in Japanese. I also call it the ‘twist cut’, since the business end of the cut looks like it is twisted.

There’s more than one way to do this cut, but here’s the way I learned how to do it. It still works best for me.

How to do the opposing / twist cut or chigai giri

I’m showing this with a banana, but you can do this with cucumbers as you see in the photo up top or any cylindrical food that would stand up firmly on its end. Sausages? Cheese sticks? Carrots? It’s up to you!

To make ready: Two knives, the fruit or veg you are cutting, and a cutting board. The size of the knives doesn’t matter. If you’re doing this with a banana, something else you will need (not in the photo) is a cut piece of lemon.

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Cut out a piece of banana (or cucumber, etc.) from the middle that is fairly straight. You can usually get 2 to 3 sections out of one banana.

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Cut horizontally in the middle of the banana (or cucumber, etc.) to 1/3rd to 1/2 way through the length of the piece.

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Leave that knife in. With the other knife, make a diagonal cut from the top of the piece. I’ve taken my hand away so you can see clearly where I’m cutting, but you’ll want to keep a firm grip on the banana piece to steady yourself if you’re a beginner.

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Now turn the piece over. With the first knife still inserted in the middle (if it came out, put it back in) make another diagonal cut that faces the opposite direction from the first cut you made on the other side.

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Rub the cut ends of the banana with the cut lemon. This will prevent the banana from discoloring, though the cut skin will still discolor a bit by lunchtime. (The bit of lemon on the end of the banana tastes really nice too.) There’s no need to treat cucumber with lemon, but you may want to sprinkle a tiny bit of salt on it.

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And here you have a twisty cut banana.

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If you have more than one piece, it looks nicer when you group them in odd number multiples. (3, 5, 7 etc.)

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What to do with the bits of banana left over? I just pop them in my mouth, but you could put them in your morning cereal too.

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12 comments

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Re: Opposing cut or chigai-giri: The easiest ever ...

The cucumber looks amazing, I am glad I ended up not cleaning all the cucumber in my fridge. That will make definitely make an appearance in my bento tomorrow :)

Re: Opposing cut or chigai-giri: The easiest ever ...

I love easy bento tips! Stashing this in my bento tips list for my son's lunches!

Re: Opposing cut or chigai-giri: The easiest ever ...

WOW!!! Even I can do this!!! :P

Naimah

CoolBlackChef.co.uk

Re: Opposing cut or chigai-giri: The easiest ever ...

Oh wow, I love the cucumber tip! I'm def going to try this! :)

Re: Opposing cut or chigai-giri: The easiest ever ...

This will be an easy way to make our bentos more snazzy this year. Another idea for the leftover banana pieces is to freeze them to throw into smoothies or baked goods later. I always have several bananas frozen for just such an occasion. Bananas make an excellent egg replacement in brownies, waffles, and cupcakes.

Re: Opposing cut or chigai-giri: The easiest ever ...

Thank you for posting this, I was totally confused about how to do the cut! Very helpful!

Re: Opposing cut or chigai-giri: The easiest ever ...

I love this post! What a great tutorial. I will have to try this with some cucumbers this weekend for my big kyaraben feast that I'll be making for the foodbuzz 24-24-24 event this weekend. Feel free to come by my blog on Monday to see the results!

Re: Opposing cut or chigai-giri: The easiest ever ...

I had one of these in my box today made from cucumber. It was a doddle to make and looked really good too :0)

Re: Opposing cut or chigai-giri: The easiest ever ...

Thanks Maki. Used this cutting technique on yesterday's bento carrots. Super fun to do and makes my bento look nice.

Re: Opposing cut or chigai-giri: The easiest ever ...

a very usufull tip, i will use it soon!

Re: Opposing cut or chigai-giri: The easiest ever ...

I like what you do here on your site. These are nice ideas and tips for people like me. I would have no way of getting this information on my own, so I depend on this type of site to bring so many good ideas to my door. casino

Re: Opposing cut or chigai-giri: The easiest ever ...

If you cut pieces having five thirds of the desired length and do not cut from an end but merely stab through the middle of the piece before the cross cut, you get two decorative pieces without losing the cut off bits.

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