If you're not a cook, cutting a lump of iceberg lettuce (also known as crisphead lettuce) can be challenging. However, you do not need professional training to carry out this task. You can cut a bunch of lettuce into large, crispy chunks or thin slices for mixed lettuce in no time with a sharp knife and the correct cut shape.
Method 1 of 2: Cutting it Big
Step 1. Remove the hump
Lay the lettuce head sideways with the weft side facing the sharpened knife. Start cutting 2 cm thick toward the leaves from the base of the stem, then discard.
If not, you can smack the stems against the counter to break them from the inside, making it easier to remove the wefts by hand. However, this method has the potential to damage the leaves
Step 2. Remove the outer leaf layer
Remove the two or three outer layers of the lettuce. This outer layer is usually withered or damaged due to the handling process.
If the outer layer of the leaf isn't too damaged and you want to keep it on, simply scrape off the parts you don't want with your fingers
Step 3. Cut the lettuce into two halves
Hold the lettuce with your fingers facing forward so that the outside of your thumb is facing the knife. In this way, you can protect your fingers from being cut by a knife.
Step 4. Turn the lettuce so that the cut side is facing down and cut it again into two halves
This way of cutting will produce four large pieces of lettuce. If you want smaller pieces, you can cut them into two more pieces to make eight lettuce pieces.
Method 2 of 2: Thinly Slice Lettuce
Step 1. Remove the cob and cut the lettuce into large pieces first
Cut 2 cm thick from the base of the lettuce stalk. Remove the wilted outer layer of leaves. Divide the lettuce into four by cutting it in half first, then halve again. Cutting the lettuce into large chunks beforehand will guarantee thin slices of lettuce.
For larger chunks, divide the lettuce in half instead of four. Don't try to thinly slice the lettuce without first dividing it in half, as the round shape makes it difficult to hold the lettuce securely while slicing
Step 2. Grasp and thinly slice vertically to make long strips of lettuce
Flip the lettuce so that the cut side is facing down. Thinly slice the lettuce until it runs out while moving your hand away from the knife.
Step 3. Cut the lettuce horizontally to make short thin strips
Slice the lettuce flat side down to your desired thickness. Remember to move your hand away from the knife when slicing the lettuce.
Step 4. Separate the lettuce pieces with your fingers
Gently pull out the thin slices of lettuce. You can use your hands or vegetable tongs to separate the lettuce slices.
- Use a disinfected or cleaned cutting board to prevent damaging the worktop or other cooking utensils when chopping or slicing lettuce.
- To reduce food waste, compost leftover lettuce and parts of lettuce that you don't use into compost.