by Chef Jae Bae, JFE Executive Chef, R & D
AS YOU’VE PROBABLY EXPERIENCED, SELECTING THE RIGHT AVOCADOS— AT BOTH THE TIME OF PURCHASE AND AT PREP TIME—IS IMPORTANT. For our purposes, buy your avocados underipe with a firm feel, then keep them at room temperature for two or three days. Then, to prepare your roll, select ones that have changed to a greenish black color and that give a little when you press your thumb against them.
To get your slicing started properly, first remove the stem nub and slice off that end (just a little larger than a quarter). For the next cut with, which you’ll divide the avocado in two, first take a look from the top or bottom of the fruit. You’ll notice from this angle that the widest part of an avocado is rarely a perfect circle. You’ll want to divide it at the widest point, giving you the largest halves possible from which to make your individual slices.
To separate your halves, twist them don’t just pull them apart. This will keep the edges nice and clean.
A special note here: when removing the avocado’s pit with your knife, avoid removing it with a swiping sideways motion as I’ve seen some people do. It’s easier AND safer to bring your knife straight down into the pit then twist to remove.
Next take your halves and cut them one more time into quarters. Now, with the circular end you cut off in the beginning, you have a natural starting point for peeling your avocado quarters.
Don’t chop the slices straight down on your cutting board. This results in ugly block/rectangular slices that don’t fit gracefully into the natural circular mold of your roll. If you’re already doing this properly, you’ve no doubt guessed that we want slices closer to a triangular shape. Of course the best practice for achieving this is to make angled slices cupping the quartered avocado in the palm of your hand.
If you have any hesitation or fear of cutting your hand, don’t worry – the avocado is soft enough that you shouldn’t be slicing anyway but rather do a gentle chop straight into the avocado (at the proper angle). You’re in control of the knife and the avocado, so this is your safest, most efficient technique.
So there you have what I hope are a few new tips for choosing and slicing visually appealing avocados for a variety of important rolls. If you have any culinary questions about this or other subjects, please feel free to write us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Newsletter, and I’ll get you a prompt answer.