brunoise golden beets for tartar

What is the Brunoise Cut?

Mastering various knife cuts is an essential skill that distinguishes an amateur cook from a professional. Among these precision cuts is the brunoise cut, a useful cut that is refined, attractive, and produces wonderful textures. This post covers the brunoise knife cut, how to perform it, and how to use it.


The brunoise cut is a very useful cut from the French culinary tradition. The ingredients, typically vegetables, are diced into uniformly tiny cubes. This precision cut shows culinary finesse and elevates the visual appeal and texture of a dish. For example, eating a zucchini and eating that same zucchini after being brunoise diced, will give you very different experiences.

Cutting vegetables brunoise style has many culinary applications. For example, it is common in serving tartares, especially vegetable tartares (like beet tartare). It is also common before cooking a vegetable that you want to meld smoothly into a sauce, stew, soup, etc., such as brunoise shallots.

In practice though you can brunoise any ingredient you want for any purpose you want. It is a great way to eat a vegetable or ingredient in a new way.

Brunoise Cut Size and Dimensions

The brunoise cutting technique transforms a vegetable (or other ingredient) into tiny cubes. Informally, and generally, you do not need to get out a ruler if someone asks you to do a brunoise cut. The most important aspects will be that the end results are cubes, uniform, and very small.

Formally, the brunoise cut comes in two sizes: the brunoise cut and the fine brunoise cut. The brunoise cut size is 1/8 inches per side, and the fine brunoise size cut is 1/16 inches per side. Using the metric system, the brunoise cut dimensions are 3 mm per side, and the fine brunoise cut dimensions are 2 mm per side. Note that the customary (inch) and metric (mm) dimensions do not match exactly. In other words, 1/16 inch does not exactly equal 2 mm – they are approximately equal, which is good enough for our purposes.

Knife Cut

Customary Units (inches)

Metric Units (mm)


1/8 inches

3 mm

Fine Brunoise

1/16 inches

2 mm

Brunoise Pronunciation

The cut is named after a commune in southeastern Paris called Brunoy. The pronunciation has two syllables – the first syllable sounds like ‘brew’ and the second syllable sounds like ‘nwaz’. The accent is on the first syllable.

Brunoise Knife Cut – Method

Here is the method for doing a brunoise cut. The easiest way to understand this is to think of having a large cube (in 3D). If you take slices of your cube, you have a bunch of 2D sheets (like sheets of paper). Now you can cut those 2D sheets into 1D strips (this is the julienne cut). If you now cut these 1D strips, into tiny cubes, you have a brunoise.

Steamed Beet Brunoise Example

Let’s go through an example with a beet. Here I use a steamed golden beet, a mandoline, and a chef knife. I use a mandoline here to slice the beet, but you don’t need one – you can use the chef knife.

golden beet with mandolin and knife
Vegetable Brunoise Set Up

First Step – Slices

First slice your beet – you can use either a mandoline or your chef knife. You want to make all your slices the same thickness as best you can. Also note that the thickness of the slices sets the size of your final brunoise cubes. For example, if your slices are 3 mm thick, then your brunoise cubes are going to be 3 mm on each side (if this isn’t clear now, it will be momentarily).

Second Step – Julienne Strips

The next step is to take your slices and cut them into strips. You will use a chef knife to do this. This cut is called julienne. You can stack the slices on top of one another when cutting your strips if you want to work faster.

You want to keep the width of your julienne strips to be same as the thickness of your slices. For example, the slices were 3 mm thick, so you will cut them into strips that are 3 mm wide.

Third Step – Brunoise Cubes

The final step of the vegetable brunoise is to cut them into cubes. You will use a chef knife to do this. Line up the strips so that they are all going the same direction. Now cut the strips into cubes, and make sure that width of your cut is the same as the width of your strips. For example, if you cut 3 mm strips from 3 mm thick slices, then you will cut 3 mm wide cubes from these strips.

That’s it! The cut takes some practice so take your time at first. Since you are basically repeating the same movements over and over again, you will get the hang of it very quickly.

Brunoise Vegetable Examples

One use of a brunoise cut is to make a vegetable tartare or salad. For example, here is a recipe for a golden beet tartare. After using the brunoise cutting technique on the steamed golden beets, dress the beets with lemon or lime juice, truffle and/or olive oil, and salt. Place the dressed beets in a ring mold and top with avocado. Remove the mold and enjoy a nutritious refined vegetable dish that is deceptively simple to make.

You can brunoise many vegetables and turn them into a veggie tartare or salad. Fennel, zucchini, cucumber, and radish are all great examples. Mix and match the different vegetable brunoise to get combinations of textures and colors.

The brunoise cutting technique is also useful if you want to add the flavor of vegetables to a sauce, stew, soup, etc. but you don’t want the diner to eat large pieces of the ingredient. Cutting the vegetables into a brunoise or fine brunoise will allow them to blend into the sauce seamlessly.

brunoise golden beets for tartar

Vegetable Brunoise

Among precision cuts is the brunoise cut – elegant, attractive, and producing wonderful textures. This recipe teaches the brunoise knife technique using a steamed beet as an example.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Lunch, Salad, Side Dish, Snack, Vegetable
Cuisine American, Asian, French, Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 1


  • 1 chef knife , sharp
  • 1 mandoline , optional


  • 1 whole steamed beet, or use another vegetable raw like shallot, carrot, celery, zucchini, cucumber, radish, etc.


  • Make sure your cutting board is secure by placing a wet towel underneath it
    golden beet with mandolin and knife
  • First, transform your beet into slices. You can do this using a mandoline or chef knife. To make a traditional brunoise, make sure your slices are 3 mm thick, and do your best to keep the slices of uniform thickness.
    steamed and sliced golden beets
  • Next, transform your slices into strips – this cut is called julienne. Use your chef knife to do this. The width of each strip should match the thickness of your slices, i.e. 3 mm. If you want to be very careful, you can work on each slice individually when cutting into strips. If you want to work more quickly, you can stack multiple slices and then cut into strips.
    sliced and julienne beets to cut beet tartare
  • Finally, cut your strips into cubes. You will use your chef knife for this. Line up the strips so that they are going the same direction. Now cut the strips into cubes – making sure that the width of the cubes is 3 mm, i.e. the same width as the strips and thickness of your slices. That's it – vegetable brunoise!
    julienne and brunoise beets for beet tartar
Keyword beet salad, beet tartare, chopped parsley salad, cooking technique, cutting, diced apple, knife cut, knifework, prep, prepwork, raw, side dish, vegan, vegetarian

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