Need to know how to dice a tomato for a recipe? Try these simple techniques!
There are 2 ways to dice a tomato - the first is the most common method, but we prefer the second, which covers the dicing and de-seeding all in one go!
Do I HAVE to take the seeds out of a tomato?
Before we tell you how to dice a tomato, let's look at the question of whether or not de-seeding the tomato is actually necessary!
One of the main reasons to take the seeds out of a tomato is aesthetic - many dishes simply look better without them!
Another reason is that the gel surrounding the seeds tends to give up quite a bit of juice.
This might not matter in many recipes, but for something like salsa - particularly if it's being made in advance - it can affect the consistency. If you want to be sure your dish won't end up a little more watery than expected, take out the seeds!
There's one very important factor in learning how to dice a tomato properly - and that's making sure you have a VERY sharp knife.
If your knife is a little on the dull side, you will probably find that your initial slices across the tomato will be OK - but when you turn it around to start slicing across it the other way, it won't cut cleanly. Instead, you're likely to end up with a pile of misshapen tomato chunks instead of neat little dice!
How to dice a tomato - method 1
- Cut the tomato in half with a sharp knife.
- Turn the halves cut side up and, using a teaspoon or your finger, gently scoop out all the seeds.
- Place the halves cut side down on your chopping board.
- Holding the first half in place with the palm of your hand and the knife parallel to the board, slice through the tomato horizontally. Continue to slice, bearing in mind that the width of the slices will be the width of your dice.
- Carefully holding the slices in place, cut vertically down through the slices until the tomato is in strips.
- Turn the tomato (or the board) 45 degrees, then cut across the strips.
- Voila - you have dice!
How to dice a tomato - method 2
- Cut a very thin slice off one end of your tomato. This gives you a flat edge on which you can stand the whole tomato, making it easier to keep it stable for step 2!
- Cut strips from the top of the tomato to the bottom, curving your knife as you do so to leave the seed core intact, but removing all the flesh.
- Throw the seed-filled core away, then slice the tomato strips lengthwise.
- Turn them 45 degrees and cut them into dice!
Can I dice a tomato in a food processor?
Yes, but ideally you will need one with a special attachment designed just for the purpose. Otherwise the tomato is likely to end up mushy, which is a real problem if you need it for something like salsa.
If you choose to use a food processor to dice your tomatoes, we'd recommend using relatively firm tomatoes rather than soft, ripe ones.
Now you're an expert in dicing tomatoes, here are some great recipes to test your skills!