My name is Sarah and I like to cry. I cry at movies, I cry when I hear a sad song, and I even cry when I see a cute puppy. But when I’m chopping onions? That’s when the tears need to stop. And I’m not the only one who wants to avoid crying when cutting onions. Look this up, and you’ll find tip upon tip on how to keep those eyes dry.
I chose my favourite ones and put them to the test in this episode, where I chop up heaps of onions in a Japanese steak rice recipe - the Chaliapin Steak Don. It's part of my series Sarah’s Asian Myths, where I also experiment with other widely debated cooking myths.
But first, back to those onions – why do they even cause these waterworks?
Well, onions produce a chemical irritant called ‘syn-propanethial-S-oxide’. Quite the mouthful, but it’s the eyes that have to watch out! Whenever we cut into an onion, and damage the cells inside it, this chemical gets released into the air and irritates our eyes. So, some things I tried out to stem the tears -