How to Clean Leeks: A Step-By-Step Guide

How to Clean Leeks: A Step-By-Step Guide

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Do you know how to clean leeks? It isn’t hard to do, but if you have never cleaned leeks before, you may not know where to begin. This Step-by-Step Guide will walk you through the steps, making cleaning leeks a breeze!

leeks laying on cutting board

What Are Leeks?

Leeks are a member of the onion family. They add a delicious pungent taste to soups and sauté. They are bulb vegetables that resemble an overgrown green onion. The bulb portion has a white flesh with green pinstripes with a large green leafy top.

The problem with leeks is that they grown buried down in the dirt. As they grow, dirt gets embedded into the multiple thin layers of the bulb. Each new layer catches dirt inside as it forms. These gritty onions require special attention and cleaning when preparing them for food.

What This Video On How to Clean Leeks

sliced leeks in bowl of water

How To Clean Leeks

Step 1: RINSE

Rinse any excess dirt off the outside of the leeks.

Step 2: Cut Off the Leaves

Cut off and discard the dark green leaves an inch or so above the white part of the stalk. The greens are too bitter and too fibrous to eat (they can be used to flavor soups and stocks).

cutting leek with a knife

Step 3: Cut Off the Root End

Next, cut a quarter-inch or so off the bottom (white pinstriped portion) of the leek, and discard the roots.

Leeks on cutting board with knife

Step 4: Cut the Leeks Lengthwise

The light green and white portion that remains is the edible part of the leek. Cut this in half lengthwise.

Step 5: Slice According to Your Specific Recipe

Continue slicing the leek horizontally in half circles to the directed size thickness needed for your specific recipe.

cutting whites of leeks

Step 6: Rinse and Soak the Leek Slices

Add the sliced leeks to a sieve or colander rinse with cold running water. Swish them around a few times. Add the leeks to a bowl and fill it with cold water. Allow them to soak a minute or two.

Drain the leeks with the sieve or colander. The grit will remain behind in the bowl. Fill the bowl with fresh water and repeat until the water is clear. 

How to Get Rid of Excess Water

Most of the time, leeks go into a soup or stir-fry, so you don’t have to worry about drying them before cooking. If your recipe requires the leaks to be dry, you can run it through a salad spinner or press it between kitchen towels after chopping it into pieces.

I hope this helps you prepare leeks for all of your recipes.

What is your experience with leeks? Comment below!

Recipes That Use Leeks

leeks on a cutting board
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How To Clean Leeks: A Step-By-Step Guide

Leeks add delicious flavor to soups and sautés, but they are gritty and require special attention when cleaning. Learn how to clean leeks!

Ingredients

  • Leeks

Instructions

STEP 1: RINSE

  • Rinse any excess dirt off the outside of the leeks.

STEP 2: CUT OFF THE LEAVES

  • Cut off and discard the dark green leaves an inch or so above the white part of the stalk. The greens are too bitter and too fibrous to eat (they can be used to flavor soups and stocks).

STEP 3: CUT OFF THE ROOT END

  • Cut a quarter-inch or so off the bottom (white pinstriped portion) of the leek, and discard the roots.

STEP 4: CUT THE LEEKS LENGTHWISE

  • The light green and white portion that remains is the edible part of the leek. Cut this in half lengthwise.

STEP 5: SLICE ACCORDING TO YOUR SPECIFIC RECIPE

  • Continue slicing the leek horizontally in half circles to the directed size thickness needed for your specific recipe.

STEP 6: RINSE AND SOAK THE LEEK SLICES

  • Add the sliced leeks to a sieve or colander rinse with cold running water. Swish them around a few times. Add the leeks to a bowl and fill it with cold water. Allow them to soak a minute or two.
    Drain the leeks with the sieve or colander. The grit will remain behind in the bowl. Fill the bowl with fresh water and repeat until the water is clear. 

Notes

HOW TO GET RID OF EXCESS WATER:  Most of the time, leeks go into a soup or stir-fry, so you don’t have to worry about drying them before cooking. If your recipe requires the leaks to be dry, you can run it through a salad spinner or press it between kitchen towels after chopping it into pieces.
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