Carving vegetables is a form of food preparation popular in Thai and other Asian cuisines. The theory behind carving vegetables and fruits is that food should look as good as it tastes. Shaping vegetables with a paring knife makes them attractive, bite-sized and altogether more appetizing. Experts at carving vegetables can shape them to look like flowers, leaves, vines and exotic birds and animals.
Purchase vegetable-shaping tools during Halloween, when commercial manufacturers make vegetable shaping tools for the purpose of carving jack-o'-lanterns. You can also purchase carving tools from an Asian food preparation and supply store such as templeofthai.com or fruitcarving.com.
Select vegetables that are just barely under-ripe, which makes them firm enough for carving.
Wash the vegetables if they are going to be eaten; also wash your hands, tools and cutting board.
Plan your carving before you cut into your vegetable. Always work from a pattern the first time you shape a vegetable. Practice on several vegetables to perfect your technique before you make a presentation vegetable.
Carve your vegetable using gentle strokes to avoid bruising the vegetable. You should carve your subject as quickly as possible to keep the carving fresh. Never care more of the vegetable than you have to; doing so removes nutrients as you remove the flesh of your vegetable.
Cover the face of the carving with lemon juice. The vitamin C in lemon juice helps keep the exposed flesh of the carving fresh and prevents spoilage for longer periods of time.