This bit of kit is essential — if any gadget can encourage a healthier diet then this is it. If you don’t have one you should consider buying one immediately. It’s a further testament to the slicing ingenuity of the Japanese which spans Samurai swords to modern kitchen knives (and even coronary angioplasty wires).
Simple to use and inexpensive — it will transform the way and speed in which you can prepare interesting vegetable dishes and salads. As such it will encourage you to make these dishes, experiment and as a consequence eat more fruits and vegetables. Even if you have excellent knife skills this thing produces super-fast wafer thin slices or beautiful uniform Julienne (batons or matchsticks). Within seconds you can produce unique textures and combinations that transform humble vegetables into something interesting and fun to eat (excellent to encourage children). The only downside — you need to be extra careful not to slice your fingers!
Which to buy?
We have tried several different Mandolins ranging from the more elaborate and expensive ones now produced in the West — do not buy these. You want the original Benriner Japanese versions which is the simplest and least expensive. You can get a standard or ‘super’ (wider) versions. We have a standard width Benriner (above) which was purchased on Amazon for £17. It comes with 3 different Julienne blades for different cuts.
We know that a common barrier to healthy food is convenience and time. We have posted this in anticipation of bringing you quick recipes based on Mandolin slicing — look out for our Thai Beef Salad and other similar recipes on our cook page.