How To Use a Mandoline (Vegetable Slicer)

Chef Ming Tsai Slicing

The Mandoline - Making Beautiful Music in the Kitchen

William Shakespeare, in the opening of his great comedic work, "Twelfth Night", declared, "If music be the food of love, play on!" I think it can also be said, "If food be the music of love, cook on!" And what better instrument to bridge the music and the food of love, than that well-named vegetable slicing machine, the Mandoline!


A Symphony of Slices on the Mandoline


Watching chefs like Ming Tsai create heady Asian cuisine or Mario Batali whip up heartful Italian dishes has introduced me to the beauty of the Mandoline. It's amazing to see the grace with which they work their entertaining mandolines. One of the least common kitchen gadgets, the Mandoline was designed to make your mise en place, that is, prepping your meal by slicing, chopping, and placing your ingredients in front of you as easy as whistling a tune. The simplest mandolines let you slide your cucumber, zucchini, or other veggie of your choice up and down a slotted blade, fanning your plate with paper thin slices. The more complex versions feature attachments for more elaborate shapes like waffle cut potato chips.


Speaking of chips, few things bring back simpler days that a plate full of hand cut french fries. But with the mandoline, every cut will be consistent and you'll be able to wow yourself and your family or guests with your homefries or shoestring potatoes. Steak frites, anyone?


How about an apple or pear tart tatine for the holidays?


U. Srinivas (mandolin) and U. Rajesh with ghatam and mdringam

The Mandoline: Safety First

One of my favorite features of most mandolines is the safety knob that the cook attaches to the vegetable to prevent fingers from touching the blade. Nevertheless, I've often seen my favorite chefs on television handling the slicing without the knob, talking and teaching, their digits coming precariously close to falling into the salad. Not so tasty.

So when shopping for a mandoline, look for one that won't be chopping your precious fingers off and obviously, handle with care. Also take precaution when washing your mandoline as well. But best to keep peroxide and gauze on hand just in case. Take care of your hands to keep savoring life. Now, we're cooking!

Comments 25 comments

SunSeven profile image

SunSeven 8 years ago from Singapore / India

Good stuff Cory!.

I almost laughed seeing the title.

I really love to listen to Mandolin. Do you?, we have some excellent players in India.

Warm Regards


Guru-C profile image

Guru-C 8 years ago Author

Dear SunSeven,

I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I felt a little mischievous taking advantage of the double meaning. I love to listen to the Mandolin, too. Makes me think of romantic places in my dream life. Who are some of your favorite mandolin players?

Warm Regards,Cory


ronald 8 years ago

la verdad es cuando te leoLeo me provoca comerte


Claudine Williams profile image

Claudine Williams 8 years ago from Atlanta

I cut my finger on a mandoline. It didn't require stitches but it was a pretty bad cut. I don't think that I have used it since. I didn't use the knob.


Guru-C profile image

Guru-C 8 years ago Author

Dear Claudine: How are you feeling? That sounds painful! I can see why you would feel shy about using the mandoline. It definitely requires a cautious approach. I'm sure the chefs on TV have well-cured hands. Thank you so much for your visit. I hope you have healed completely.

Regards,

Cory


Iðunn 8 years ago

this is such a cool hub and now I want that thing. :mad: you know those infomercials late night? the only ones that get me are the cooking utensil things. I always want them. :p


Guru-C profile image

Guru-C 8 years ago Author

Dear One: Your visits are like having my inner child fly in from Ibiza. What are you doing watching infomercials? :-) I would imagine you holding a salon of intellectuals drinking port late into the night... Kisses, Cory


Iðunn 8 years ago

hehe, you think way too highly of me.

actually I don't watch a lot of tv, but I am dismally lazy. sometimes I watch a movie or something and then get on the computer and leave the tv running in the background just one thing following another after my show ends.

I actually stumble into the coolest things like that by accident and you know something is grand if it pulls me away from the computer to watch. One of those was "Welcome to Woop Woop" which was like falling into the surreal zone. Another movie that grabbed me away from the computer by accident was "Trust" and ahem. of course food processing infomercialz. *blush*


Guru-C profile image

Guru-C 8 years ago Author

In Honor of SunSeven's comment, have added a new video, of U. Srinivas (mandolin) and U. Rajesh with ghatam and mdringam, beautiful to listen to while dining.


Guru-C profile image

Guru-C 8 years ago Author

Mi Amorcito: ¡Cuando quieras!

Te Amo,

Cory


Guru-C profile image

Guru-C 8 years ago Author

Dear One: I am so happy! Now I have another piece of the picture of your life!

xoxoxox

Cory


Iðunn 8 years ago

I'm far from interesting on a day to day basis. :o if you want some really useless trivia, mostly what I compulsively watch is news. Always movies or news, no sitcoms, no reality shows (unless my kids make me), nothing like that. So usually news, and usually MS-NBC. It runs over and over often, the same three or four shows in a row.

I can't tell you how many times I've (not)listened to "To Catch a Predator" because it came on after the news. I've nonheard every single episode I think like 100 times each. zomg, will they change the programming already???

and that's how lazy I am. I won't bother to get up and change the channel anyway. also, sometimes I put on movies I've already seen, just to hear a particular voice droning in the background. Keitel is a favorite. I'll put on anything he's in, just to hear his voice behind me for a while. then the tv just rambles on it's own to whatever comes up after for a long time.

lolz


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America

I love this Hub. Thank you SunSeven for mentioning teh fantiastic mandolin players of India. Now we get to hear the music as well as read about the mondoline.

I can never remember to purchase a mandoline; keeps slipping my mind. Sometimes I awake in the night and remember. I must make a plan...or order fomr the Internet!


Guru-C profile image

Guru-C 8 years ago Author

Dear Iðunn: Now I really feel close to you! I do almost the same thing, except I'm a reality junkie of a certain kind.

Hugz and Kissez

c


Guru-C profile image

Guru-C 8 years ago Author

Dear Patty: I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed this hub!!! I love the music that SunSeven inspired as well!

Warmest Regards,

Cory


rogue nestling profile image

rogue nestling 8 years ago

I had a mandolin, unfortunately a cheap version I grabbed at a discount store. I only assembled it once and ended up sacrificing some skin in an attempt to quickly slice some veggies.

I washed all the annoying little attachment pieces, and hid it away until I finally just tossed in the trash. I must admit I'm somewhat jealous of those who can master this device and keep all their flesh intact. I imagine with patience and practice I would have managed to prepare a meal without injury but my feelings of injustice and ineptness got the best of me.

Great Hub.


Iðunn 8 years ago

lol rogueling. I once cut off the tip of my thumb cutting carrots for a salad and that was just with an ordinary knife.

Of the kitchen stuff, I have to admit to a morbid and lasting desire for all the sharp things. I don't know why. They just look so cool and maybe a bit dangerous. Perhaps I like my kitchen utensils like I like my men. :o


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

You could call your HUB 'How to use the mandolin and keep fingers safe' I bet most of us have a story or two about lost skin or maybe even partial loss of digits. Two thing I shudder using in the kitchen are the mandolin and the cheese grater. (One good thing skin grows back)

Good HUB regards Zsuzsy


Guru-C profile image

Guru-C 8 years ago Author

Dear Rogue Nesting: I know exactly how you feel. I have a drawer with the components of a yogurt maker, a juicer, and a food scale that have fallen out of use. Also contains duplicate utencils, packets of chopsticks, soy sauce, sweet and sour and mustard. I know all that is there because it's also where we keep the corkscrews :-)

Thank you so much for visiting.

Warm Regards,

Cory


Guru-C profile image

Guru-C 8 years ago Author

Dear Iðunn , Good gracious, another segment of this great movie that is you!!! Then you will like this story: A few years ago, the first time I've ever been paid to cater a party, it was a sit-down Mexican dinner for 12, everything from scratch (except the tortilas which I purchased at Sedanos in Homestead). I prepped for 2 days and became quite practiced at wielding my cleaver. In addition to efficiently mincing mountains of fresh onions, it served as a spatula, scraper, back scratcher and of course, kitchen aid, all in one ;-)


Guru-C profile image

Guru-C 8 years ago Author

Dear Zsuzsy Bee: In honor of your comment, I placed two first aid kits next to the section on "Safety First". Not so much so that people will purchase one, but to remind them about the importance of keeping safe in the kitchen. I'm usually a little freaked out by the apparent insouciance of chefs on TV in regard to their knife work. But they're not the ones cutting themselves, we are. Yes, the cheese grater keeps me on alert, too. Thank you sooo much for your visit!

Warm Regards,

Cory


Iðunn 8 years ago

cory, nice. I liked you sneaking in the backscratcher part. hehe :D


Guru-C profile image

Guru-C 8 years ago Author

Thank you, darling!

You're an inspiration!!!!


Iðunn 8 years ago

I'm so happy tonight. Be happy with me :) :) :)


Guru-C profile image

Guru-C 8 years ago Author

I'm so happy that you are happy!!!!

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