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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Kitchen Gadgets: Benriner Turning Slicer

carrot and radish nail stumps
Carrots and Chinese white radishes

These are what you are left with when you use the Benriner turning slicer. I mentioned this kitchen gadget--particularly popular in Japanese kitchens--when I spotted it at The Essential Ingredient in Sydney recently. But the point of this grater is not to make wacky looking nails made of carrot. It's the slicer's ability to create continuous strands of grated vegetables at speed that makes it so fantastic.

Do you need pictures? Ok. Let's go.

turning grater box
Buy your turning slicer online, from your local specialty kitchen supplier, or, even better, head to Doguya Street in Sen-nichimae, the kitchen alley heaven in Osaka, where smiling polite Japanese shopkeepers who speak no English will somehow understand your broken requests for a "carrot grater" in dictionary Japanese.

turning slicer
Unpack your turning slicer and select and install one of the three blades provided within.

turning grater with white radish
Insert your vegetable of choice between the blade and the spiked base of the handle. In this demonstration we have chosen a Chinese white radish, also known as daikon. But you may also use carrots, cucumbers, potatoes, cabbages, onions and more.

grating radish
Turn the handle of the slicer with one hand, whilst using the other to brace the sliding tray on the bottom. Push the tray slowly forward using your thumb, advancing the entire radish through the blades as you continue turning the handle.

grated radish curls

Fine, continuous, unbruised shreds will appear on the other side. A whole Chinese white radish should take no more than about twenty seconds for each half.

Remove the radish leftovers which will now resemble a giant nail. Giggle at its bizarre appearance and contemplate a series of radish vs carrot swordfights.

Look at the mountain of raw fish beside you and return your focus to your homemade sushi spectacular instead.

Use your grated daikon and carrot as palate cleansing garnishes for sashimi. Dream about the limitless potential for coleslaws, vegetable salads, rosti, sauerkraut, green papaya salads and more...

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15 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 8/23/2006 11:40:00 pm


  • At 8/24/2006 12:44 am, Blogger papa lazarou said…

    i...must... buy... ah.. how brilliant! when i first saw it, i thought it was that spinning apple peeler gadget... i love using those...

  • At 8/24/2006 3:43 am, Blogger Cat said…

    I need one of those!!!!!

  • At 8/24/2006 8:01 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    wow it looks like one of those play-doh contraptions!

  • At 8/24/2006 10:04 am, Blogger Ed said…

    I always wondered what those machines were and – after telling myself i need no more gadgets – I now know that I need one. They always look so intriguing.

  • At 8/24/2006 3:35 pm, Blogger 2-minute Noodle Cook said…

    I want one too!

  • At 8/24/2006 4:39 pm, Blogger SoRMuiJAi said…

    We bought one of those from a grocery store at Cabramatta a few years back. I think it was about $90?

    Also keep an eye out for the apple peeler. Looks similar but has a spring loaded peeler on the side of the device. Stick an apple onto the prongs, turn the handle and you'll have a peeled apple in under 10 seconds! It even comes with an apple slicer/corer. You press the little device onto your apple and it will remove the core AND slice your apple into 8 equal slices!

  • At 8/24/2006 8:47 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I want one! Good thing my dad's going back to Korea in a month - must ask him to keep an eye out for this!

  • At 8/25/2006 2:35 am, Blogger cb said…

    I have a friend who swears by her turning slicer. Wish I had it right now, as we're pulling carrots left and right. I'd love to shred every one of them into a cole slaw or something.

  • At 8/25/2006 8:34 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hellooo...i'm usually a lurker in the various foodblogs i read (i'm a serial reader of foodblogs!), and it was the picture of the slicer that prompted me to post my 1st-ever comment.
    My mum has one of these slicers and every year, during Chinese New Year, she would use it to make yusheng, a traditional Singaporean CNY celebratory dish. It's a salad comprising a colorful medley of veggies (prepared easily with the use of the slicer), various pickles and super-thin slices of sashimi. Many restaurants use it to prep their carrots, white radishes and green radishes (the salad's 3 main ingredients). It's a great little nifty and inexpensive contraption!
    I've been meaning to get one for myself as i'm always borrowing my mum's whenever i make yusheng-inspired salads :)

  • At 8/25/2006 10:39 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    OoO... looks fun! I want one too :-P

  • At 8/28/2006 11:22 am, Blogger Veruca Salt said…

    OMG. We must try and find the place that sells it in Cabramatta.

    And grab some mince sugar cane sticks while were there.

    And an avocado shake


  • At 7/16/2010 2:15 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I bought one, after a few kilo of carrot we still have not achived a carrot stands as shown on the picture. Bummer!! $168.00 bux out of the window.

    Any advise to make it work?

  • At 7/25/2010 5:33 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Anon - Are you using large carrots? I tend to find the slicer only works with very wide vegetables, otherwise it will not hold properly. The other thing to check is you have the blade adjusted correctly. Good luck and hope you get the carrot garnishes you desire!

  • At 9/26/2010 12:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    LOVE your photos! This is an amazing tool, but hard to show others how to use. You do a very good service! Can you recommend any other amazing kitchen gadgets for garnishing??

    L, j

  • At 9/30/2010 10:24 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi LJ - Thanks. Glad you enjoyed the pics. I find the zig zag grater is also useful for garnishes and making papaya salads.


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