Just what is a food mandolin? Find out more about this handy kitchen tool - plus we'll show you how to use it to create some amazing dishes
Whether you are scrolling on Instagram or flicking through a food magazine, you'll notice the incredible care that goes into presenting amazing dishes.
You might feel that you'll never be able to achieve the same results at home - but the good news is that modern kitchen tools make it possible to up your presentation game!
From shaving vegetables for garnishes to producing perfectly sliced potatoes for a gratin, a food mandolin is a one such gadget, allowing you to slice fruits and vegetables far more thinly than with a knife.
Another benefit of using a food mandolin is that it creates uniform slices, so your food can be presented consistently.
How to use a food mandolin
Place a standard mandolin on a cutting board and ensure it is stable. The mandolin should be perpendicular to you so that the raised end is closest to your body.
As the mandolin will only be capable of slicing a flat surface, cut your fruit or vegetable in half. If you are slicing starchy fruit or vegetables, wet the slope of the mandolin to help making slicing easier.
A proper food mandolin will come with a food guard – this is to prevent you slicing your hand, which can easily happen on the blade as it is very sharp! Never use a mandolin without a food guard as you can seriously injure yourself.
Pop the fruit or vegetable inside the hand guard. Remember - the flat side of the food should be what comes into contact with the mandolin. Hold the mandolin steady and push the hand guard downwards so that it will slice the food. Repeat this using the same amount of pressure for equal slices.
Depending on the sophistication of your food mandolin, you may have the option to adjust the thickness of the slices it creates. If you have a knob on the side of your mandolin, you can adjust this to switch between paper-thin slivers or thick-cut - perfect for chunky potato wedges.
Your mandolin may also come with additional blades that offer various cut types, such as julienne, crinkle or waffle. This means you can create French Fries, match-stick cut veggies for stir fries, garnishes for salad, potato and veggie chips and so much more!
Always take care when cleaning your mandolin, as you can easily cut yourself. Remove any blade attachments you have used, and wipe them clean with a warm soapy cloth, drying them properly.
While handling your mandolin, we recommend wearing cut resistant gloves.
Food mandolins can start at about $15 for the most basic, but if you would like additional features and blades as we have described above, you could be looking $50 upwards.
Now that you know just how to use a food mandolin, why not give some of these recipes a try: