Shhh, don’t mention this to my wife, but I bought a mandoline the other day. No, not the musical instrument – that is a mandolin – but the multi-purpose kitchen tool that cuts, slices, grates and juliennes foods. Like a lot of kitchens we have too many gadgets and not enough space to put them all, so she is justifiably not a fan of buying more kitchen stuff. I get that…but I really needed this in order to make a great looking Sweet & Sour Cucumber Noodle dish I saw on the Just a Taste blog. You can buy a high end mandoline for $150 or more, but I went very low end and bought the $9.99 model from Bed, Bath & Beyond (and that was before applying the ubiquitous 20% off coupon). This model had gotten decent ratings on-line, and given I didn’t want to invest too much in a tool I might not use much the price seemed about right.
The recipe recommended using the julienne blade to produce long thin noodles from the cucumber. Happy to report my low cost mandoline worked perfectly for this (and even happier to report I didn’t slice off a finger when using it). The noodles were then combined with some red onion and a sweet and sour dressing of rice vinegar, water, sugar and crushed red pepper flakes – then topped with toasted sesame seeds. If you don’t have a mandoline you could make this with thinly sliced cucumber, but the cucumber noodle was a very nice touch. As usual my photo didn’t quite do the dish justice, but if you follow the link below to the Just a Taste blog you’ll see what they really looked like!
Recipe: Sweet and Sour Cucumber Noodles