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So you're looking for paper thin slices?

nihon_no_cook's picture

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Was shopping at the local grocery store for souvenirs with our visitors, and ran across the best little (cheap) slicer I've ever seen. It's hand-held with one, non-adjustable blade, set to 1.5 millimeter thickness (that's "pretty darn thin," for those of you on the American measuring system). The blade is made of that super-sharp ceramic stuff, and is double-edged, so you can slice the tips of your fingers off in two directions. So far it has sped its way through green peppers, onions, garlic, carrots, and lettuce . . . I think the blade is wide enough that something like cheese would gum it up, but I have to try it anyway.

It's marketed by Kyocera (big name in ceramic knives, too, I think), and if you happen to stumble across one, pick it up - mine was under $10 USD. Of course, that could be because of the bilious green color of the plastic handle/blade holder . . .

If anyone finds one in any other thickness, please let me know - 1.5 mils is a little thin for anything other than coleslaw and salad . . . but I can shoot those right out, yes indeed!

aussiechef's picture

(post #53590, reply #1 of 8)

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Do you think it could handle raw beef? We're on a Philadelphia cheese steak kick.

nihon_no_cook's picture

(post #53590, reply #2 of 8)

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Hmm, good question. My gut instinct is that it might, but would be a pain in the process. The blade is almost 1/2" wide (so that it has the rigidity to handle having a cutting surface on each side, I suppose), and I think the meat might get gummed up on it. If you had asked yesterday, I would have had some beef in the house to try it, but today it's already sliced and sitting in its marinade, so that's out. I'll have to give it a try and let you know, although I'm having a hard time figuring out how to get the steak stiff enough to use with the slicer . . . I think if I freeze it first, it will freeze to my hands, but raw meat will be too, um, floopy to slice properly (remember, this slicer is sort of like a mandoline, only cheaper and more dangerous). I'll get back to you on that in a few days.

In the mean time, enjoy your cheesesteaks, and be warned that I will have to hunt you down and wise you up if you even come near them with either mayo or lettuce (just a word of warning). Guten Appetit!

Chiffonade_'s picture

(post #53590, reply #3 of 8)

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Nihon is on the right track...she just got to the finish line and to do what you are asking, you only have to go halfway there.

When I do lamb, beef and pork for a Mongolian Hot Pot, I
i partially
freeze the meat so it can be cut into the paper thin slices necessary for the hot pot. (For those who have not heard of it...Mongolian hot pot is a steaming vessel of soup placed in the middle of a table (with a heat source), and raw meats, shrimp and other goodies are served to guests who "cook" their own food by swishing it in the simmering soup. Paper thin slices are necessary for this to be safe.)

I've heard recommendations to put a piece of meat in the freezer for 30 minutes (depending on the freezer) and try a few slices then. If after about 5 slices, you determine the meat is not frozen enough, put it back in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. Once you have reached the right consistency of the meat,
i work fast.
Complete all of your slicing and if the meat is not to be used right away, put it in the fridge :)

aussiechef's picture

(post #53590, reply #4 of 8)

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Good info on partially frozen meat, Chiffy - would work to slice it by hand this way to get really thin slices.

Now about the mayo and Lettuce , Nihon......I'm trying to imitate a sandwich I had a a place called D'Agostino's in Silicon Valley which claims to have the best Philly cheesesteaks. Their family is from New York (they lost me already since I thought these things were from Philadelphia). I watched them do it and it looked like thin sliced beef fried with mushrooms with cheese added at last minute and all dumped on a sour dough bun. God it was good. But you are right, I didn't see lettuce and mayo, and I'm clueless as to what cheese it was. I thought I'd use something melty like havarti or jarlsberg. Any help appreciated.

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #53590, reply #5 of 8)

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Beef, onion, peppers , provolone,griddle grease, salt, pepper and roll. No more no less. Save the other crap for your salad.

nihon_no_cook's picture

(post #53590, reply #6 of 8)

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Hear, hear! Only I would add mushrooms, as do all of the greasy-griddle cheesesteak places I used to go to when growing up near Philly. Best served if you griddle the bread for a bit before slapping the meat/cheese/etc. in there . . . some places just rest the bun on top of the meat mixture while it is being fried, but I like the crispy inside you get if you put the bun (already cut and spread open, cut sides down on the griddle) directly on the griddle.

Yep, a trip up to South Street at Christmas time sounds like a good idea to me . . .

nihon_no_cook's picture

(post #53590, reply #7 of 8)

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Yeah, the "partially freeze the meat" trick works great for hand-slicing, since it firms up the meat enough to keep it from mooshing when you press into it with the knife. But it doesn't make the whole hunk of meat stiff, which is what I would need to be able to use this slicer - if the meat is bending and squirming all over, I'm more likely to slice my finger than the steak!

I love the hot pot/shabu shabu cooking method, even if the final ingredients turn out rather bland (I guess that's why they give us big bowls of that lovely sesame sauce to dip the cooked stuff into, huh?).

I bought a Japanese crockery cooker suitable for doing the shabu shabu at home, although I'm much more likely to use it in the oven as a casserole dish. Rumor has it that in order to use the dish over a gas flame (it is glazed on the inside and sides, but the bottom is unglazed pottery) you have to soak it in salt water for several days in advance, to prevent cracking. Anyone else ever heard this suggested (maybe for all-clay cookware like an Indian tandoori?)? Anyone know if that's just to keep it from cracking when exposed to direct heat, or will I have to try that if I want to use the pot in the oven, too? It seems sort of counter-intuitive to me to let the pottery get all moist on the inside to keep it from exploding . . . seems like the water would turn to steam and make it crack faster (and more violently). But that's probably just my flawed memory of those physics classes I had to sit through years ago . . .

Chiffonade_'s picture

(post #53590, reply #8 of 8)

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I believe I saw the soaking technique on
i East Meets West
on the Food Network.

Re: Blandness...yes, the food can be bland. I serve the following sauces...Terriyaki, Soy, Hoisin, Black Bean, Hot Chile Oil, Sambal Oelek. It's so much fun - but I can only have about 6 people in total each time I do this.