I received the Benriner Cook’s Help gadget today. Yea! Okay… so what could I spiralize with what I had hoped would be THE Japanese answer to my spiralizing quest?
I had a big rutabaga (I mean, BIG). I looked at the pictures, and I found the English (ha ha) “translation”, and I cut the rutabaga to look like something in the pictures (the pictures show BIG hunks of vegetable). I don’t know from centimeters (duh! I’m American – we don’t do centimeters!), so I went by the pictures. Wrong move!
I had this nice big (maybe 5 inch tall) chunk of rutabaga, and I went at it with the new “miracle” machine. Trouble from the start. The teeth on the turning thing did not want to grab. The machine did not want to do much after two or three turns of the knob. I took the machine away from the counter-top and put it on the table which is about the height of the top of my thigh (I am 5’9″ tall) so I could turn the knob at waist/elbow height. That worked about the same, but it was easier to turn, except that the table is wobbly.
Even though I was experiencing these issues, I really liked the thin-ness and texture of the noodles, so I wanted to find a way to get more of them. I ended up grabbing the rutabaga with my hand and turning it by hand. When it got down to about 3 inches, I was able to use the turner. Now I have a big bowlful of limp (I like limp) very thin rutabaga noodles. The texture is even softer than marinated pasta made with a Joyce Chen spiralizer.
So, I went back to read the instructions again. Putting the lie to those pictures of big vegetable chunks that the smiling Japanese lady with fat fingers grabbing the turning knob in a most ungraceful way was spiralizing, I saw that the instructions suggested an 8 cm chunk. 8 cm is a little more than 3 in. That was about where the turning knob started working for me.
After I finished spiralizing the rutabaga, I went to clean the Cook’s Help – not so easy– I ended up digging out the old discarded toothbrush that I had saved to get the stuff out of the teeth. (I was really really careful because I did not want to cut any more fingers – my almost amputated finger is just to the point where I can type with it) The vegetable brush did not work.
This is another model of Japanese technology. If you want to really deep clean it, you need a screwdriver, to unattach everything.
Still and all, I really really like the super-thin angel-hair pasta this baby makes. The Joyce Chen spiralizer cannot hold a candle to it. I’m dreaming of cool things I can make with this really skinny (almost chew-free) pasta.