If you have taken any interest in my Vegan Roll recipe, or, indeed, if you have ever had any decent Chinese soup, particularly fish soup, you will have noticed those long, thin strands of vegetables. They are used in purely traditional “Western” recipes as well, but they are not as common, and they are used mostly for a visual effect. In either case, those are known as Julienne cuts, and they are almost impossible to get right without a mandoline slicer. However, the good news is that, if you are using a mandoline slicer the job could not be more easy to do.
All you have to do in order to Julienne some vegetables with a mandoline slicer is to use the pronged runway, with preferably the ¼ inch slots. You need to click that in, put your carrot, or potato, or whatever it is you are slicing, in the food holder and just run it down the slide. One obvious caveat here is that you need to place the carrots on their side so the entire length of the carrot will be sliced in one go. Otherwise you are still going to get Julienne carrots but they are going to be only as thick as the carrots themselves are. So, although it may be a little bit more difficult to cut a carrot on its length, particularly if you have an older mandoline slicer that has grown dull, I really do recommend putting a little muscle into it and Julienning that carrot the proper way.
One piece of advice that cannot be overstated here is that you should be as careful as possible to always use the food holder as you slice. I have known many people who had to go to the ER because they had taken a huge slice of skin off their own fingers by not using the food holder. It does feel more comfortable to just use your hands and get a good grip of that potato or carrot, but take my advice and take the time to learn to use the food holder. In fact, it is the most difficult part of using a mandoline slicer, but it is also something that you learn and that you will grow to feel very comfortable with, as long as you take the time to learn.