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Scallion Slicing Tool (as seen on Top Chef)?

On this week's episode of Top Chef, one of the competitors had a little tool that sliced scallions into long, skinny strips, and I must own one. I have a particular recipe that I make regularly which calls for lots of thinly sliced scallion curls, and I always spend too much time cutting them manually. I'm having major gadget envy here, so please help me find this thing. A web search has turned up nothing but this: http://umami.typepad.com/umami/2005/1..., which is not like the circular tool on the show, but I would take one if it were all I could find. Any possible sources online or in the Boston area?

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  1. Are you looking for a turning slicer like this?
    http://www.benriner.com/images/produc...

    1 Reply
    1. re: will47

      No. It was just a little handheld tool specifically for scallions. Sort of hard to describe, and they only showed it for a couple of seconds, but it was a circular thing through which the scallion slid the long way and got sliced into thin strips. It worked sort of like a mini version of an apple slicer (one of these: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I... ), if you can picture that. I really hope someone else saw this and can explain it better than I'm managing to do.

    2. I've seen something similar, called a "scallion rake" in SF Chinatown. It wasn't round, though. This was straight, with many razor-sharp teeth that you pull through the scallion.

      3 Replies
      1. re: pikawicca

        Yes, that sounds like the one linked in my first post (remove comma from end of URL to get clickable link to work properly). I don't like that design as much as the one that was on the show, but I would take it. I'm going to look around for one in the Boston Chinatown stores, but I don't recall ever having seen one. I also can't seem to find any for sale online. There's some discussion of them here: http://eatdrinknbmerry.blogspot.com/2... , and info on where to find them in the LA area, but nothing about an online source.

        1. re: QuantumKitten

          I wonder if a green bean Frenching tool would work.

          1. re: pikawicca

            Definitely the same principle, but I'm not sure the scallions would be sturdy enough to be pushed through the device. The one on the show had a metal skewer-like piece the scallion slid along to keep it straight.

      2. I've managed to watch the scene again, and to grab a somewhat blurry but still instructive screen capture: http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn... (my apologies to the board powers that be if they take issue with me posting a link to the image). As you can (sort of) see, the device is basically a ring at the end of a metal skewer. The scallion slides along the skewer and through the ring, where it gets sliced into thin strips.

        7 Replies
        1. re: QuantumKitten

          I wonder if there's any way of contacting Top Chef and asking them? I'd like to have one of these gizmos.

          1. re: pikawicca

            I believe the item belonged to the contestant (Spike), not to the Top Chef kitchen. I just found his web site and sent him an email titled, "I must have your scallion tool!" We'll see what happens.

            1. re: QuantumKitten

              In SF there's an asian cookware store that sells all manners of dishes, pots/pans, kitchenware and gadgets. Will look for the "tool" and promise to send you one if I can find it -- must have one for myself of course!

              1. re: Sarah

                Thanks so much, Sarah. If you ever need anything exclusive to the Boston area, please just say the word. And I'll definitely post here if I receive a reply to my email or find any other leads.

              2. re: QuantumKitten

                Please let us know what you find out

                1. re: paprkutr

                  Yes please do - I'd be interested in getting one of those too!

                2. re: QuantumKitten

                  So, I heard back from Spike. He pretty much confirmed what we've figured out, which is that one should be able to find the item at a food supply/gift store in any Chinatown. He says he gets his at some place on Mulberry St. in NYC Chinatown. He even offered to send one to me if I couldn't find it on my own. Very nice guy.

                  I'm going to do some more nosing around the Asian shops in Boston. There's a Chinese restaurant supply store that I haven't yet tried. Anyone else had any luck?

            2. Sorry to say I am not watching the Top Chef show this season, so I do not know exactly which tool/cutter the contestant has....however, I am pretty sure what it is you are seeking, or something that does the job. The multi-blade (8-12) scallion cutter is a very inexpensive knife found here in New Jersey in every Japanese or Korean Asian Market, usually in the satellite stores annexed to the food stores that carry the kitchen gadgets and rice cookers. I have not seen it in any local Chinese Markets. The model I have is made of Bamboo, the Handle and Sheath, but the basic model is made with Dishwasher safe plastic or rubber. Either model is made with surgical steel quality blades. To cut the scallions, you hold a spring onion by the roots or larger white end portion, stick the blades into the white end and drag the blade away down the green end. Rotate and repeat as many times as needed to get the desired width for your strips. I recommend you do this on a cutting board and not directly on your kitchen counter. wink wink.

              The scallions make great garnishes, salads and......scallion brushes used for Peking Duck to spread the Hoisin Sauce on the pancakes. When making scallion brushes, remember to immerse in an ice bath to curl the ends.

              BTW......the gadget is less than ten bucks for a basic model.

              1 Reply
              1. re: fourunder

                I don't watch Top Chef. but I must have that gadget, I use alot of scallions in my cooking and by the looks of it ,It would make my life easier. I will check out the chinese market and see if they have them. great hint . Thanks

              2. Find a Korean market... for sure there you can find the scallion rake there.

                1. http://vietworldkitchen.typepad.com/b...
                  Your screencapture looks more like the splitter than the rake. Vietnamese stores are better for finding splitters, Korean for rakes. I use the rake for scallions, though.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: trentyzan

                    Yes! The water spinach splitter in your link looks to be what he was using. Unfortunately, web searches for "water spinach splitter" and "dao chẻ rau muống" don't turn up any online ordering options, either. I guess I'll have to search for a Vietnamese market in my area. I'm also going to see whether I have any luck at the big local Asian supermarket tonight, although it's more Chinese-centric. Thank you so much for shedding light on the identity of the mystery tool.

                    1. re: QuantumKitten

                      So we're not looking for this anymore?
                      http://umami.typepad.com/umami/images...

                      1. re: Sarah

                        That's the rake, better found at Korean stores - like eatdrinknbmerry said. The splitter is specifically designed for curly long strands of water spinach, the rake for shredding scallions. I was just trying to clarify the items being discussed and which one was screencaptured for the original post. I use the rake for scallions.

                        1. re: Sarah

                          I'd actually like to try them both, and would be happy to find either one (no luck at the Asian market tonight). It's interesting to know that the tool on the show was actually designed for a different vegetable altogether, because it seemed to work really well for the scallion. I just thought it looked pretty cool for the two seconds it was shown. I'm sure the rake is fun in action, too. If I can get my hands on both of them, I'll do a head-to-head comparison and post detailed photos of the subtle differences in the scallion curls produced.

                          1. re: QuantumKitten

                            I will head over to Kamei to see what's in their gadget or doo-dad section -- but can't until next week...

                    2. If you want I can send you mine. Click on the tiny picture. Mine is the same as the one top left but white color. Or you can call a korean market, H-mart in New jersey. 201-943-9600. Korean calls it pah che knife. Good luck!

                       
                      10 Replies
                      1. re: imagelee

                        I picked one up at a Japanese grocery in Cambridge, MA.. for some reason, it was labeled "welsh onion slicer" or something like that..

                        1. re: grant.cook

                          What Japanese grocery in Cambridge, if you don't mind me asking? Was it Kotobukiya in Porter Exchange, or a different one? I haven't yet had time to hunt around any further, so my quest is still unfulfilled.

                          1. re: QuantumKitten

                            Yes, thats it - back in the corner where they have some of the kitchenware.. was a cheap thing. Make sure to check the blades - they aren't stainless, and mine had a tad bit of rust on it which was a pain to abrade off.

                        2. re: imagelee

                          That's so kind of you. I'm still betting I can find one in the Boston area when I get the time to look around in more Asian markets. Thanks for providing the Korean name; that may prove to be helpful. The one you have looks cool--a bit more substantial, maybe, than the other rake-style ones I've seen pictured. Oh, and I love that it can be used to score squid, as well.

                          1. re: QuantumKitten

                            Hi- I am new on this web site and have a chef friend who is also looking for the scallion tool seen on Top Chef- did you ever get your hands on one- I would love to give him as a gift!

                            1. re: QuantumKitten

                              QK - I never found any such item -- maybe I don't know what I'm looking for! This reminds me to search anew. Did you ever find the one you' were looking for?

                              1. re: Sarah

                                Go to www.culinarykitchenware.com and search "multi-slicer" - or go to a Japanese grocery and look around..

                                1. re: Sarah

                                  Sorry, I haven't been on here for a while. I did find a scallion rake at Kotobukiya (thanks, grant.cook!), and have been using that. It works quite well but, as mentioned above, is very prone to rust. I have yet to locate the elusive "water spinach splitter" for which I was originally looking. I'm sure I'll be able to find one the next time I'm in New York. If anyone ever succeeds in locating an online source for this, I'd still love to know about it.

                                  1. re: QuantumKitten

                                    I just e-mailed the MV Trading Co. to see if I could order one. According to Andrea Nguyen (author of Into the Vietnamese Kitchen) they carry them in their store but I checked and the tool isn't available on their website. If they will let me order one through the mail I'll let you know.

                                    1. re: QuantumKitten

                                      I know its been a number of years but did anyone end up finding a good source for the water spinach slicer?

                              2. Edited blank. Missed above response.