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crazy carrot shapes--butterflies, etc

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I went out to eat the other night at Asia City in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and every time there was a carrot slice in my dish, it was in the shape of a different animal--rabbit, butterfly, snail, bat, etc. The carvings were beautiful! Any idea if there is a machine that does this?

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  1. Not a machine, rather cutters, like cookie cutters. You press them through a block of carrot or other veggie, then slice. They are easily obtained at Japanese/asian markets and online, even Amazon.
    http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Bento-...

    1. As Quine says, these are small Japanese garnishing cutters. I have a fish and a dragon. My best experience has been to slice a carrot very thinly, but choose a carrot wide enough that your cutter will fit. Sometimes I slice, then par-boil the slices before cutting. To avoid the pulpy interior, get a really fat carrot and slice off the juicy orange exterior.

      The dragon looks great using a raw red bell pepper. Not roasted, too squishy.

      Depending on your cutter, sometimes tiny things (like eyes) need to be poked out completely, or tails or other small parts need to be eased out with a Japanese chopstick or a really small crochet hook.

      Please tell us what dishes you had. I use carrot fish floating in soup; pepper dragons on a salad.

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      1. re: nemo

        They had carrots in sizzling rice soup and in chow fun. I found them charming.