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Recipe: Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad + My New Furi Knife Block
It’s hot, so obviously I wanted to share a cucumber salad with you. They’re so bright ands refreshing, I can’t think of a single summer meal that cucumber in some form does not improve. I’ve been sitting on this Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad for a while now, that I’ve adapted to suit my family from a food blog I love, Healthy Nibbles. I love adding it as a vegetable to lighten up big spreads of Chinese and pan-Asian dishes, and it is also lovely as a light lunch served over jasmine rice, or folded through some cold rice noodles, perhaps with a bit of silken tofu.
As this recipe is basically just chopping and whisking, I though it would be the perfect opportunity to share my latest kitchen gadget with you all. Now, my kitchen cupboards are a bit of a random place; I can’t remember the last time I purchased myself a new piece of kitchen equipment that was not something simple like a new chopping board, so all of my stuff is a haphazard mix between old, cheap and battered items leftover from my student days, and new, shiny and sometimes expensive (I’m looking at you extensive Le Creuset collection) I’ve been gifted as part of various jobs and collaborations. My knife situation, until recently was a bit of a mess. Two of my knifes were part of the cheap – but decent- French supermarket set acquired as part of my first student kitchen. They used to be rather good and sharp, but now they need sharpening all the time, and I honestly have no idea where the bent tip on the paining knife came from. These two knifes have siblings, in another big chefs knife, if possible which blunts even faster and with a cracked handle that a customer left behind in my families holiday cottages. The pairing knife’s sibling is actually quite a decent, but lonely sabatier which I treated myself to in my third year from TK Maxx. Most recently I’ve been enjoying a set of brightly coloured everyday knifes including a small utility knife, a serrated utility knife and a santoku knife, great with their own little plastic blade covers for when I want to head around London doing demonstrations, but a nightmare to sharpen, and they’re getting blunter by the day.
Enter Furi, an Australian brand of kitchen knives made from Japanese steel, who asked me if I would accept the gift of one of their knife blocks to test drive in my kitchen. To me, the concept of my own knife block is very exciting and sophisticated, so obviously I accepted. Nothing could have prepared me for the sexy thing that is now sitting on my kitchen counter. Lovely wood, sleek lines, and equal sized slots for their blades, so I can choose what order I keep the knives in, and if, god forbid one gets damaged, replace it with another knife rather than have a hole no other knife fits in – it’s a practical knife block, not just a beautiful one.
So, what about the knifes themselves. So, once I got over the fear of how sharp they are (it has been a while since I’ve handled one, yet alone a full set of knives sharpened to such a professional finish – but hopefully this can continue as the block came with a free sharpener designed specifically for Furi knives) I found they were some of the best I’ve ever used, even better than some of the professional blocks my parents have had over the years. I have naturally small hands so sometimes struggle with your average chefs knife, but the way the handles are crafted and the knives balanced, I’ve had no trouble at all, even if it is still the santoku (the all purpose knife with the ridges in, in case you were wondering) and the pairing knife I use most of all. None of them are too heavy for me either, while still having some weight to them, and I just know they will last, as I know plastic and wooden handles don’t age well, even if you do the right thing and wash them up by hand, rather than the dishwasher.
I’ll let you know how I get on with the knives once I’ve had a chance to spend more than a couple of weeks with them. If you’re already sold, check out their website, and find them on Amazon here.
I'm a food writer living in London and the English Countryside. Welcome to my online diary where I share easy, weeknight recipes, foodie travel diaries and some of the best places I've eaten out recently.
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One Pan Pescatarian: 100 Delicious Dinners – Veggie, Vegan, Fish
My second cookbook contains 100 delicious dinner recipes, all of which are either vegetarian, vegan or which celebrate fish and seafood - all cooked in either one pot or one pan.*