How To Shred Cabbage

Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

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Shredded cabbage is the basis for so many wonderful recipes — slaws, krauts, soups, stir-fries. The method is simple and takes just a minute, so there's no reason to purchase those bags of overpriced, pre-shredded stuff. Fresh is the way to go!

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I love a roly-poly head of cabbage! So much goodness is packed into those dense balls of tightly curled leaves. But most cabbage recipes call for shredded cabbage, which means it's time to pick up a knife and get to work dismantling those lovely balls into workable shreds. What's the best way to break down a cabbage?

The process is simple: quarter the cabbage, remove the core, and thinly slice. This method works best for any round, densely packed head of cabbage such as the red cabbage pictured here, green cabbages, and crinkly heads of savoy cabbage. It even works for napa cabbage, which is more oval shaped and has looser leaves. (Other elongated Asian cabbages such as bok choy are handled differently.)

Once your cabbage is shredded, it is possible to seal it tightly and store it for a few days in the refrigerator. But do try to use your cabbage as soon as possible for best taste and texture!

How To Shred Cabbage

What You Need

Ingredients
1 head of cabbage

Equipment
Chef's knife
Cutting board

Instructions

  1. Rinse and prep the cabbage: Rinse the cabbage under cold running water and pat the outside dry. Pull off and discard any wilted or damaged outer leaves.
  2. Quarter the cabbage: Place the cabbage on the cutting board with the core end against the board. Using the chef's knife, cut the cabbage in half vertically through the core. Cut each half vertically again through the core, creating 4 wedges.
  3. Remove the core: Position a cabbage wedge with one of the cut sides facing down onto the cutting board. With the knife, make an angled cut into the cabbage to remove the core. Repeat with remaining 3 wedges.
  4. Shred the cabbage. Slice each of the cabbage wedges into shreds. Slicing along the vertical edge will make longer shreds; slicing along the horizontal yields shorter lengths.

Recipe Notes

  • The thickness of the shred depends on the recipe. Most soups use a thicker shred (1/4" to 1/2") while krauts and slaws are usually finer, closer to 1/8".

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(Image credits: Dana Velden)