How To Shred Cabbage: A Step-by-Step Guide
Shredded cabbage is the basis for so many wonderful recipes — slaws, sauerkraut, 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! Since most cabbage recipes call for shredded cabbage, it’s time to pick up a knife and learn how to shred cabbage the proper way.
These methods works best for any round, densely packed head of cabbage such as red cabbage and green cabbages, and crinkly heads of savoy cabbage. It even works for Napa cabbage, which is more oval shaped and has looser leaves.
How To Shred Cabbage with a Knife
Cabbage that is meant to be eaten raw in coleslaw or salad can be shredded. Shredding is also the best method for sautéed cabbage, or cabbage meant to be eaten by the spoonful or forkful, as in the case of soup or stew. You can use a chef’s knife or a mandoline slicer to shred cabbage. Here’s how to shred cabbage no matter what tool you have on hand.
- Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage. They sometimes contain contaminants, because they act as a barrier between the rest of the cabbage and the world-at-large (including manual handling and falls from grocery store shelves)
- If the core extends below the bottom of the cabbage, you can slice it off with the knife before proceeding.
- First, set the cabbage on its side and place a large chef’s knife in the center of the head, with the blade running top to bottom. Hold the cabbage steady with your non-dominant hand as you make one (or likely two) clean cuts to separate it into two halves.
- Place one half on the cutting board, cut-side down. Repeat the process above (making a vertical cut in the middle of the cabbage) so you have two more pieces. Repeat this with the other half. You should now have four wedges.
- Set one wedge on its side and make a diagonal incision at the bottom to cut away the core. Repeat with the remaining quarters.
- Hold onto one end of the cabbage with your non-dominant hand, with the fingertips keeping the cabbage in place, and the knuckles slightly bent. (Bending the knuckles keeps your fingertips safe from the knife blade, because they act as a barrier.)
- Use a small rocking motion to slice from the opposite end of the cabbage toward your non-dominant hand. You can choose how thick the slices should be, but a good starting point is ⅛”-¼” inch wide.
How to Shred Cabbage with a Mandoline
- Set one wedge on top of the mandoline lengthwise, with the cut side facing the blade. Place the food guard over the outside edge of the cabbage and hold onto it with one hand. With your other hand, firmly grip the mandoline handle.
- Use the guard to slide the cabbage up and down, over the blade. Once you reach the end of the cabbage, you can set aside the mandoline and use a knife to manually slice any residual pieces.
How to Shred Cabbage with a Box Grater
- Cut the prepped cabbage into quarters and cut out the core from each piece
- Stand the box grater up-right and hold the cabbage quarter against the large holes of the box grater. Grate the cabbage by motioning it up and down against the grater to shred.