Cabbage is a wonderfully versatile vegetable. While it can be cooked in a variety of ways including boiling, braising and stir-frying, cabbage is most frequently enjoyed raw. Shredding the cabbage head for use in salads, slaws and stir-frying is by far the most common preparation method for cooking. Shredding can be done with a sharp knife and by a skilled preparer, but it’s even easier in a food processor. With some preparation and a few simple steps, you’ll be shredding like the professionals in no time. All you’ll need is your cabbage, running water to clean it, a knife and a food processor with a slicing blade. Below you’ll find the foolproof steps to get perfectly shredded cabbage using your food processor.
Step 1: Selection and Washing
First, you’ll want to select a nice size cabbage with no major blemishes or soft spots. You’ll also want to check for any holes as this could indicate insect or worm damage. There are a great many varieties of cabbage around the world but the most popular in the US are green, red and Savoy cabbages. The method shown here is for these cabbages but can help you with other varieties like Napa cabbage, as well, with some slight variations.
Next, you’ll want to wash the cabbage to rid it of dirt and any bugs or debris. It’s easier to wash by removing a couple of the outer layers first and then rinsing it under running water or if you prefer, or if you suspect any insects have gotten through, you can soak it in vinegar or salted water for 10-20 minutes. Once clean you can pat dry with a clean cloth.
Step 2: Preparation
After you’ve thoroughly washed your cabbage you can move on to making the preliminary cuts and removing the stem. You’ll need a knife for this part and it should ideally be longer than the diameter of the cabbage.
When cutting, you’ll want to pay attention to where you cut, as cutting horizontally will allow the leaves to fall apart all over. You will need to make sure that you’re cutting vertically into the stem. Once you’ve halved it you can then remove the white fleshy stem now or continue to cut it into quarters first and then remove the stem.
Tip: Leaving a small part of the stem intact will allow the cabbage to stay together and you’ll make less of a mess. To do this just gradually cut away at the stem until just a small part is left holding the leaves together.
Once you’ve cut the cabbage into quarters, you will want to make sure that it will fit into the chute of the food processor. If it does, then you’re fine to move on to the next step. If it’s still a bit too big to fit, then cut it once more, remembering to keep the cuts vertical, until it fits through the opening and then you’re ready for the final step, chopping!
Step 3: Shredding in the food processor
Finally, to begin shredding you’ll assemble the slicing blade into the food processor and place the lid on while removing the stopper from the chute. Plugin and power on the processor and you can now feed the long cut slices of cabbage into the chute and allow the slicing blade to do all the work. Continue until you’ve chopped all of the cabbage.
Et voila! Now you have perfectly sliced cabbage with only half the time and effort.
Ways to use your freshly chopped Cabbage
Now that you have your prepped and shredded cabbage, there are endless possibilities of how you can use it. From stir-fries to coleslaw to tacos, soups, and casseroles, you can let your imagination run wild and include them in any number of your meals. They make great additions to salads, too, since they provide a nice crunch and change in texture. Coleslaw is probably the most widely known use of cabbage and is easy to make, as well.
Fun Facts about Cabbage
Cabbage is one of the oldest and most widely used vegetables and is still used today as a staple in many diets around the world. It has great health benefits and is rich in vitamins C and K, high in fiber and low in fat and like all vegetables is free of cholesterol. Like it’s relatives broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, it also contains certain plant chemicals that may protect against some types of cancer. Overall, it’s a great addition to your diet and is quite simple to make.
Storing and Freezing Cabbage
Accidentally make too much-shredded cabbage? Don’t have time to make your recipe for coleslaw right away? Don’t worry you can freeze it! To freeze it you’ll want to balance the shredded cabbage in boiling water for two to three minutes and then place it into cold water. After that, you’ll want to dry the cabbage and place it into freezer bags and remove the excess air and label and freeze.
You can also store your whole cabbage, before you’ve shredded it, for several weeks to months, as well. You’ll want to leave the outer layers on to protect the delicate inner layers and place the cabbage in a root cellar or the refrigerator. You can enjoy your cabbage all year round!
Cabbage is a great veggie to add to your cooking. These sturdy and healthful vegetables have a place in everyone’s home. All the endless ways of cooking and using the cabbage will keep your meals from being boring. You can have cabbage soup one night and coleslaw with your lunch the next day. With one cup of shredded cabbage containing approximately 190% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, you’ll want to add them to everything!