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Easy Steps for Shredding Cabbage

Shredded cabbage is the unsung hero of the vegetable world. Unlike lettuce, white cabbage stays crisp even when coated in a heavy dressing, red cabbage lends coleslaw a colorful crunch, and the frilly edges of a Napa cabbage make a simple savory pancake look gosh darn pretty. However, cutting through a huge head of this cruciferous king can be a mission unless you have a particularly large kitchen knife that you can put your back into. This is why it’s easier to succumb to the convenience of pre-shredded bags of cabbage that are table-ready and don’t need to be rinsed. Unfortunately these bags are expensive and are often sold in large sized packs. For a speedier, cheaper, and neater option, try shredding your cabbage with a mandoline slicer. This kitchen gadget makes shredding even the biggest cabbage an effortless process with little clean up afterward.

While the classic method of slicing cabbage thinly with a sharp knife works, it’s time-consuming and messy, especially if you’re prepping a double batch of sauerkraut. It’s also unlikely that you’ll be able to shred the cabbage into even strands that have a uniform thickness, even if you portion it out into quarters first by cutting through the fibrous core. 

Mandoline slicers can be adjusted for thickness

Mandoline slicer and cabbage

A mandolin creates shreds that are super-thin and guaranteed to be equally sized (there’s a nifty adjustable dial on the side that allows you to change the thickness of the slices too). As long as you use a safety guard to protect your fingers, you can easily shred a whole cabbage in a few minutes. While we concede that a food processor takes mere seconds to shred an entire head of cabbage too, you’ll need to make sure your machine has been fitted with a special attachment plate made specifically for shredding. What’s more, pulling a large appliance out of the back of the cupboard feels like a real effort if you only want to shred a small chunk. Furthermore, it’s quicker to wash up a single mandolin than an entire processor with its bowl and blade.

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Whichever method appeals to you, always chill your cabbage in the fridge first to firm up its texture. This simple move will make it easier to create shreds with crisp edges. Leftovers can be boxed up and stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge for up to three days without the shreds wilting and losing their characteristic crunch. Add your prepped cabbage to salads to lend them some textural heft, toss it into stews to boost their fiber content, or combine with beaten eggs to make crispy Okonomiyaki pancakes. With so many fun and inventive ways to use cabbage, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

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