A Guide to Shredding Cabbage with Food Processors
We all know how many health benefits cabbage brings to our daily nutrition intake. This familiar leafy green is packed with antioxidant vitamins and needed fiber while adding the crunchy, bittersweet bite into a variety of dishes.
Yes, everyone knows about the advantageous side of eating cabbage, but the downside is that prepping cabbage can be time-consuming and a bit painful if you do not know how to do it efficiently. Like many other vegetables in the cruciferous family, cabbage’s physical structure poses various questions among home cooks, and especially people who are new to the kitchen.
Of course, if you own a food processor, it is a completely different story with a more approachable way to cook. You may have some concerns. Do not worry. We are here to answer your questions when it comes to shredding cabbage. Read on to discover more!
A Guide to Dealing with Cabbages
So, there are 4 basic things you’ll need before you proceed:
- A good knife. Here’s a tip: Pay attention to the diameters of the cabbage and choose a knife that is longer than that. This is a completely game changer.
- A cutting board for, undoubtedly, proper cutting.
- A food processor of your choice (try a quality one in a relatively reasonable size)
- Last but not least, the star of the process, your cabbages.
If you’re all set, let’s go forward to our detailed guide
Regular Cabbage – How to Shred
The outer layers of cabbage should be first removed because they are usually torn and dirty. Secondly, the cabbage certainly needs washing before processing. The leaves then can simply be rinsed under flowing water just as easy as that.
Additionally, you need to locate and eliminate any worms or insects in the cabbage if you discover some signs. To resolve the problem, you can immerse the cabbage’s head in salt water or vinegar for approximately 15 minutes.
Now it is time to cut the cabbage. First, cut along the cabbage lengthwise. Place the cabbage on its stem, flat on the cutting board, and cut it in half lengthwise. Straight cuts do the work perfectly. We should not cut cabbage horizontally as it begins to fall out while we want all of the vegetables to be connected. Here, you can choose to remove the stem or leave it where it is until later on.
Creating the stable surfaces of the cabbage on the cutting board by cutting it into halves will make the process so much easier.
Then, we can split the two halves into smaller ones, straight slices through the middle of the stem. Now, it is much more convenient to eliminate the stem. We can continue to split or trim a bit more until the pieces are in the right size for the food processor’s chute and place them inside afterwards.
Logically, the more we cut the cabbage in halves, the smaller the slices are. Therefore, if you need long slices, quarters are just the right size target.
What if your food processor machine is too small? In that case, consider getting a larger one or you can always choose to slice cabbage with a knife. This way is quicker.
Napa Cabbages – How to Slice
To deal with napa cabbages, it is necessary to keep in mind that this kind of cabbage has more insects in the leaves than others. This happens because of their natural structures. Therefore, you need to put some extra care into washing them, making sure the cabbages are thoroughly cleaned before processing.
The most effective way to do it is to separate the leaves one by one and wash them separately instead of washing or soaking them all together. In that way, the vegetables are cleaner.
We should cut off the stem where the leaves’ root lies, and as a result, they will fall off immediately.
When all the leaves are cleaned, we can stack them together and cut them with a knife or even scissors if you prefer. Alternatively, you can utilize your food processor. It’ll save you a lot of time, especially when you need to prepare a big meal. Therefore, instead of doing it manually, we can do the following steps
- Cut the stack of leaves in halves or thirds, depending on the space inside the food processor.
- Roll the stack of leaves lengthwise into cylinder shapes. Add more leaves if you feel like it’s not thick enough.
- Repeat the process, adding more piles of cylinders one by one until you fill up all the space of the chute.
- When the processor is full, start pulsing until we get the desired sizes.
Bitter Taste of Cabbage
We should be aware that certain bitter ingredients can fight cancer, although the commercial food industry often tries to eliminate flavors to increase its sales volume.
Therefore, a bit of bitterness in the flavor of cabbage is usually a good thing when it comes to our physical health.
Instead of eliminating the so-called unpleasant flavors, it is better to mix cabbage with different flavorful ingredients so that the cabbage retains its uniquely remarkable flavor while you enjoy some tasty, flavorful dishes.
A way to reduce the bitterness is making coleslaw with cabbage as follows.
Before making coleslaw, soak the sliced cabbage in vinegar and salt water. Next, leave the vegetable for several hours or even all day. Then, rinse and let the cabbage dry a little before making coleslaw. This salt and vinegar soaking also reduces the crunchiness of the cabbage. However, it is still very crunchy just less than before being soaked.
You probably will not need to add salt to your coleslaw as the cabbage retains some of the salinity. Make sure we add a little sugar to your coleslaw. This is for balance. Not only are sweet ingredients like chopped apples and shredded carrots able to add to the coleslaw, but also a little sugar is appropriate. Doing this reduces the bitterness and gives us a great overall taste.
Great Recipes with Cabbage
Cabbage is one of the silent heroes in the kitchen thanks to Kimchi and Sauerkraut. Before and after mid-March are times in which we may not think much about cabbage. But we should. It is one of the most versatile vegetables you can find. If we only stock up for coleslaw and salads, it’s time to broaden our horizons and discover some great delicacies a simple cabbage head can do.
However, first, let’s start with a quick explanation: When it comes to buying a cabbage head, we have several options. As we are browsing through the recipes or walking towards the supermarket’s aisle, we may come across four types of cabbage: green, red, Napa, and Savoy. While they can all be chopped and eaten raw in salads and foods, the light and tender Napa cabbage is a popular addition in stir-fries and soups. Meanwhile, Savoy cabbage is less crunchy than others, working well when cooked and especially as wrapping for cabbage rolls.
From traditional coleslaw and salads to stir-fries, soups, and classics, cabbage is suitable for all.
Main Dishes with Cabbage
From stuffed cabbage to stir-fries, skillet dinners, pasta, and more, there are so many tasty ways to make cabbage the star of the dinner. Here are a few of our suggestions:
1. 30-Minute Kielbasa and Cabbage Skillet
Give this skillet dinner twist on the classic German dish a try. Finish this 30-minute meal with a splash of sweet and tangy apple cider vinegar and a bit of whole-grain mustard, and it tastes just incredibly good.
2. Weeknight Cabbage Rolls
Cabbage rolls are typically reserved for weekends or special occasions since they can take a while to assemble. However, most of the time, we do not like waiting, so we make this streamlined version, whose every bit is satisfying and a lot faster.
3. Baja Shrimp Taco Salad
This is how we do shrimp tacos as a salad. All the very good elements — juicy, spice-dusted shrimp, crisp cabbage slaw, tangy crema, and creamy avocado — come together in one big bowl. It’s a seriously feel-good dinner salad.
4. One-Pot Cabbage & Sausage Pasta
To make this weeknight-friendly pasta even easier to pull off, pick up already prepped veggies from the grocery store’s salad bar, or even the bagged stuff in the produce section.
5. Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Bowls
We do love cabbage rolls. But sometimes you want the flavors of a dish without any of the assembly. This weeknight recipe is exactly that: All the taste for a fraction of the work.
6. Pork and Cabbage Stir-Fry
Taking a classic cooking technique into an entirely different direction, this pork-and-cabbage stir fry with added apple slices which give it sweetness and crunch. It’s perfectly delicious served over rice but hearty enough to be enjoyed on its own, too.
7. Vegan Stir-Fried Cabbage in Peanut Sauce
In this vegan dish, sweet, tender Napa cabbage simmers in a coconut-peanut sauce. One bite and you’ll wonder why you don’t cook cabbage more often.
8. Pasta and Potatoes with Cabbage
Also called Pizzoccheri. This dish hails from the Lombardy region of Italy. We consider it proof that potatoes and pasta do go well together. The traditional dish is made with buckwheat pasta, but you can substitute it for your favorite variety. Here, we use orecchiette.
9. Burrito-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
This low-carb dinner gives you all the ideal parts of stuffed cabbage and a beef burrito in one meal.
10. Cider Vinegar-Glazed Chicken Sausage
There’s no easier weeknight meal than this sausage-and-cabbage combo. All it takes is a little sautéing, and we can have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes. Be sure to serve it with a healthy scoop of whole-grain mustard as well.
11. Cabbage Sides and Soup
From roasting, grilling to braising or sautéing, there’s no shortage of ways to transform cabbages into an easy side dish to partner with whatever we’re cooking for dinner.
12. Easy Cabbage & White Bean Soup
A Parmesan cheese rind bolsters the broth of this simple soup and makes it far more flavorful than you might expect.
13. Creamy Cabbage Gratin with Bacon and Mushrooms
If you prefer to keep this rich gratin meatless, leave out the bacon and swap the bacon fat for butter.
14. Roasted Cabbage with Bacon
If we haven’t tried roasting cabbage in wedges, you don’t know what you’re missing. Similar to roasting Brussels sprouts (but, we know, bigger), these wedges have just enough char to transform a head of cabbage that has been languishing in our crisper. The bacon is obviously a no-brainer.
15. Veggie-Packed Cabbage Soup
This light and hearty soup is incredibly comforting and comes together with a few fresh things and a couple of pantry staples.
16. Roasted Cabbage with Mustard Vinaigrette
Don’t sleep on roasted cabbage. The hot oven sweetens and softens the cabbage to perfection.
17. Hot & Sour Soup with Mushrooms, Cabbage, and Rice
This rich broth-based soup is the perfect antidote to a sore throat, a cold, or the cold. It’s easy to customize to your own tastes. Use chicken, turkey, or veggie stock and adjust the level of spiciness, sourness, or salinity to suit your taste. How about the ideal part? You probably have most of the ingredients you need in your fridge already.
18. Grilled Cabbage Wedges with Spicy Lime Dressing
For the year-round grill masters, this is a recipe worth firing up the coals (or opening the propane tank) for. The charred leaves provide the perfect balance for the spicy-sour dressing made with lime and cayenne. If grilling isn’t feasible, you can also roast the wedges for a similar charred effect.
19. One-Pot Braised Cabbage with Bacon
A bit of bacon fat transforms a simple pot of braised cabbage into something salty, savory, and that doesn’t need much more than cornbread to call it dinner.
20. Sautéed Cabbage and Roasted Potatoes
This side dish, from Bryant Terry, is inspired by atakilt, a hearty Ethiopian dish of slow-cooked potatoes, cabbage, and carrots.
21. Salads and Slaws
Sure, there’s classic coleslaw, but that just barely scratches the surface on all the way you can turn a head of cabbage into a crave-worthy, crunchy slaw.
22. Cabbage and Apple Slaw with Honey-Lime Dressing
Crisp shredded apples and a sweet and tangy honey-lime vinaigrette give our regular cabbage slaw a serious upgrade. Pair it with everything from tacos to roast chicken to pork chops or eat it on its own.
23. Shredded Cabbage and Sweet Potato Slaw
This gorgeous slaw is as welcome on our holiday table as it is in early fall. The citrus dressing brightens the cabbage and tenderizes it.
24. Tangy Cabbage and Jalapeño Slaw
Thanks to the crunchy textures and bold tangy and spicy flavors, we can have this dish in just five minutes.
25. Sesame Ginger Slaw
If coleslaw has always been your potluck go-to, this Asian-inspired version is a great way to change things up. It comes together with two kinds of cabbage and a punchy, nutty dressing.
26. Easy Taco Slaw
This is a simple recipe for red cabbage and carrot coleslaw that’s tossed in a spicy and creamy dressing — perfect for serving alongside tacos.
27. Roasted Cabbage Slaw with Hazelnuts & Lemon
This tasty slaw makes use of both from red and Savoy cabbage, and the roasting brings out the sweet flavor of both varieties. Because you’re roasting the cabbage after it’s been shredded, it’s incredibly quick to prepare. We think it’s the perfect companion for your favorite pizza.
28. Crunchy Asian Slaw with Ginger-Tahini Dressing
While we love making this no-cook dish in the summer, it is worth making at any time of year. The bright ginger dressing and the crunch of two types of cabbage can almost make us think the weather outside is delightful.
29. Napa Cabbage and Kale Coleslaw with Creamy Miso-Ginger Dressing
Get all our greens taken care of in one dish with this crunchy slaw. We can substitute it for seasonal produce as well. Just be sure to make plenty of dressing.
30. Kohlrabi and Cabbage Salad with Maple Lemon Dressing
Thanks to the fact that kohlrabi and cabbage are both hearty greens, this is the perfect salad that can be prepared in advance. Assemble it on the weekend for a weeknight dinner party — the dressing will just get better with time.
31. Napa Cabbage and Tofu Salad
This delightful dinner salad is built on a bed of Napa cabbage and kept well in the fridge all week for meal prep.
32. Apple Cabbage Salad with Brown Sugar Cider Vinaigrette
Make a big bowl of this tangy salad for your next chilly night. The crispness of the veggies paired with the tartness of the apple cider vinegar serves as a delicious contrast to a bowl of comforting chili.
33. Crunchy Cabbage & Ramen Noodle Salad
This sweet, tangy, and crunchy retro recipe is one of our favorites. Not only is it easy to make, but it’s also inexpensive since it uses instant ramen noodles. We can opt to use a bagged slaw mix or shred your own cabbage. Either way, it’s a crowd-pleaser.
34. Crisp Tuna-Cabbage Salad
Cabbages add serious crunch to classic tuna salad and turn it into something a whole lot more interesting.
35. Peanut, Carrot, and Cabbage Slaw
One of the great things about this slaw (aside from a delicious peanut dressing) is how we can add in any veggie you currently have in our fridge. Celery, bell peppers, and radishes all are fair game. And if we want to make it a full-on meal, add in some tofu and soba noodles to round it out.
Shredding cabbage is tricky because the vegetable itself takes time and effort to be sliced properly. The natural structure of such vegetables can lead to confusion for many people. If you have the help of a food processor, this process will be a lot easier and quicker to go through. Even though cabbage retains that bitterness, and this might be unpleasant to some people’s taste, it’s highly beneficial and recommended as a source of nutrition for your health maintenance. Therefore, give yourself some time to find your favorite cabbage recipes for your next dinner or to switch up your vegetables games every now and then.