How to Cut Cabbage

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Learn how to core and cut cabbage with ease. Cutting your own fresh cabbage for slaw and other preparations is so economical and the flavor of fresh cut cabbage is the best.

Cabbage at the market for how to cut and core cabbage
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My easy cabbage salad with garlic and lemon is a winner on all scores: the salad comes together in a snap, packs incredible fresh flavor in just a few ingredients, and is at home with most every grilled meat, vegetable, and wrap you can think of.

No more eyeing cabbage in the grocery store and thinking how big and unwieldy it is, and taking a pass on enjoying fresh cabbage!

Cabbage is a wonderful, healthy, leafy vegetable that we use in salads and to roll Lebanese Cabbage Rolls too. For any and all of these recipes, the core is not used and needs to be removed from the cabbage.

How to core cabbage two different ways.

Before coring cabbage, always remove the very outer leaves and discard those. They’re often damaged and this ensures you’re working with the cleanest leaves underneath.

Whole cabbage with the core cut out

Method #1: Cut the core out before halving the cabbage. This is how to core cabbage for cabbage rolls, because the whole leave is used for rolling. If the cabbage is halved before coring, then the whole leaf won’t be there for stuffing.

To core the cabbage this way, use a sharp chef’s knife. Make deep, angled cuts around the core, pulling it out like a plug. Usually four cuts around will do it, but keep cutting into your cut marks if the core is stubburn, to loosen it.

Cabbage cut in half with the core removed

Method #2: Cut the core out after cutting the cabbage in half. The core is easier to cut out once the cabbage is cut in half straight down through the core. But that cut takes some muscle, with a sharp knife and steady hand, to push down through the core from the top of the cabbage.

To core cabbage this way, use a sharp chef’s knife. Hold the cabbage with the core facing down on a cutting board. Cut through the cabbage from the top to the bottom, sawing as needed to get through the dense leaves and the hard core.

Once halved, the core will be visible. Cut around the core in two cuts on an angle, one on each side of the core. Keep pushing the tip of your knife into these cuts to loosen the core until it pulls out.

How to cut cabbage

Once the core is removed, it’s easy to cut shreds of cabbage however thinly you need them for your recipe (very thin for slaw, a little wider than that for a sauté).

Cabbage sliced on a cutting board
Shredded cored cabbage on a board

Cut the cabbage into halves and if you like, into quarters. Then, slice crosswise with a large, sharp chef’s knife into shreds. Cabbage halves can also be cut crosswise without quartering first for longer shreds, or cut in half lengthwise after cutting the whole half crosswise.

How to store cabbage

You’ll see that even a half of a cabbage yields a TON of shredded cabbage! I usually use one half for a big salad and save the other half, whole, for another salad or sauté within a week or two.

Shredded cabbage can be refrigerated in a ziptop bag for a week, undressed.

Cabbage salad, that’s been tossed with vinaigrette, should be eaten up within a day or so as the cabbage begins to lose its crunch.

Tips for choosing cabbage

Most cabbage are pretty large, about two pounds. Organic cabbage is often smaller, so go for that if you want a smaller cabbage.

Look for cabbage that is tight/solid when squeezed.

Outer layers may be slightly damaged; remove these are before coring. Look for mostly undamaged outer leaves that are light green in color.

Favorite Cabbage Recipes

Cabbage Rolls with Tomato are very achievable and a traditional favorite.

Make a super Easy Cabbage Salad with Garlic and Lemon and it will quickly become a go-to salad! We love it so.

Garlicky Cabbage Rolls are another version of cabbage rolls, cooked in a garlicky broth without tomato.

Lebanese Coleslaw, Malfouf Salad packs so much flavor without any mayo in sight!

Shredded cored cabbage on a board
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5 from 1 vote

How to Cut Cabbage

Learn how to cut cabbage with ease. Cutting your own fresh cabbage for slaw and other preparations is so economical and the flavor of fresh cut cabbage is the best.
Prep: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 whole cabbage

Ingredients 

  • 1 whole cabbage
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Instructions 

To core the cabbage:

  • Method #1: Cut the core out before halving the cabbage. Thisis how to core cabbage for cabbage rolls, because the whole leave is used forrolling. If the cabbage is halved before coring, then the whole leaf won’t be therefor stuffing.
    To core the cabbage this way, use a sharp chef’s knife. Make deep, angled cuts around the core, pulling it out like a plug. Usually four cuts around will do it, but keep cutting into your cut marks if the core is stubborn,to loosen it.
  • Method #2: Cut the core out after cutting the cabbage in half. The core is easier to cut out once the cabbage is cut in half straight down through the core. But that cut takes some muscle, with a sharp knife and steady hand, to push down through the core from the top of the cabbage.
    To core cabbage this way, use a sharp chef’s knife. Hold the cabbage with the core facing down on a cutting board. Cut through the cabbage from the top to the bottom, sawing as needed to get through the dense leaves and the hard core.
    Once halved, the core will be visible. Cut around the core in two cuts on an angle, one on each side of the core. Keep pushing the tip of your knife into these cuts to loosen the core until it pulls out.

To shred the cabbage:

  • Cut the cabbage into halves and if you like, into quarters, then slice crosswise with a large, sharp chef’s knife into shreds. Cabbage halves can also be cut crosswise without quartering first for longer shreds, or cut in half lengthwise after cutting the whole half crosswise.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Maureen Abood
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 whole cabbage
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