Experiments are extremely common in our household. One of the more recent ones was to determine whether it is better to shred cabbage with a knife, with a Cuisinart, or to buy it pre-shredded at the grocery store. Despite the fact that I own a lovely Cuisinart and that pre-shredded, bagged cabbage is readily available at the supermarket, I have always shredded cabbage with a knife.
This is probably because that’s the way my mother taught me to do it. However, the results of our experiment proved, to me at least, that it’s the best way to go. So here is a brief picture tutorial on how to shred a cabbage and five reasons why everyone should learn how to do it with a knife.
1. Place the cabbage on a cutting coard with the core side down. Using a large chef’s knife, cut the cabbage in half from top to bottom as pictured below. (The core is the bottom)
2. Now use the tip of your knife to remove the core. See the circled area in the picture below – this is what you want to remove.
3. With your non-dominant hand, hold the cabbage on the cutting board at a 135 degree angle. Then, holding the chef’s knife at a slightly less angle, make a thin slice down the interior side of the cabbage. You’re basically shaving the cabbage. If your knife is sharp, you should be able to make one long slice, with no sawing back and forth. Continue this shaving process until the cabbage is difficult to hold. At that point, lay the cabbage on the cutting board with the interior side facing down, and chop into long thin slices.
The pre-shredded cabbage may be quick, but it’s just not the same as fresh cabbage. It was very dry and overly light, so I’m assuming that it had been in the bag for a while and most of the moisture had evaporated.
A head of cabbage is generally $0.29 to $0.59 cents per pound, while the stuff in the bag (I’m not sure I want to call it cabbage) costs at least $2.99 per bag. A large head of cabbage will go a long way. You can easily make cole slaw for large crowd with one head.
I thought that the Cuisinart would do a great job with the cabbage, but it ended up shredding it into really little pieces. Think KFC cole slaw. I prefer long thin strands, so this didn’t work for us.
The final strike against the Cuisinart was the fact that it takes up a lot of room in my dish drain or my dishwasher. I have enough trouble keeping the kitchen clean without having to clean it as well. The knife cleans up in about three seconds, so it’s the definite winner.
After a long day, it’s sometime really fun to hack into a large vegetable with a big, long knife. Granted, you would get to hack the cabbage even if you used the Cuisinart, since you would have to cut the cabbage into Cuisinart sized chunks. This brings me back to my earlier point, why get the Cuisinart dirty when you’ve already gotten your knife out.