Knife Skills: Shredded Cabbage

I probably should continue with "Mirapoix 2" for this series. But then, how could you await that post with bated breath? Or I could continue with a bit about "how I hold my knife", but that doesn't really help you, since maybe you hold your knife differently because your hand is larger, or you have a different knife, or maybe I hold it incorrectly according to one of those "real" chef types. Either way, I am continuing with cabbage. Delicious, delicious cabbage. It gets a bad rap, for smelling weird or being boring, but I love it in all its glorious forms: raw, braised, fermented, sautéed, in soup, in fish tacos...the list goes on. The Rhymes with Greer household has been known to go through near an entire head in one sitting, the gaseous consequences be damned. A lot of the time, you'll need to shred your cabbage. Here's how I do it.

Choosing a Cabbage

Shredding or otherwise, you want a cabbage that is heavy for its size and has some nicely colored leaves (green or purple, depending on your needs).

Mmm. Fart plant!

Mmm. Fart plant!

Method

Step 1 - Quarter

Quarter the cabbage through the stem.

Step 1 - quarter.JPG

Step 2 - Stem

Cut off the thick part of the stem at an angle.

Step 2 - stem.JPG

Step 3 - Peel

Peel a few layers of cabbage from the outermost side. Each layer should mostly look like a triangle. I usually do 3-4 layers at a time.

Step 3 - peel.JPG
Step 4 - bisect.JPG

Step 4 - Bisect

Lay the triangle layers on the cutting board like a piece of paper. Then, cut the triangle from base to tip and stack the two sides on top of each other, like this. But unlike this, turn yours over so that the curve goes into the board, and you can moosh it with your...

Show that cabbage who's boss

Show that cabbage who's boss

Step 5 - Claw

Prepare to cut. Get out your massive claw, and just like cutting onions, keep your wrist on your board. Curl your fingers in so you don't add any bloody bits or fingernails to your nice cabbage shreds.

Step 6

Grab your chef's knife and start cutting thin slices. Usually I leave the tip of my knife on the board and get a front to back rocking rhythm going. Do you need practice getting faster at chopping? DO THIS. You will get faster, fast. Cause, wow. Cabbages. They are large and provide lots of experience all at once. As you feel comfortable, you can also play with the length of the shreds by adjusting the angle of your knife to the cabbage. Straight across? Shorter! At a huge V? Longer! See what thickness you like your ribbons, or what works for the dish you're making. Shred the whole head and put it in a tupperware or gallon ziplock. Throw it into everything. Eat it on its own. Endless permutations, I tell you! Endless!

Repeat with the remaining layers. The last hunk of each quarter will get hard to peel. Once you're there, just stop peeling and just slice that thinly. Don't worry if it's not the exact same size as the rest of your shreds, because it won't be. Relax and go with the flow.  Happy farting!

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