How To Cut Cabbage

Cutting cabbage is actually remarkably easy, as long as you have a good knife and are willing to put some back into it, according to food blogger & photographer Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Table.

It all starts with a cabbage, its large outer leaves hiding a tight centre. The inside of a cabbage looks like many curls tightly wound together, not unlike a martian landscape. This can be look especially beautiful on a red cabbage.

But how to cut through this monstrosity? Ask anyone who has ever tried to break down a cabbage and instead ended up buying the bags of precut cabbage leaves, and it can seem like a daunting task. But when bags of coleslaw are expensive and often end up at best greying around the edges, it helps to have a few tips and tricks for cutting cabbage up your sleeve.

With a few short steps, we are here to break down how to cut cabbage, for coleslaw or otherwise.

Peel off outer cabbage leaves

With your hands, grab onto the large outer leaves of the cabbage and pull them off. This layer often ends up coming into contact with every surface it passes by and collects germs while also getting rough and torn. It's best to just remove those leaves and send them straight into compost.

Rinse the cabbage with the leaves removed.

Cut cabbage in half

Once your cabbage looks pristine and devoid of any nicks and cuts, you can get to cutting it. Place the head of cabbage on a cutting board or clean work surface, core-side down.

With a big, sharp chef's knife, push the edge of your knife slightly into the cabbage and, applying some pressure, cut the cabbage in half lengthwise, cutting all the way through the core. You may need to put some weight onto your knife at the very end just to get the knife through the stem.

How to cut cabbage into wedges

If you want to cut your cabbage into wedges for braising or sautéing, then you want to leave the core mostly intact to avoid losing any leaves. However, we do want to trim the stem a little to ensure all the cabbage we're left with is soft and sweet. Trim the bottom, the tough and browned end of the stem by about half an inch, leaving a freshly cut, short core.

Depending on the shape you're looking for, either proceed to cut each cabbage half into two quarters (for braised cabbage quarters), or proceed to make wedge-shaped slices through the core (for corned beef and cabbage).

To cut cabbage for coleslaw, remove the core

If you want to cut cabbage into thin strips for coleslaw, then you need to completely remove the core that's holding the cabbage together.

Place each cut half of the cabbage on the cutting board, cut side up. Make two angled cuts along the core (the big tough white thing running through the middle of the cabbage). Make the cuts deep into the cabbage flesh and then turn your knife slightly inside, making the cuts come together, creating a triangle. You should then be able to pull the core out with your hands.

Repeat with the other cabbage half.

Slice cabbage along the short end

Place each de-stemmed cabbage half on the cutting board, cut-side down. Starting at the short end opposite the stem, cut the cabbage crosswise from top to bottom into thin slices. Use a sharp chef's knife for best results.

Repeat with the other cabbage half.

Why is my cut cabbage turning black?

Cut cabbage will begin to turn grey and then black along the cut edges as it begins to age. This occurs due to oxidation.

Greying edges doesn't make the whole cabbage bad — it just means you can cut off the greying parts and discard only those bits. If the greying strands are mixed in with the other cabbage strands you cut, you can just fish them out and throw them out. You can proceed with eating and cutting the rest of the cabbage.

How To Cut Cabbage
No Ratings
Cutting cabbage is actually remarkably easy, as long as you have a good knife and are willing to put some back into it. Here's how you can do it at home.
Prep Time
2
minutes
Cook Time
0
minutes
Servings
1
cabbage
cabbage and knife on cutting board
Ready in 2 minutes
Ingredients
  • Cabbage
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
Directions
  1. Peel off outer cabbage leaves.
  2. Cut cabbage in half.
  3. If you want to cut cabbage into wedges for braising or sautéing, leave the core intact. Trim the bottom, the tough and browned end of the stem by about half an inch.
  4. Depending on the shape you're looking for, either proceed to cut each cabbage half into two quarters (for braised cabbage quarters), or proceed to make wedge-shaped slices through the core (for corned beef and cabbage).
  5. To cut cabbage for coleslaw, remove core. Place each cut half of the cabbage on the cutting board, cut-side up. Make the cuts deep into the cabbage flesh and then turn your knife slightly inside, making the cuts come together, creating a triangle. Pull the core out with your hands. Repeat with the other cabbage half.
  6. Place each de-stemmed cabbage half, cut-side down, on the cutting board. Starting at the short end opposite the stem, cut the cabbage crosswise from top to bottom into thin slices. Repeat with other half.
Rate this recipe