HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Shredded cabbage help!

I'm hoping to get some help on a problem i'm having. I have somewhat limited hand dexterity, and want to have finely shredded cabbage for a Japanese salad i've been craving. Reading up on this, lots of people say that hand cutting the cabbage is the only way to go. If this went into a food processor, the texture would be totally different, not what i'm wanting.

I tried using a mandolin slicer last night, with just mediocre results. Just to make it easy to imagine, i'm wanting the texture of the shred to be like that fake plastic Easter grass that's used in baskets at Easter-time. Almost a chiffonade.

My hand cutting that I attempted was not sucessful. Too big cuts, and my hands just coulden't do a good job of it.

Any suggestions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Are you using Savoy cabbage? I can see this not doing well on a mandolin. If I couldn't shred by hand I would definitely go the food processor route.

    1. I wonder if the cuts would be finer if you applied only the slightest pressure to your cabbage when you processed it. It is hard to get that fine without a proper mandoline or patient slicing. Try that out and cut the wedges so that they are cross cutting the leaf.

      1. If you cannot manage it, I just want to say that I saw a pre-shredded cabbage product in the store the other day called "angel hair cut cabbage"--it was shredded very fine. Not sure if it's also available where you are, though.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Val

          I'm SO hoping this is found here in Las Vegas! Angel hair cut sounds perfect for what i'm wanting! I'm going to check a few places this weekend on Sunday. I'll report back if I find it. Thanks for the heads-up on it!

          1. re: Honeychan

            Honeychan--I was at Publix today and checked this out again...darn me-- I forgot to check out the brand of the angel hair cabbage--the bad thing about this stuff is that it is so white...hardly any green parts of the cabbage leaf in there which is SO unappealing to me but I hope you had success finding it or something similar!
            Edit: Okay...the brand is what I thought...DOLE!

        2. I make this at home a lot as we are living in Japan. It will be tough if, as you say, you have limited hand dexterity. I notice that the cabbage we get in Japan is much firmer and crunchier than in the U.S., making it easier to cut. Maybe try putting your cabbage in the fridge (or even in some cold water?) to try and firm it up before cutting. In all of the restaurants here it is done by hand. The mandoline should be a good backup though. Also, in Japan, we can buy it already cut up like that.

          Good luck! Maybe it just takes practice? It took me a while to get the hang of it.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Yukari

            I'll take a closer look in the produce section the next trip. Maybe it's sold here as such, allready shredded. That would be a godsend, to say the least!

            Yes, i'm trying to make at home the heavenly cabbage salad that's usually served with tonkatsu. (one Japanese resto here in Las Vegas also serves it with tempura. I've heard the idea that it "cuts down" on the greasiness of said fried foods)

            Am I right that the creamy salad dressing used is a mix of mayonnayse, tomato ketchup and some sesame oil? I did some experimenting the other night, and it came out very very close to what i'm used to having. (wonderful, I could put it on rocks, and i'd eat them!)

            Thanks in advance for any clues on that dressing!

            1. re: Honeychan

              Oh, I love that cabbage salad that accompanied tonkatsu in Japan. Angel hair cut describes the shred perfectly. Please post the dressing ideas that you have please. I would love to make this at home.

              1. re: smtucker

                yes yes, please post the dressing! this sounds fantastic.

          2. I just made some last weekend and it was a thin chiffonade. I used my food professor and it worked great. Mine was very very thin.

            1. If you have a hand dexterity problem, please be careful. A mandolin can mandolinize your hand before it even thinks about it., and I am thinking that my neighbor just got five stitches in the emergency room after attempting to filet a fish. Is the angelhairiness of your cabbage really that important? Do take care of yourself.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Querencia

                Oh yes be careful. I have A brush or whatever they call it which attaches to the food. Finger stay intact this way. Sorry I don't know what they call it.

                1. re: kchurchill5

                  My mandolin also had the hand-guard thing that attaches to the food, so it's actually a bit easier for me to use. (A bigger area for my hand to grip)

                  Thank you so much for the info, Val! If Dole makes it, it should be found all over, or so i'd think. I'll check it out tonite, and report back.

                  1. re: Honeychan

                    I agree if dole makes it get it. Less work. I don't mine preshredded cabbage. enough things to do on my list. I have never looked for that but I may next time.

              2. Without knowing your limitations, I'm unsure if this would help: the "pinch" grip on a chef's knife involves placing your hand far forward, over the tang, and gripping the top edge area of the blade between your thumb and forefinger, with the other 3 fingers wrapped around the handle. This might sound awkward but if you try it you will find you have more control, with less pressure. Your wrist is not flexing back and forth, so the power is coming from your forearm, the aim from your index finger.

                1. It seems many of you are familiar with this Japanese cabbage salad. Can we get a recipe please?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: luckyfatima

                    I've been in a heated debate with my husband over the ingredients for the salad dressing. Since he lived in Japan for 6 months, he considers himself the know-it-all for things Japanese. He -swears- the dressing is only mayo with a bit of ketchup. (half a cup, of mayo, to about 1 or 2 tablespoons of ketchup)

                    I, on the other hand, am convinced there is a small dash of sesame oil, as well. Am I right? i'm betting I am; but then again, I love sesame oil in almost everything Asian.

                    I hope you can clear this up, Yukari!

                    1. re: Honeychan

                      I thought I sensed something sweet in there as well. But I don't know what it was.

                  2. Can you do batches of 4-5 leaves held flat at a time?

                    1. Honeychan- I am right-handed and have nerve damage in my right arm and hand. I use a big serrated knife like for bread. Cut the cabbage in half. Lay flat and just gently cut as finely as possible with the bottom of the cabbage on your left. You are not applying any real pressure, just guiding the knife down straight. As you approach the core you can cut it out in a "v" shape or just turn the cabbage so you are slicing around it. The problem with the processor is that it can get too think and it seems to maybe heat it up or something. My step mom does her slaw in the processor and it always seems to have a sharper taste- like some "I am cabbage hear me rour" oils were released. Good luck.