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Dec 5, 2011 12:28 PM

"Harvesting" green cabbage leaves

I have everything I need for cabbage rolls. What's the best technique for peeling the leaves from the head without mangling them? Thanks so much!

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  1. Cut off the root stem and peel the leaves, gently, from the bottom toward the top of the head.

    1 Reply
    1. re: todao

      Thank you both. It's nice to have a choice! Pat

    2. I take the whole head - cut the stem off/ out . Removing ALL of the stem - I then gently blanch the whole thing and peel them off as it goes - as it cooks slightly it gets easy to pull off.
      I then shock as they come out.

      1 Reply
      1. re: coastie

        I agree, this gets them off easily.

      2. Cut the core (deeply) and immerse the head, cut side up, into a big pot of simmering water. Remove the leaves one at a time with tongs. Place in strainer with a dish towel under it.

        1. Just a FWIW. I've always done the core-then-peel-off-in-boiling-water approach. Recently tried the method of freezing the entire head, then when thawed, peel off the leaves. Boy, was I disappointed. Maybe I did something wrong, but the leaves were soggy like wet paper towels, hard to roll because they shredded, and I couldn't pare off the rib because they were so delicate.
          I used green cabbage for this, not Savoy.

          I like the boiling water approach, don't even shock in cold water (I think a little steam time is okay). I like to shave the rib down to be even with the leaf (save shavings to go in the pan under the filled rolls).

          2 Replies
          1. re: nemo

            Freezing causes ice crystals to form with destructs the cells. I've never even tried it as par cooking works so well.
            I also don't bother to cut the rib out because I braise low and slow, so everything gets very tender and it's a hell of a lot easier to roll!

            1. re: nemo

              I agree, nemo. Tried it last week and next time will blanch. The leaves were also not a good texture, they didn't seem to get tender enough, even with a long cook time.

            2. I'm going to use the blanching method. I was really glad for first-hand info on freezing. A friend told me about it, but she'd never tried it. I had to admit it sounded easy. Now I can tell her to forget that way. Thanks to all.