How to Shred Cabbage

Shredding cabbage is a useful skill when making salads like coleslaw, or soups where you need finely textured cabbage pieces. I’ve never liked the texture that comes from shredding cabbage with a grater or food processor– the results are always too fine, without enough crunch. Luckily, it’s very easy to shred cabbage with a knife to create the perfect texture. While it might seem like a no-brainer, properly shredding cabbage is a bit of an art form. The method is super easy once you get the hang of it. Here’s how!

How to Shred Cabbage

You will need

  • Cabbage
  • Chef's knife
  • Cutting surface
Total Time: 5 Minutes
Servings: Varies
Kosher Key: Pareve
  • Rinse the cabbage and remove the loose outermost leaves so only clean, compact leaves remain. Cut the very bottom of the stem off to flatten the bottom of the cabbage.
  • Turn the cabbage so the stem end is flat against the cutting board.
  • Slice the cabbage in half from top to bottom.
  • Slice each half in half again to create quarters.
  • Remove the stem and tough core from each wedge by cutting diagonally across to remove the solid parts.
  • For each wedge, start by turning the cabbage so the flat part of the wedge is against the board. Thinly slice the cabbage into strips, going as far as you can across the wedge before the remaining wedge becomes too small to manage.
  • Turn the unshredded part of the wedge so it's flat against the board and sturdy.
  • Continue slicing till the entire wedge is shredded.
  • Slice the shreds in half horizontally to shorten them.
  • Run your knife vertically through the shreds a final time, slicing them thinner.
  • Place your shreds in a bowl. Repeat the shredding process for the remaining wedges. Proceed with your recipe.

Comments (35)Post a Comment

  1. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    So happy to have stumbled onto your pictorial essay. I was wondering about what kind of a kitchen gadget is a shiksa.

    I’m having a good laugh at myself about this. My Toronto high school pals would have called me a schmuck.

    I was on the verge of buying a food processor to get cabbage properly shredded for coleslaw. I miss KFC coleslaw, but not the calories, a lot. You have saved us a lot of unnecessary local bucks misspent, and appliance space in our tiny Korean kitchenette. Thank you, Tori.

    Carl Jung’s concept of ” synchronicity ” — an apparently meaningful coincidence in time of two or more similar or identical events that are causally unrelated

    We are semi-retired Canadian profs living and teaching/tutoring in Busan, South Korea. We miss a lot of North American culture and familiar food, of course.

    Gotta run down to the nearby farmer’s market and load up on healthy purple cabbage, and the Chinese cabbage leaves so plentiful and cheap over here.

    Thanks again for the inspirational, synchronic tutorial.

    Have a fantastic day, Tori !!!

  2. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    I’m a die hard upper east side cook and I couldn’t imagine what I didn’t know! I love this site and So many great tips and recipes!

  3. I love coleslaw and cooking and want to start making my own. Your article also saved me from buying a food processor. I enjoy your site. You’re smart, a good cook and pretty hot : )


  4. Luv,luv luv KFC cole slaw. But at $4 for a small container, I decided to make my own like Mom used to make. Put cabbage and 2 carrots into food processor, bad move! Way too fine and became mushy. Not successful. Therefore, your video on slicing is perfect. Will try again and just know it will be the right consistency. Thanks!

    1. Hi Nancy, you are showing up as a confirmed newsletter subscriber, so you’re all set. You’ll receive the emails starting next Sunday. Thanks for subscribing!

  5. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Great presentation. Just what I needed. I am trying to learn the basics of cooking at 69. It looks so easy when my wife does it but not when I do it. But I am getting better. Thanks to your great site. Chao.

  6. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Loved this tutorial. I have avoided shredded cabbage recipes because my shredding technique was never to my liking. This was great and so easy. Thanks.

    1. Hi Heather, shredded cabbage keeps quite well for at least 2 days ahead, sometimes longer. Just make sure the cabbage is completely dry before storing (no moisture from cleaning/rinsing) and store it in an airtight sealed bag.

    2. I am not sure I completely agree with Tori’s comment about drying the cabbage. Many vegetables benefit from a good water soak…peeled potatoes prior to making French fries, celery for extra crunchiness. I find shredded cabbage benefits from soaking in water in the fridge overnight, same as lettuce. Lettuce will keep for a couple weeks if kept in a wet Ziploc bag in the fridge. The need to soak is especially true if you buy the pre-cut coleslaw mix at your grocers. One package of coleslaw mix, one package of Marzetti’s or Marie’s coleslaw dressing and maybe a big spoon of hot horseradish and you’re all set.

  7. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Got it right the first time! You are a great technical writer – would like to see you write some of the assembly instructions that come with toys, furniture, etc..jj

    1. Ha! Kris it’s funny you say that… I remember in elementary school we had an assignment where we had to describe a process step-by-step in front of the class, in every single detail. I demonstrated a recipe for pancakes. I loved that assignment and I think it reinforced my innate need to lay things our clearly and simply! (and probably foreshadowed my food blog…)

  8. I loved your tutorial on how to shred cabbage. So simple, and all you need is a knife, cutting board and the cabbage, of course. Thanks so much, and please allow me to subscribe.

  9. I love the ease in which your pictures depict shredding cabbage I’m trying it now for a coleslawrecipe :-)….and saying you like to lay out instructions clearly….can we teach people how to make great yard sale signs? lol

  10. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I thought I was being silly by googling How to shred cabbage. Glad i came to your site. Perfect tutoriol. Once again i have proven i dont need a food processor, just a sharp knife. Thanks!!

  11. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Thanks Tori!
    I couldn’t find my Dad’s Slaw recipe so I decided to look around and found this, It’s the same way he used to shred slaw with his big ol’ Bolo Knife. He made quick work out of shredding with that blade.

    Off to the kitchen! Lot’s of Slaw to make.

    Merry Christmas.

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