How to Cut Cabbage for Nabe | Cabbage Cutting Tips for Nabe Recipes

One common and delicious ingredient in traditional Japanese hot pot, nabe, is cabbage. Cabbage not only adds a refreshing crunch and texture to the hot pot, but also complements the flavors of the other ingredients. When it comes to cutting cabbage for nabe, it’s important to consider both size and shape. Each napa cabbage wedge should be cut into smaller, bite-sized pieces, approximately 2 to 2½ inches (5-6 cm) long. As you assemble the ingredients in the pot, it’s crucial to start from the outer edges and work your way toward the center. By tightly packing the pot, you ensure that the layers remain intact throughout the cooking process, as the ingredients may become loose and disordered as they cook. So, let's delve into the art of preparing and arranging cabbage for nabe as we transform a simple vegetable into a delightful addition to this beloved Japanese comfort food.

What Is the Best Way to Slice Cabbage?

When it comes to slicing cabbage, there are a few techniques that can yield the best results. One commonly used method is to first remove the tough core from the cabbage. This can be achieved by cutting into the core at an angle where the stem meets the leaves of the cabbage.

This helps stabilize the cabbage while slicing. To create thin and even slices, it’s recommended to start at the end opposite the stem and cut crosswise from top to bottom.

It’s crucial to use a sharp knife during the slicing process to ensure clean cuts. A dull knife can crush the cabbage leaves, resulting in a less appealing texture. Additionally, a sharp knife helps in achieving precise cuts, especially when slicing the cabbage into thin shreds.

Another important aspect to consider when slicing cabbage is the desired thickness of the slices. Depending on the intended use, you can adjust the thickness accordingly. Thinner slices are ideal for dishes such as coleslaw, while thicker slices may be preferred for stews or braised cabbage.

This not only helps in maintaining the uniformity of the slices but also ensures safety during the process.

Different Techniques for Slicing Cabbage (e.g. Shredding, Julienning)

  • Shredding cabbage
  • Julienning cabbage
  • Hand slicing cabbage
  • Thinly slicing cabbage
  • Using a mandoline to slice cabbage
  • Using a food processor to slice cabbage
  • Using a knife to finely slice cabbage
  • Slicing cabbage into ribbons
  • Cutting cabbage into thin strips

When preparing napa cabbage for soup, it’s important to handle it properly to ensure optimal taste and texture. Instead of simply listing the steps, let’s explore the technique in detail to achieve the desired results.

How Do You Cut Napa Cabbage for Soup?

When it comes to preparing napa cabbage for soup, it’s important to handle the leaves with care. Begin by separating the leaves, tearing off only the ones you intend to use in your soup. This will ensure that each leaf remains intact and maintains it’s freshness.

Next, youll want to focus on the green parts of the cabbage. These can be cut off and sliced into large, bite-sized pieces. It’s recommended to use a sharp knife to make clean cuts, allowing for even cooking and a pleasant texture in your soup.

Moving on to the white part of the napa cabbage, a slightly different technique is required. Tilt your knife at approximately a 45-degree angle and slice the stem into irregular, bite-sized pieces. This angle helps to create a more appealing visual presentation in the soup while also adding variety in terms of texture.

The distinct layers and textures of the cabbage will add depth to the overall dish, making it a satisfying and nutritious option.

Now that you’ve successfully prepped your cabbage, it’s time to explore the various ways you can incorporate it into a delicious Chinese stir fry.

How to Cut Cabbage for Chinese Stir Fry?

To continue prepping the cabbage for stir fry, take one of the quarters and position it with the cut side facing down. Make thin vertical slices along the length of the cabbage, ensuring to maintain a consistent width for even cooking. Repeat this process for the remaining cabbage quarters.

This will result in bite-sized, rectangular pieces that are perfect for stir frying. Ensure that the width of the horizontal slices matches the original thickness of the vertical slices to maintain a uniform texture throughout the dish.

If you prefer a finer texture, you may opt to shred the cabbage instead. Then, create crosswise cuts perpendicular to the long strips, creating shorter shreds.

Remember to discard the tough core of the cabbage as it can be chewy and unappetizing. However, do keep in mind that the core can also be added to stocks or soups for extra flavor.

By following these steps and cutting the cabbage appropriately, you’ll ensure that it cooks evenly and retains it’s crispness, resulting in a delightful addition to your Chinese stir fry.

Now let’s move on to the next step in preparing cabbage for soup, which involves understanding how to cut the cabbage into the desired shape.

How Do You Cut Cabbage for Soup?

When it comes to preparing cabbage for soup, there are a few different ways you can go about it depending on the desired texture. If youre looking for shredded cabbage to add to slaws or sautés, start by placing a cabbage wedge with the cut side down on your cutting board. Then, using a sharp knife, thinly slice the cabbage into fine shreds. Continue this process until you’ve the desired amount of shredded cabbage.

However, if youre aiming for chopped cabbage to incorporate into a stir fry or soup, a slightly different technique is required. Begin by cutting each cabbage wedge into 1-inch slices lengthwise. Once youve achieved this, take each slice and cut it crosswise into 1-inch slices to create a grid-like pattern. This will result in evenly chopped pieces of cabbage that will cook more quickly and evenly in your soup.

If you prefer larger, chunkier pieces, you can adjust the size of your slices accordingly.

Tips for Storing Cabbage

Storing cabbage is easy if you follow a few simple tips. First, remove any loose or damaged leaves from the cabbage head. This helps to prevent the spread of spoilage. Next, wrap the cabbage tightly in plastic wrap or place it in a sealed plastic bag. This helps to retain moisture and keep the cabbage fresh. Finally, store the cabbage in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. The cool temperature helps to slow down the deterioration process. By following these steps, you can ensure that your cabbage stays fresh and crunchy for longer periods of time.

Source: How To Cut Cabbage Recipe – Love and Lemons

One of the key components in making delicious chow mein is properly shredded cabbage. To achieve the desired result, it’s essential to thinly slice the cabbage into strips. Start by slicing across the wedge as far as you can without difficulty, then reposition the unshredded part against the board for stability. Keep slicing until the entire wedge is transformed into beautiful, evenly shredded cabbage.

How Do You Shred Cabbage for Chow Mein?

When making chow mein and needing to shred cabbage, there are a few simple steps to follow. Firstly, take a fresh cabbage and remove the outer leaves until you’ve a clean wedge. Place the wedge on a cutting board with the flat side down to create stability. The goal is to maintain a consistent thickness throughout for even cooking.

As you slice the cabbage, go as far across the wedge as you can before the remaining part becomes too small to handle comfortably. This way, you can continue slicing the cabbage without any difficulty, ensuring that no part goes to waste.

Different Techniques for Shredding Cabbage (e.g. Using a Mandoline, Grating, Using a Food Processor)

  • Using a mandoline
  • Grating the cabbage
  • Using a food processor


In conclusion, the process of cutting cabbage for nabe involves slicing each napa cabbage wedge into smaller, 2 to 2½ inch pieces. These steps help to create a flavorful and well-balanced nabe dish, allowing for an enjoyable and satisfying dining experience.

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