When it comes to preparing food, there is a lot that you are going to want to make sure of and read up on.
Depending on what you are making and how many different ingredients you are going to be using, you may find yourself in a situation where you know what you want but you aren’t entirely sure how to get to it.
For example, you might want to make a dish that uses cabbage. After all, cabbage is a common ingredient in a lot of dishes and many people love including it in dishes that have a lot of vegetables in them.
However, if you have never worked with a cabbage before, especially if you need to keep the leaves as whole as possible, you will quickly realize that peeling a cabbage is not as easy as you may think.
There are plenty of recipes out there that call for cabbage. There are noticeably fewer recipes that call for whole, unbroken cabbage leaves.
In these recipes, you often have to be as careful as possible when you are peeling the leaves so that you do not break them as breaking the leaves may mess with the entire recipe.
Peeling cabbage leaves is a delicate procedure. Peel them off too harshly and you will have a quick route to torn leaves and a lot of frustration.
However, going too slowly may offer you unbroken cabbage leaves but it will usually take far longer than you will want, especially if you have the rest of the recipe ready.
Getting the Cabbage Ready
If you want to get the most out of your cabbage, you will first want to make sure that you prepare it properly. This will involve taking the core out of the cabbage so that you can work around the leaves.
Depending on the type of cabbage you are working with, you will either want a petty knife or a ceramic knife. Petty knives can be used for most cabbage; if you don’t have a petty knife, you can use just about any other knife, while if you are working with iceberg, you should use a ceramic knife.
Here, you will want to take the core of the cabbage out. The core of the cabbage is hard and most people don’t appreciate eating it.
What’s more is that if you are working on a recipe that involves whole cabbage leaves, you are absolutely not going to need the core of the cabbage so you can dispose of it as you please.
Usually, you will simply want to cut the core out, which can be done using a petty knife and a little bit of patience. All you will need to do is cut around the core, which will be noticeable and easy to spot when you are doing this.
If you are working with iceberg lettuce, you can use a ceramic knife and remove the central part of the core with your hands instead.
Now that the core is out, you can begin the process of removing the leaves. Remember that even if you are cramped for time, you should still move somewhat slowly as cabbage leaves are delicate no matter what you do.
Moving too fast or too briskly will easily tear the leaves. Patience is key with food such as this.
Getting the Leaves Removed
Now that the core is gone, you will now want to hold up the leaves to a faucet.
You should run some tap water from the faucet but be careful not to run too much of it or else it might damage the leaves. You should position the cabbage leaves so that the water will naturally accumulate in the gaps.
Once you are able to do this, the weight of the water will weigh on the leaves, causing the outer ones to naturally fall off. You can generally keep doing this until several of the leaves have been removed.
Once three to five leaves fall off due to the water, you should score around the center of the core to help make it easier for the rest of the leaves to fall off as well.
Remember that you will not want to score too deeply, quickly, or harshly or else you might damage the leaves a bit too much, causing them to tear and becoming unusable for any recipe that requires whole and undamaged cabbage leaves.
Instead, you should opt to work a little bit more gently or slowly than you would originally like as it is much, much easier to work faster and with more force than it is to try and figure out what you are being too harsh with.
You can take things a little bit slowly at first while you find your groove and pace with the cabbage’s own toughness, resistance, and how well attached the leaves are to the rest of the cabbage.
Given some time, you will soon be able to pick up the pace and work more efficiently, though, as you will get used to working with the head of cabbage you have.
Before you know it, you will be able to peel away the leaves of the cabbage without damaging the leaves themselves.
As you continue to do this more and more often, you will be able to work at a faster pace while still being able to remove the leaves without harming them.
In the future, this will make it even easier for you to remove cabbage leaves, meaning that you eventually won’t need to give a second thought to the removal process.
With this method, you won’t have to worry about damaging the leaves at all. If you notice that some of the leaves are becoming torn or if there are wide cracks in the leaves, consider running the water a bit more gently and not scoring the cabbage so deeply when you are ready for the next set of leaves to come off.
With enough time, patience, and skill, you will be able to have a whole head’s worth of cabbage leaves that are completely unbroken.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.