Green cabbage is best in the winter months. Its leaves are a darker shade of green than usual, and tend to be thinner and sweeter, which works well for dishes in which the cabbage won’t be cooked – such as this Japanese pickled cabbage recipe. In other seasons green cabbage leaves tend to be thicker and lighter in colour, and are better suited for simmered or cooked cabbage dishes, such as stuffed rolled cabbage (winter cabbage leaves can be too thin and flimsy to hold the stuffing!)Cabbage salad is best enjoyed with thinly shredded cabbage, but thinly slicing the leaves can seem a daunting task. Here’s a great trick: chiffonade them!Chiffonade is a cutting technique usually used for leafy herbs. Cut a cabbage leaf in half, remove the hard stem, pile the two half leaves and roll them, then thinly julienne your roll. And voila! Perfectly shredded, hassle-free cabbage! Once you get used to the technique you can make it go faster by rolling a few half-leaves at a time.
For a change, substitute the green cabbage in this dish with napa cabbage, and a simple pickling mix of yuzu peel, kombu and salt. Add some sugar and rice vinegar for a sweet/sour twist.
Lightly Pickled Cabbage Salad
- 150 g cabbage a few leaves
- 15 g carrot about ¼ a medium carrot
- ½ japanese cucumber a little less if using a large cucumber
- ½ tsp salt
- 5 leaves green shiso perilla
- 5 cm yuzu or lemon zest (optional)
- 5×5 cm kombu square
- sesame seeds to garnish
- lemon juice to taste
- soy sauce to taste
- Wash and chiffonade the lettuce.Wash and peel the carrot, then julienne.Wash the cucumber and julienne.
- Put the cut vegetables into a large ziplock bag, add the salt and give it a good shake. Press it tightly to squeeze out excess water, then set aside for about an hour. During that time you can julienne the shiso leaves, yuzu (or lemon) zest and kombu, if using. You could also cook something else while waiting!
- After about an hour, add the shiso leaves and the yuzu zest to the ziplock bag and give it another vigorous shake. Put in bowls and top with sesame seeds. Serve with lemon wedges and soy sauce so you can add to taste. Enjoy!