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When you buy a cabbage try to pick a tight , compact, head that feels heavy for the size. It should look fresh and crisp. look at the leaves. Pay attention to the leaves. Avoid damaged  or discoloured leaves. Keep the cabbage in fridge until you are ready to use. Cut the head (Top ) first. Wrap the other half well to store back.

 

 

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I always cut the cabbage head first. then using a small knife remove leaves one by one  until I get  to the tight part. Remove the several outer leaves. Use the good leaves. Wash them individually under running water and drain. That way you are sure there are no insects, mud, sand or specially NO CHEMICALS. ( As the farmers spray cabbage a lot)
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When you wash the cabbage drain the water well .If using for salads use a spinner to dry or leave in a drainer for couple of minutes.
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After cut the cabbage to the way you want. (Depends on what you are going to use.)