We've got a pretty good Asian market near us, so there's not much in the way of Japanese foodstuffs that I really miss, but shredded cabbage is one. You can get shredded cabbage here for cole slaw, but that tends to be fairly short pieces. In Japan, it's common to slice cabbage in long, thread-thin ribbons for a garnish on various meat dishes, or just for use as a salad. I'm working my way up to being able to slice it that thin, but it isn't easy. Akiko says it's the kind of job apprentice chefs in Japan are given when they're new on the job.
Still, I can just about get it, so I can make my favorite variation on the basic green salad. To wit:
1. Shred your cabbage. About a third of a small cabbage will make enough for two medium-sized bowls of salad.
2. Peel a section of daikon and cut off enough to make a cube of about an inch on the long sides and half an inch or so on the short sides. Run this through a mandoline so you have a bunch of thin sheets of daikon.
3. Take about a half cup of frozen corn and thaw it in the microwave.
4. Chop a handful of peanuts in the food processor.
5. Toss the cabbage, corn, and daikon together and put in bowls.
6. Top with sesame dressing (there's a brand called Masa's sesame miso dressing that's widely available in this country).
7. Garnish with the chopped peanuts.
If you can get the cabbage right you'll have all the crunchiness of raw cabbage but it'll be cut so thin that there won't be any bitterness. Very refreshing in the summer.