Maceration is the technique of soaking fruit or vegetables in a liquid. This liquid is often their own juices that are drawn out using salt and or sugar. The goal of maceration is to enhance flavour, improve texture and aid in digestion.
A good example is Friggione, an Italian slow cooked tomato and onion relish where the onions are macerated for 4 hours. The drawn out water is retained in the dish for flavour and the onions take on a creamy texture when cooked.
You can also use this technique on vegetables that have a high water content such as egg plant or cabbage. Cooking these types of vegetable can make them become a soggy mess.
Macerating cabbage for 30 minutes is great for salads too.
Use a colander with a bowl underneath to catch the juice. Sprinkle some salt and sugar on the cabbage.
Discard the water that is extracted.
Rinse the cabbage and pat dry to get nice crispy shreds with an enhanced flavour.
Here are some more cooking techniques: