Usually when you make Japanese-style pickles you have to wait a while for the salt to draw the water out of the vegetables. I saw my mother-in-law take a shortcut once that really saves time. The following recipe is based on a recipe from a Japanese cookbook called "One Dish Cooking". The original recipe calls for regular vinegar without sugar and uses the traditional method of letting the cabbage sit for thirty minutes while the salt draws the water out.
Fast Cabbage Vinegar Pickles
1/2 head of cabbage shredded or cut into small pieces (your choice of size)
2tbsp sushi vinegar (or regular rice vinegar mixed with a bit of sugar)
1tsp soy sauce
Put the cabbage into a glass bowl and sprinkle with salt. Scrunch the cabbage over and over until it becomes limp. This should take only a couple of minutes. Rinse the cabbage well, return to bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, water and soy sauce. Pour over the cabbage and serve. You can make this ahead of time and keep on the table or in the fridge.