Napa Cabbage

Napa Cabbage (Brassica campestris) is a type of Chinese cabbage with a more cylindrical shape, white crunchy stems and light green crinkly leaves. It is widely used in East Asian cuisines and can be substituted for regular cabbage in most recipes. It has a lot of vitamin K and C, fiber, and manganese, as well as health-promoting phytonutrients.

To store, keep unwashed head whole in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. To use, discard outermost leaves, slice in half longwise, and cut out the core at the base of the head. Wash leaves individually to remove soil before using. Try it raw, chopped into salads or simple slaws, or use whole leaves as a wrap. Blanch leaves and stuff. Use chopped in stir-fries or soups. Or try pickling it into kimchi.

Check out the recipes under "Cabbage" for some other slaw ideas.

Napa Cabbage Slaw with Cilantro Dressing
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled ginger
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 fresh serrano chile, finely chopped, with seeds
  • 1 small head Napa cabbage (1 1/2 pounds), cored and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
Whisk together vinegar, sugar, ginger, oil, chile, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add remaining ingredients and toss well. Let stand, tossing occasionally, 10 minutes.

Ten-Minute Miso Soup
Serves 2-4

2 1/2 cups water
1 scallion, chopped
2 tablespoons carrots, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon
miso dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup napa cabbage, sliced
1/4 cup diced extra firm tofu
1 tablespoon
hijiki sea vegetables (optional)

1. In a pot, combine the water, carrots, most of the scallion (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish), and ginger. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let it stop boiling, and stir in dissolved miso.

2. Pour mixture into serving bowls. Soup will be cloudy at first, but will settle upon standing. Mound the cabbage, tofu, and if desired, hijiki sea vegetables, in center of each bowl; garnish with reserved scallion and serve.

Napa Cabbage Slaw
· 3 cups napa cabbage, shredded
· 1 cup bok choy, shredded
· 3 tablespoons sweet pepper, diced
· 1/4 cup rice vinegar or white vinegar
· 1 tablespoon sesame oil
Toss napa cabbage, bok choy and pepper together. Combine vinegar and sesame oil. Pour over cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate for one hour to blend the flavors and toss again before serving.

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