CHINESE CABBAGE

Brassica rapa var. pekinensis

Chinese cabbage, or napa cabbage as it is commonly called, thrives in cool weather and tolerates frost well.  This means we might be growing a lot of it here in Maine if you members like it!  This cabbage doesn’t pack a huge nutritional punch; it has only small amounts of vitamins A, C, and minerals, but it does have a high amount of fiber and a very small amount of calories.  This veggie has been grown in Asia since 500 A.D., but here in the U.S., we waited until the late 19th century to start cultivating it.  Chinese cabbage is a good addition to a green salad and can be used instead of traditional cabbage in coleslaw or any other recipe calling for cabbage.  It is also excellent in stir-frys, soups, fried rice, and as a main ingredient in egg rolls.  A head of Chinese cabbage can last up to 2 weeks in the hydrator drawer of your fridge.

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Napa Wasabi Slaw
From From Asparagus to Zucchini

1 tbsp wasabi paste
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 cup orange juice
1 head napa cabbage, very thinly sliced
6 carrots, shredded
3 chopped scallions
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Whisk wasabi, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, and orange juice until thoroughly combined.  Toss with vegetables and sesame seeds.  Makes 6-8 servings.

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Oriental Salad
From Cooking Light, Annual Recipes 2001

1/3 cup rice or cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 tbsp sunflower seed kernels
2 (5oz.) packages Japanese curly noodles (chuka soba), crumbled (these are basically ramen noodles)
8 cups shredded Chinese cabbage
2 cups shredded carrot
1 cup thinly sliced green onions

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Spoon mixture into a bowl; cover and chill.  Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat.  Add almonds, sunflower seeds, and noodles; cook 3 minutes or until lightly toasted, tossing occasionally.  Spoon mixture into a large bowl; cover and chill.  Add vinegar mixture to noodle mixture; let stand 15 minutes.  Add cabbage, carrot, and onions, tossing to coat.  Makes 12 3/4 cup servings at 183 calories per serving.

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2 Responses to CHINESE CABBAGE

  1. Ellie Leight says:

    An easy way to cook Napa cabbage: on the grill.

    Just cut each bunch right down the middle. Make a little marinade with olive oil, soy sauce, Dijon, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and a sweetener like maple syrup or honey. Soak the cabbage (both sides) for a short while and cook on grill until the tops are wilted and browned but not burned.

  2. John says:

    Sounds great! We do the same with heads of bok choy…down the middle, a little marinade (often just oil, soy sauce, and black pepper), and onto the grill. Heavenly…

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