This is a Chinese cabbage variety. It is also known as Peking or Celery cabbage. It is a large headed cabbage with tightly packed, pale green leaves that is usually found next to the bok choy in the supermarkets. It is rich in vitamin C as well as other nutrients. This cabbage absorbs the flavors of other food around it. It can be eaten raw, added to stir fries or soups.
The flavor of Napa cabbage is somewhat milder and a bit sweeter than that of regular green cabbage. It is delicious raw or cooked, and can be substituted for regular cabbage in most recipes.
Selecting and Buying
Preparation and Use
Shredded or finely sliced, Napa cabbage is wonderful in Asian-style cole slaw. Try adding some shredded Napa cabbage to a mixed green salad for a nice crunch and enhanced nutritional value. For an easy cold salad, whisk together 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1/4 cup (60 ml) salad oil, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Pour over 4 cups (280 g) shredded Napa cabbage, 1/2 cup (60 g) shredded carrots, and 1/4 cup (25 g) sliced green onions and toss to coat. Garnish with toasted slivered almonds.
Conserving and Storing
Unwashed, Napa cabbage will keep for about five to seven days in the vegetable crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Keep the whole head sealed in a plastic bag. Do not cut the leaves or ribs until ready to use them. Cut leaves begin to oxidize rapidly, and the cabbage will lose some of its vital nutrients and will spoil faster