Napa Cabbage
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Napa Cabbage is not a Cabbage found in the California wine country but is an Asian Green with a white stalked, light green, broad-leafed, compact, heading Cabbage originating near Beijing. The iceberg-lettuce-colored leaves are tightly wrapped around a compact “head.”

The name “Napa” comes from Nappa which means the edible leaves of any vegetables in regional and colloquial Japanese, which is why you will see Napa Cabbage as well as Nappa” Cabbage. Strangely the Japanese word for Napa Cabbage is does not mean “Leafy Greens” in English. Instead the Japanese word for Napa Cabbage is “hakusai” which means “White Vegetable,” and describes the white stalks of a Napa Cabbage. Nappa Cabbage are a symbol of prosperity in China and can be found rendered on glassware and porcelain-ware.

Availability

Napa Cabbage is available all year long.

Purchasing

When shopping for Napa Cabbage, look for Napa Cabbage that exhibit fresh-looking, light green leaves (no brown spots) and firm stalks. If the leaves are limp and/or the stalks are slimy the Napa Cabbage is deteriorating, which means it is old, and undesirable.

Storage

The easiest way to store Napa Cabbage is, unwashed, in the refrigerator in a sealed plastic produce bag so that no field critters have direct refrigerator access. The goal is to keep the Napa Cabbage dry throughout the storage period so that it does not become “slimy.”

You can wash and prepare the Napa Cabbage before refrigerated storage, but make sure to dry it very well before bagging it. You may want to wrap the Napa Cabbage in a paper towel, to remove away moisture, before storing it in the refrigerator where it should last up to a week. Fresher will be better.

Culinary Uses

Napa Cabbage is a Chinese Cabbage that has been imported into the U.S. and Europe as a component of Asian Cuisines. In fact, outside of Asia, Napa Cabbage is the predominant Chinese Cabbage. The flavor of Napa Cabbage is similar to, but a bit milder and more delicate than Bok Choy or Western Cabbage. In Asia Napa Cabbage is used mostly in Soups and Stir Fries. In its new home, chefs have found wider uses for Napa Cabbage including Raw in Salads, or cooked in StewsWrapsBraisesSandwiches, etc. Nappa Cabbage can even be Pickled.

Of course, Napa Cabbage is still used in Asian Cuisine in China, Korea and Japan. In China, Napa Cabbage is used in Stir Fries with GarlicGingerTofuMushrooms and Zucchini.

In Korea, Napa Cabbage is the primary ingredient used to make the most common KimchiBaechu Kimchi. It is also eaten Raw as a wrap for Oysters or Pork served with Gochujang as a Dipping Sauce. The sturdier outer leaves are used in Soups, as well. In Japan, Napa Cabbage is used as an ingredient in ChankonabeUdonYakisobaSukiyakiJapanese Pickled ColeslawOkonomiyaki (Japanese Pancakes), Soba Noodle Salad, etc. It can also be used as a Garnish or as a bed to showcase the Entrée.

Portion Size

Allow 1/4 of a whole Napa Cabbage per person.

Substitutes

Bok Choy, Green Cabbage

Nutritional Value USDA
CABBAGE,RAW
Amount Per 100g
Calories 25
%Daily Value*
 
0%
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
0%
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 18mg
3%
Potassium 170mg
1%
Total Carbohydrate 5g
8%
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 3g
Protein 1g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Gluten Free

Yes

Low Fat

Yes

Low Calorie

Yes