Learn About Napa Cabbage

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is Napa Cabbage?

Napa cabbage, sometimes referred to as Chinese cabbage, is a leafy vegetable originating from China.  This cabbage is oblong with long, broad leaves.  The leaves have a thick veiny stem that branches out into light green ends.  Quality napa cabbage should have firm leaves and feel heavy.

What Does Napa Cabbage Taste Like?

Napa cabbage has a mild taste when raw.  It has the tendency to take on the flavors of foods cooked with it.

napa cabbage
Fresh napa cabbage ready to be eaten.

How Do You Eat Napa Cabbage?

Eat napa cabbage raw or cooked.  Thoroughly wash the leaves and remove and discard the core before using it.  Raw napa cabbage works well in coleslaw, salads, or as a wrap.  Use cooked napa cabbage in soups, stews, kimchi, or stir-fries.  Foods commonly paired with napa cabbage include pork, shrimp, and mushrooms.

Where Can You Buy Napa Cabbage?

Look for napa cabbage in the produce section of the grocery store.  Some stores may carry shredded napa cabbage, found in bags or plastic tubs near other salad mixes.  If you can’t find napa cabbage, check the labels in the produce section for Chinese cabbage.  If you still can’t find it, try looking in a health food store or international grocery store.

How Do You Store Napa Cabbage?

Place napa cabbage in a sealed plastic bag and store it in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.  If you have cut your cabbage, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the crisper drawer.

Fun Fact About Napa Cabbage

If you can grow regular cabbage where you live, then you can probably grow your own napa cabbage!

Did You Know?

Napa cabbage does not come from a traditional cabbage family.  Other foods related to napa cabbage include turnips and bok choy.

Recipes Using Napa Cabbage

Napa Cabbage Wrap

Use a napa cabbage leaf to wrap your sandwich. Remove most of the white stem from a cabbage leaf. Then, layer seasoned chicken, avocado, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and a sauce of your choice. Roll the wrap by tucking in the ends as you go.

Napa Cabbage Stir Fry

Make a tasty stir-fry with napa cabbage. Preheat a skillet with vegetable oil. Then, add in napa cabbage leaves. Cook for about 3 minutes, then stir in soy sauce and vinegar. Cook until the cabbage begins to soften and serve.

Napa Cabbage Salad

Add defined crunch and color to your salads using napa cabbage. Toss diced napa cabbage, cucumbers, shredded carrots, and cilantro in a large bowl. Then, top with a dressing made out of soy sauce, honey, and lime juice.

Sauteed Cabbage and Mushrooms

Preheat a skillet with olive oil. Add shiitake mushrooms, garlic, napa cabbage, and ginger. Cook until vegetables soften and serve.

Cabbage Soup

Add napa cabbage to soups for extra flavor and texture. Combine cooked pork, shiitake mushrooms, napa cabbage, garlic, salt, pepper, vegetable broth, and carrots in a stock pot. Bring to a boil, then allow the soup to simmer until thickened.


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