Napa Cabbage

By Katrin Koelle
Updated on 29. Jul. 2020

Napa cabbage is packed with nutrients and unlike most cabbages, is easy on even the most sensitive stomachs.

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Napa cabbage...

  • ...powers the immune system.
    Napa cabbage is rich in mustard oils which have been shown to keep the immune system functioning properly and protect the body against infectious diseases.
  • ...aids digestion.
    The abundant fiber in napa cabbage can kickstart a sluggish gut, helping the body cleanse itself of harmful substances.
  • ...is good even for sensitive stomachs.
    Unlike most other types of cabbage, napa cabbage has crisp yet tender leaves and a low stalk content, making it easily digestible even for sensitive stomachs.
  • ...protects the stomach and intestines.
    Napa cabbage contains a protein component called methylmethionine, which studies have shown can protect the stomach and intestines from ulcers.
  • ...contains important nutrients.
    Napa cabbage is a good source of vitamin C, B group vitamins and cell-protecting vitamin E.
  • ...can help keep you looking young.
    Napa cabbage contains secondary plant substances such as flavonoids, chlorophyll, indole and phenols which can help protect the body's cells from pathogenic influences and thus help delay aging.
  • ...is best eaten raw.
    If you want to take full advantage of the powerful nutrients in napa cabbage, it’s best to eat it raw.

What You Should Know About Napa Cabbage

Napa cabbage  originates from China, where the crunchy vegetable has been enjoyed since the 5th century. Throughout Asia, napa cabbage, also known as Chinese cabbage, is an integral ingredient in many classic dishes, from kimchi (spicy pickled cabbage) in Korea, to noodle soup in Thailand. 

Typical characteristics of napa cabbage are its elongated oval shape and curled leaves, which are dark green at the lower end and become lighter towards the top.

Origin

Napa cabbage comes from China, and probably originated from a cross between a turnip and boy choy.

Season

Chinese cabbage is available all year round.

Flavor

Napa cabbage has a distinct cabbage taste, with a crunchy bite and fresh aftertaste.

Find all our napa cabbage recipes here.

How Healthy is Napa Cabbage?

Napa cabbage is a no-brainer for dieters, as it contains hardly any fat or calories. It's also a good source of vitamin C, containing around a quarter of your average daily requirement in a 100 g serving. It's also a good source of good source of B vitamins, cell-rpotecting vitamin E, folate, and mustard oils, which help protec the immune system and give it its unique taste.

NAPA CABBAGE NUTRITIONAL INFO (100 g)  
Calories 13
Protein 1.5 g
Fat 0.2 g
Carbohydrates 1.2 g
Fiber 1

Shopping and Cooking Tips

Purchasing

The head of a napa cabbage is large, so generally one can be used for 2-3 different meals. When purchsaing, make sure that the leaves are crisp and fresh without any dark spots, while the head should feel nice and firm.

Storage

Freshly bought, napa cabbage stays fresh for a week in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator.

Preparation

The leaf veins of Chinese cabbage are so tender that you can easily eat them. Remove wilted outer leaves, wash the Chinese cabbage briefly and let it drain in a sieve. Then chop according to the recipe.

In order for napa cabbage to retain its crispness and nutritional value, it should be eaten raw or cooked as briefly as possible. As a rule of thumb, whether you boil, fry, braise or stew it, don't cook it for longer than 5-7 minutes. 

What to Make With Napa Cabbage

Napa cabbage tastes excellent raw as the base of a salad, especially because its leaves are sturdy enough they won't wilt when mixed with dressing.  

Cut into strips and steamed or fried very briefly, napa cabbage is a quick and delicious side dish for roast or fish, as well as stews, soups, casseroles and vegetable gratins. Of course, napa cabbage also has a firm place in Asian cuisine and tastes delicious paired with Asian ingredients and cooked in the wok.  

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