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June 24th, 2013

6 Things to Do with the Napa Cabbage in Your CSA Box

Napa Cabbage

Many of our CSA members are unfamiliar with Napa Cabbage so it’s possible that you may have opened your CSA box and discovered Napa Cabbage fro the first time.

Napa Cabbage is a relative of the familiar European cabbages and is popular in the cuisine of east Asia from where it originates. The name Napa is a Chinese word  which translates roughly as “leaf”.

Here are 6 easy things to do with your Napa Cabbage: 

1. Soup: Add a cup or two of shredded napa cabbage to virtually any soup. Napa is especially good in chicken and beef soups.  One easy idea is a to make a simple miso soup broth and just add some steamed chopped Napa, quick, easy, delicious! Try this Miso Noodle Soup – great in fall and summer!

2. Quick Kimchi: Kimchi is a Korean lacto-fermented pickled Napa Cabbage dish. It usually involves a long brine time in an airtight container mixed with hot pepper, fall radishes, onions, and garlic. However, you can make a quick and easy overnight version.  Just take about 3 cups of shredded Napa Cabbage, add a Tablespoon or so of Sriracha (or other Korean garlic-hot pepper sauce), about 3 Tablespoons of rice or white wine vinegar, 4 chopped Garlic cloves, and a half teaspoon or so of salt – Mix it all together and let chill overnight in the fridge.

3. Slaw. Do you have a favorite Coleslaw recipe? Just substitute Napa Cabbage for the European standard for a unique and delicious summer salad! Try this creamy version with yogurt.

4. Stuffed. Blanch whole Napa leaves until they just wilt. Stuff with beans, rice, ground beef, pork – whatever! The sky is the limit with this one. Try using napa cabbage in our Asian inspired Cabbage Rolls or the Vegetarian version with tempeh!

5. Stir Fry: If you’ve ever eaten a stir fry at an Asian restaurant, there’s a good chance there was Napa Cabbage in your stir-fry.  There’s a million ways to add Napa to a Stir fry, separating the white stems and dicing them into one inch squares can make for a nice presentation. Don’t throw the green part out though – just add it to the stir fry toward the end (since it takes less time to cook) Check out our tips for making your own stir-fry without a recipe.

6. Spring Rolls: add Napa cooked or raw to a mix of other veggies, shrimp, pork, bean thread noodles…and wrap in spring roll wrappers. Serve with an asian style dipping sauce. Great in our fresh rolls with peanut sauce!

Share your ideas! What do you do with Napa Cabbage?  Please comment below.

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