The cabbage is 10 to 20 inches (25 to 50 cm) tall and 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) wide. Its crinkly, crisp leaves will be pale green at the top of them, lightening to almost pure white at the bottoms, with a definite rib in the middle of each leaf.
The heads are compact, but not to the extent that they are as hard to as the white cabbage that is prevalent in North American stores.
The leaves have a more delicate cabbage flavour, too. Because of this, some think the cabbage almost has a hint of sweetness in it.
There are two main varieties of this cabbage:
- one is tall, like a Romaine lettuce, and the leaves are a bit darker green. Names for this variety might include chihili, Market Pride, Michihili, and Shaho Tsai;
- the other is squatter and rounder, with leaves a bit paler. Names for this variety might include che-foo, wong bok, Toyko Giant, Tropical Pride, and Wintertime.
Napa Cabbage does well in cooler weather. At the store, there should be no flowers sprouting from it. If there are, the cabbage is either too old, or it was grown in weather that was too warm.
Napa Cabbage can be eaten cooked or raw. Add last to stir fries.
In Korea, Napa Cabbage is used in the most popular version of kimchi
1 1/4 cups, shredded = 100g / 3.5 oz
Store wrapped in fridge for up to one month.
Called “baechu” in Korean; “hakusai” in Japanese; “wong nga pak” in Cantonese.
Jimenez, Manuel and Marita Cantwell . Postharvest Evaluation of Napa Cabbage Cultivars: Emphasis on Black Speck Development. University of California Coperative Extension – Tulare County, Visalia and Department of Vegetable Crops, University of California Davis. 28 January 1995.
Studstill, David, Eric Simonne, Jeff Brecht and Phyllis Gilreath. Pepper Spot (“Gomasho”) on Napa Cabbage. Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. May 2007. HS1101/HS352