Chinese cabbage is one of the most common Asian vegetables found in New Zealand and is also known as “Peking cabbage”, “napa cabbage”, “wong nga pak”, “wong nga baak” and “wong bok”. It has an elongated head with tightly packed crinkly pale green leaves. Unlike the strong-flavored waxy leaves on round heads of cabbage, these are thin, crisp and delicately mild. Chinese cabbage is a rich source of vitamin C and folate and a source of vitamin A.
Storage: Chinese cabbage can be refrigerated for up to five days.
General Use: Before using the cabbage clean it well under water and pat dry ensuring all excess water is removed. Chinese cabbage can be used raw in salads or cooked in all sorts of ways, but it is used most commonly in fast cooking methods such as stir frying.
Boiled: Chop the cabbage coarsely. Put about 2cm of water into a pot and bring it to the boil. Add the cabbage and return to the boil. Remove the pot from the stove and enjoy – Chinese Cabbage cooks fast.
Soup: A mild-flavoured soup can be prepared by adding the leaves and stalks to either a chicken or beef broth with scallions and cubes of chicken or tofu.
Stir Fried: Heat a little olive oil in a wok or deep skillet over low heat for 1 minute. Meanwhile rinse the cabbage, pat the leaves dry and shred finely. Add the cabbage and stir fry for 4 minutes. Add sesame seeds and stir fry 1 minute more. Add teriyaki sauce and toss ingredients until cabbage is tender but still crisp.
Baked: Boil the cabbage until very tender and drain the water. Stir in olive oil and sea salt with cabbage and put into a baking dish. Pour over your favourite white sauce and bake in the oven at 200°C for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chopped cooked meat and grated cheese. Grill until it turns golden brown.
Salad: Combine vinegar, sugar, oil and minced ginger in large bowl, stir until sugar dissolves. Stir in a diced apple. Add shredded cabbage, raisins, finely sliced onions, fresh chopped coriander and roasted sesame seeds. Gently stir until well combined.