The Foodie

napa cabbage, cabbage

What’s Fresh in Mid-August: Napa Cabbage

August 15, 2009
by findingDulcinea Staff
Napa cabbage is ready for harvest just as the summer begins to wind down, so head out to your local farmers market to bag some before it is too late, and once it's home, we've got a few ideas for how to prepare it.

Napa Cabbage

Napa, or “Chinese,” cabbage, closely resembles a head of Romaine lettuce, with leaves that are frilly, white in the center and sweeter than those of green cabbage. The Worldwide Gourmet explains how the vegetable is used in different parts of the world; often sautéed with oyster sauce in China, it serves as the base for sweet coleslaws in the United States.

Napa/Chinese cabbage contains 265 mg vitamin A, which is 200 times the amount contained in green cabbage. The Hanlin Academy offers a holistic take on Chinese cabbage’s health benefits, stating that it “cleanses the heat in the body, promotes the metabolism and urination, activates the work of the brain and the kidneys, [and] reinforces the Yin energy in the body.” Not your typical nutritional analysis, but it probably can’t hurt to strengthen your chi …

Need something sweet and crunchy to bring to that cookout? Throw together a bright bowl of Napa Cabbage Picnic Salad. By combining the cabbage with slivered almonds, soy sauce, cilantro and ginger, a humdrum old standby, coleslaw, is transformed into a zesty side dish. Toss in sliced, grilled chicken and you’ve got a meal.

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