First discovered in China (and sometimes called Chinese cabbage), this brassica is more tender and much milder than common green or red cabbage. Elongated with crinkly, pale green leaves, it’s a key ingredient in many Asian dishes, including Korea’s pickled kimchi. Low-calorie napa cabbage provides vitamins C and K, plus folic acid and protein.
Select and store. Look for firm, dry, and tightly closed heads without yellowing or ragged, brown edges. Refrigerate for up to a week.
Slaw. Separate leaves; wash, pat dry, stack, and cut crosswise into shreds. Toss with cubed mango, toasted pine nuts, green onions, and a blend of light mayo and rice vinegar.
Stir-fry. Sauté shredded napa cabbage with carrot matchsticks, sliced shiitakes, and snow peas in hot sesame oil; season with minced fresh ginger and black bean–garlic paste. Serve over cooked brown rice.
Tacos. Place whole napa cabbage leaves in a large pot over gently boiling water; steam a few seconds until soft and pliable. Fill with cooked, spiced ground turkey or fish and veggies; roll up and eat.