Napa or Nappa Cabbage is a type of Chinese cabbage that is widely used in Asian cuisine. The word napa translates to leaves of any vegetable, especially as food.
The leaves lay together firmly and form heads just like other head-forming leaf vegetables like cabbage lettuce.
Napa Cabbage is labeled differently across the world. Australians call the vegetable “wombok”, and in England, they’re called “petsai”.
Species: B. Rapa
Binomial name: Brassica rapa
Napa Cabbage Trivia
- Cabbage is one of the oldest vegetables in the world and is known as the grandfather of vegetables.
- People in China believed that cabbage was a magic cure for bald men.
- Avoid using aluminum with cabbage as it discolors the vegetable with a chemical reaction.
Napa Cabbage Buying Guide
You will most likely find these cabbages in regular grocery stores or specialty Asian markets.
Look for medium-sized cabbages with firm stems and dense heads. Look for those leaves that are green bright or yellowish, they shouldn’t have black spots or blemishes.
If your vegetable has dark dots, it can be a sign of mold and you should just peel off the affected leaves.
They should feel heavy for their size.
Napa Cabbage Production & Farming in Texas
Napa Cabbage was introduced from Europe to America in the 16th century and when the seed production stopped in the 20th century. California and Oregon were the leading producers of cabbage at the time. It’s not hard to grow these vegetables and it only takes a couple of months to grow them. They need regular watering but that’s about it. They don’t require too much management.
Cabbage is a vegetable with one of the least amounts of pesticides detected. About 86% of pesticides had no pesticide residues in them and just 0.3% showed more than one residue.
They require less spraying as they produce compounds called glucosinolates that are used to deter harmful insects.
Like many other Chinese vegetables, Napa Cabbages originated from the Yangtze River region. Afterward, it slowly started spreading to Korea and Japan. Today, the species has been domesticated and used throughout the world.
Cabbage requires at least four to five hours of sun daily and plenty of water. It can grow in both direct sunlight or partial shade. They can handle both warm and cool weather in Texas.
Cabbage may be packaged in plastic or wooden crates, perforated polythene bags, and ventilated cardboard boxes.
Enjoying Napa Cabbages
Nappa Cabbage has its uses in both raw and cooked implementations. It can be braised, boiled, stir-fried, grilled, thrown into green salads, or stuffed into fresh spring rolls.
Napa Cabbage may also be cooked into curries, mixed into rice dishes, or simmered in hot soups.
The vegetable pairs well with some of the other vegetables like potatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers, carrots, fish, duck, pork, and the list goes on.
To store the whole Nappa Cabbage, put it in the plastic bag and place it in the refrigerator. The vegetable can stay up to a week inside.
Stir-fried Napa Cabbage is the perfect recipe for this vegetable. It will pull its flavors out like no other.
To start, heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Throw in the ginger, onions, and garlic and saute while stirring for about a minute. Put the cabbage inside and cook until it starts to wilt which is about two minutes. Add rice vinegar and soy sauce, stir in and cook until the cabbage is wilted. Serve and enjoy.
Cabbage is in general very nutritious with low amounts of calories. That’s why it’s being noticed as one of the healthiest foods out there.
Napa Cabbages are also a great source of:
- Vitamins C & K
When Are Napa Cabbage in Season in Texas?
To find out when Napa Cabbage are in season in Texas, please check the seasonal chart below. Why is this important? We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas now.