Like many Asian fruits and vegetables, napa cabbage is known by a lot of different names!
This can make it quite confusing to buy in the store. Some common names include: nappa cabbage, bai cai, celery cabbage, Chinese cabbage, Chinese leaf, Wong Bok, Won Bok, and wombok!
Take a good look at the photo below of napa cabbage before heading to the store to buy it (it’s quite common in many grocery stores, even non-Asian ones).
Napa cabbage is a really versatile and delicious vegetable – it soaks up the flavors of the broth really well, which is why it’s one of the most popular vegetables in Asian cooking. In particular, Korean kimchi is traditionally made from Napa cabbage.
And in case you were wondering why it’s called “Napa” cabbage, the reason is not because it’s grown in Napa, California (that was one of my first thoughts), but the word actually comes from the Japanese word referring to vegetable leaves.
This is not a Traditional Asian Recipe
Napa cabbage has become so widespread that many people (including me) are making non-traditional recipes using it. So, just to warn you, if you’re looking for an authentic Chinese recipe for Napa cabbage, then this is NOT it. But if you’re looking for a quick, delicious way to cook an amazing vegetable, then THIS IS IT!
Image credit: lithian (fotolia.com)