Versatile Napa Cabbage

Winter is upon us, and this is the season when Napa or Chinese cabbage prices go down. I usually get a quarter cut of a huge head and it’s enough for a few meals. Other than stir frying with other seasonal vegetables, this year I’m into cooking the following two ways. But there are many more ways to enjoy this kind of cabbage, maybe I’ll get to some at a later point.

For cold winter days, I enjoy a warm cream stew. For this one, I only use Chinese Cabbage and chicken (over rice.) I use a store bought cream stew roux and add spices, broth, herbs, shredded cheese and a bit of white wine. It’s quick (it took about 20 minutes to make) and healthy and so easy to make.

Today’s lunch featured a Napa Cabbage soup. After cutting the cabbage into strips, I stir fry it in sesame oil. Then, add water and bouillon (I prefer a hearty beef bouillon) along with some spices and herbs. I also added some glass noodles and green onions. One can also make some chicken meatballs ahead of time and add them to this soup to make a meal out of it. Sometimes I add some vinegar, and/or thicken the soup with potato starch/water. Add some red chili paste or oil and it becomes a spicy soup. The possibilities are endless…

A friend told me about stir fried kimchi. I almost like it better than the raw kind. This is store bought kimchi, stir fried with olive oil. Add a small amount of sugar (!) and gochujang (optional) and top with sesame oil (not optional!) before serving. This way, the kimchi is milder, easier to digest and doesn’t leave that typical kimchi aftertaste for hours. The sugar mixed with kimchi fluids almost caramelize the cabbage. I’m loving this way of eating kimchi!