Friday, March 17, 2006

Recipe for Braised Napa Cabbage with Shitake Mushrooms

(Updated March 2009) Napa cabbage is one of those ingredients that can be served raw or cooked, and in early 2006 I enjoyed this cooked dish of braised napa cabbage with shitake mushrooms. I hate looking back at my old photos, and this recipe is due for a new picture, but even with this completely unimaginative photo, it's still a delicious and nutritious dish.

Napa Cabbage can be served cooked or raw, and contains vitamin C, fiber and folate as well as cancer-fighting compounds called indoles. It's also called Chinese Celery Cabbage, Peking Cabbage, and Petsai. I found a number of sites that offered cooking tips for Napa cabbage, and realized I had no idea how versatile it was. I found a lot of recipes where it was used in Napa Cabbage Salad, and some which featured Napa Cabbage in Chinese recipes.

Braised Napa Cabbage with Shitakes
(Adapted from About 4 servings)

1 cup dried sliced shitake mushrooms
1 T peanut oil
1 tsp. minced fresh garlic (or less)
1 large head Napa Cabbage, thinly sliced
3-4 green onions, sliced
1 T soy sauce
1/2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
salt/pepper to taste

Put shitake mushrooms in a shallow bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit until soft, about one hour if you have that much time. Drain well, coarsely chop. Cut cabbage crosswise into thin strips, discarding root end.

Heat oil in large heavy pan or wok over medium heat. Add garlic and stir fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes (do not brown). Add shitakes, cabbage, and scallions and stir-fry about 3 minutes. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and pepper, reduce heat to low, cover and braise until cabbage is barely tender, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.

South Beach Suggestions:
This would be a great dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet, or any other low-glycemic eating plan. another South Beach friendly dish using napa cabbage is Napa Cabbage Slaw with Carrots and Fennel-Dijon Dressing.
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More to Chew On:


  1. Happy St. Patrick's day to you too! This will be a year when I don't have corned beef and cabbage--and I'm Irish-American. I'm not crazy about it, truth to tell. The napa cabbage looks great!

  2. Hmm. Add this one to my list of "still haven't tried it".

  3. Happy St Patrick's Day to you too Kalyn!

    I never knew this is called napa cabbage. Thanks for the info. I just knew it's other name - chinese cabbage. Looks great!

    I also clicked on your corned beef recipe - i saw some Irish corned beef in the supermarket the other day and was staring at it for a while - didn't know how to prepare it. I got used to the tinned! At least now i know. Never thought about asking my Irish friends...

  4. Yumm looks good!

    I did a WHB about Ugli fruit!!

  5. I love cabbage! This looks yummy, Kalyn!

  6. When we were making gyoza the other day, my husband asked what other things you could use Napa Cabbage for. I was at a loss, I guess I didn't think that it's really just like other cabbages, and it would be fantastic sauteed. Thanks for the inspriation, this looks delicious!

  7. Love cabbage & this looks wonderful. I did a baby bok choi colcannon for something a little different this year & posted it on my blog.

  8. Too bad about the broccolirabe!! (I guess I shouldn't rub it in that we had it twice last week, should I?)

    Napa cabbage is great, isn't it? And I often forget about it. Thanks for the reminder.

    I remember the first time I bought a head of it at one of our local vegetable stores. The store was run by an eccentric Chinese lady (no longer with us) - always perfectly coiffed with beautifully manicured hands, very friendly, completely fluent in English but with a very HEAVY accent. I put the cabbage down on the counter and she went into raptures, telling me how "ver' ver' good" it was for me. "Ver' ver' goo'!! Yes!! Ver' ver' goo'!" I cannot lift up a Chinese cabbage (I didn't know until reading your post that it is a Napa cabbage) without smiling and hearing the echo of "Ver' ver' goo'!! Yes!! Ver' ver' goo'!" again.

    We always include Napa Cabbage in our fondue Chinoise (the food cooked at the table in stock rather than oil or cheese)

    I'm afraid don't know very much about the South Beach Diet but I'm guessing Fondue Chinoise might just fit perfectly into the diet.


    Just in case it does fit into the diet plan, here is our recipe for Fondue Chinoise:


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