Chinese cabbage


The heading "Chinese cabbage" is confusing, at best. This variety, Brassica pekinensis, is also called napa cabbage, hakusai, celery cabbage, wong bok and Peking cabbage, just to name a few. Another Brassica subspecies—chinensis—is better known as bok choy and is also called Chinese white cabbage and white mustard cabbage. It's clear that the confusion is warranted. The predominant variety of the pekinensis subspecies of Chinese cabbage has crinkly, thickly veined leaves that are cream-colored with celadon green tips. Unlike the strong-flavored waxy leaves on round heads of cabbage, these are thin, crisp and delicately mild. Chinese cabbage is generally available year-round. Choose firm, tightly packed heads with crisp, green-tipped leaves. Refrigerate, tightly wrapped, up to 3 days. Use raw, or sauté, bake or braise. It's a good source of vitamin A, folic acid and potassium.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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