Chinese cabbage has a scientific name called Brassica rapa or Napa cabbage. This cabbage has become acceptable in Kenya for its tasty features. It has pale green, thickly veined leaves, and a white stalk.
Its global popularity especially in the northern part of the world has attracted many clients even in Africa, and specifically in Kenya. Also known as Napa cabbage, this type of cabbage is easy to cook and it’s easily available due to the high demand it has.
As compared to other types of vegetables, napa cabbage is nutritious and quite inexpensive. It is the best vegetable that is easy to grow.
Comparison to Green Cabbage
The highest percentage of Kenyan consumers, consume green cabbage. Green cabbage is ball-shaped and tightly shaped while napa cabbage is leafier. The leaves of green cabbage are a bit thicker and rubbery.
Green cabbage has a pale green color as the Chinese cabbage has a whitish appearance. Green cabbage tends to be sweeter when cooked just like napa cabbage.
Varieties of Chinese Cabbages.
The other variety of Chinese cabbage is known as Bok choy, commonly called Chinese white cabbage. It is very similar to the napa cabbage. The difference with the Bok choy is the leaves, for it has leaves which are a bit distinctly separated from one another. This type does well in cold weather and in addition, it can be taken while raw or added in soups, stews, and stir-fries.
Cooking Chinese Cabbage.
Chinese cabbage can be used as a salad and eaten raw. When cooked, the cabbage has high water content and juicy flavor which makes it outstanding from other types of cabbages. People tend to use chinese cabbage mostly in soups and to stir-fries due to its uniqueness.
During preparation, consumers have to ensure they rinse the cabbage thoroughly and then allow it to drain. Depending on the consumer specifications, you can opt to remove the stem, or cut the entire head into halves, or even leave it as a whole. The consumer can also opt to pull off the leaves individually just as green cabbage. Additionally, napa cabbage can be used as steamer, as it helps eliminate food from sticking at the bottom of the cooking pot.
Markets for Napa Cabbage
In Kenya, Chinese cabbage is quite popular for it is found in groceries and in supermarkets. Due to its uniqueness, napa cabbage is a bit expensive as compared to the standard cabbage. When selecting for the best head, always be mindful and check for one that has firm leaves that haven’t withered or infected by bugs. Healthy napa cabbage is always heavier than a standard cabbage.
Most consumers perfer to grow their own chinese cabbage, which is pretty easier since it only needs a little bit of tending. Napa cabbage only takes two months to fully mature. Planting of chinese cabbage should be done in an area that has a well distributed amount of sunlight per day, and an area that has alot of water.
How to Store Chinese Cabbage
As it is hard to get a cabbage head that fits well in plastic bags, consumers are advised to wrap the cabbage in a plastic wrap. This will ensure that the cabbage is in good condition for about three days. The cabbage will go fresh for as soon as the leaves indicate no spots. In case the consumer identifies spots on the leaves, this is an indication that the cabbage has begun losing its value. At such a point the consumer should not eat the cabbage.
Napa cabbage is richly endowed with vitamin C, K, and B6. The cabbage is a very good source of antioxidants which include carotenes. the carotenes are a good source of reducing cholesterol. Napa cabbage is also helpful in reducing the extent of chronic inflammation if it is taken on a regular basis. The cabbage is very low in calories hence very helpful.
The fiber content in Napa cabbage helps it improve the process of digestion. Additionally, Chinese cabbage is a good source of minerals which include potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium.