Napa cabbage is an Asian variety of cabbage that is barrel-shaped or elongated. Its delicate, puckered leaves are perfect for slaws, salads, stir-fries, and soups.
How to Select
Napa cabbage is available year-round, but it peaks in winter, when cold weather coaxes out its sweetness. A head should feel heavy for its size—go for small or medium-size heads that are firm and compact with unblemished leaves.
How to Store
A whole head of Napa cabbage will keep for a week or longer when stored unwashed in the fridge and sealed in plastic.
How to Prepare
Pull off the very thickest outer leaves and rinse whole heads just before slicing. Use cabbage as soon as possible for the best nutritional bang, especially a partial head. Slicing amps up flavor and possibly nutrients, but the vitamin content diminishes when cabbage is stored after cutting, so stay away from the pre-cut packaged stuff.