Chili and Garlic Roasted Napa Cabbage Recipe
Add Asian flair to your dinner tonight with this quick side dish.
Napa cabbage is often associated with stir fries and kimchi, a Korean fermented pickle dish. Napa originated in China and is widely used in East Asian cuisine. The leaves are sweet, crunchy with an almost celery-like flavor. Generically, it's known as Chinese Cabbage. Botanically, it's in the brassica family along with broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and regular head cabbage.
How to Grow Napa Cabbage
Napa cabbage is a cool season annual. It prefers short, mild days but can overwinter under cover in zones 4-7. It's best to direct sow seeds in the early spring or late summer in rich, well-amended soil. It takes Napa 70-80 days to mature. Once established, there's little maintenance with the exception of watering. Napa cabbage is a favorite among slugs. Protect plants by surrounding the base with a layer of crushed egg shells or sand. The cabbages are ready for harvesting once the heads feel dense with little give.
Napa cabbage is extremely low in calories. It's classified as a zero-calorie food by dietitians; you burn more calories by eating it than you get from it. Napa is high in fiber and loaded with vitamin C and K and high in fiber. Napa is an excellent source of folate and antioxidants.
How to Use Napa Cabbage
You can use Napa in place of any cabbage in a recipe. It's delicious as a low-carb wrap for sandwiches. Shred it up and toss it with a peanut-ginger sauce for an Asian themed slaw. Mix it with other greens for an extra crunch in a salad. Add it to your stir-fry for a healthy dose of fiber. Napa cabbage is truly versatile and can be incorporated into many dishes.
Chili and Garlic Roasted Napa Cabbage
- 6 cups of shredded Napa cabbage (about 1 medium head)
- 2-3 gloves of garlic, sliced
- One fresh chili pepper, sliced*
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame seeds
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
In small skillet, heat the oil on low. Add the garlic cloves and and sliced chili pepper; cook for about 15 minutes. Do not let the garlic brown. The goal here is to infuse the oil with the garlic and chili taste. Remove from heat. Toss the shredded cabbage in the oil then place it on a baking sheet. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the tops of the cabbage pieces are browned. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top and serve hot.
*You can substitute a teaspoon of crushed red pepper