15 Ways To Use Napa Cabbage

Lion's Head Meatballs in a white bowl
Photo: Chef John

Napa cabbage, a Chinese variety that can be found at any major grocery store, has a more tender texture and slightly sweeter taste than standard green or red cabbages. It's commonly used in dishes like kimchi, soups, or as a stuffing for dumplings, but there's a world of other ways to eat napa cabbage. Try it shredded into a slaw, tossed with noodles, or stuffed in a hearty wrap. You're sure to learn new ways to enjoy this veggie with our 15 napa cabbage recipes.

01 of 15

Sweet and Spicy Pork and Napa Cabbage Stir-Fry with Spicy Noodles

Sweet and Spicy Pork and Napa Cabbage Stir-Fry with Spicy Noodles next to chopsticks

This meal has it all: chewy noodles, tender veggies, and spicy glazed pork. Napa cabbage, bell peppers, carrots, and sliced pork tenderloin are all stir-fried together in a Thai sweet chili sauce that adds a pop of heat to the dish.

02 of 15

Napa Cabbage Salad with Lemon-Pistachio Vinaigrette

Napa Cabbage Salad with Lemon-Pistachio Vinaigrette on a white plate

Nappa cabbage, romaine lettuce, and fresh herbs combine for this bright green dish. The lemon-pistachio vinaigrette creates a bold flavor and chopped pistachios add a nice crunch.

03 of 15

Korean Kimchi

Close up of Korean Kimchi
Husna Amani

Probably napa cabbage's most popular use, kimchi is a staple in Korean households. This tangy fermented dish also includes garlic, green onions, and plenty of red pepper flakes for the distinctive hue and spicy flavor.

04 of 15

Summertime Crab Slaw with Napa Cabbage

Summertime Crab Slaw with Napa Cabbage in a blue bowl

You only need a handful of ingredients to make this refreshing seafood salad. Napa cabbage is thinly sliced and tossed with fresh crabmeat, celery, radishes, olives, and green onions. Recipe creator bdweld suggests serving it up with a tangy red wine vinaigrette.

05 of 15

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad

Vietnamese Rice-Noodle Salad
Caroline C

Quick cooking rice noodles mean this meal is ready in just 15 minutes. They're combined with napa cabbage, peanuts, fresh mint, and a salty jalapeño-cilantro fish sauce to bump up the Vietnamese-inspired flavor.

06 of 15

Chicken and Veggie Miso Soup

Chicken and Veggie Miso Soup in a bowl
Bobby Robinette

Described by recipe creator JoDee Phillips as "a Japanese-inspired take on traditional chicken noodle soup," this stick-to-your-ribs dish is sure to become a family favorite. It uses the Instant Pot to cook chicken thighs and hearty veggies in a miso-infused broth, just stirring in the napa cabbage and bok choy at the end to avoid overcooking both.

07 of 15

Chicken Napa Cabbage Wraps

Chicken Napa Cabbage Wraps on a blue plate

Refreshingly crunchy and creamy, these wraps are described by recipe creator Pepperwood as "an excellent meal in warm weather." Cooked chicken and chopped napa cabbage are rolled into a tortilla coated with a tangy Cheddar and mustard sauce.

08 of 15

Gyoza (Japanese Potstickers)

Gyoza with dipping sauce
Soup Loving Nicole

Pork and cabbage are a classic pairing and act as the stars for filling these tender gyoza dumplings. Although perfectly seasoned on their own, the gyoza are even better when dipped into the slightly spicy side sauce.

09 of 15

Lion's Head Meatballs

Lion's Head Meatballs in a white bowl
Chef John

"People throw out the term 'melt-in-your-mouth' pretty casually, but these meatballs really are," says Chef John. "Some people think the name comes from their large size, while others believe eating these gives you the strength of a lion, but the actual answer is not quite as mythical. The look of this crinkled-up napa cabbage reminded the inventors of this dish of a lion's mane."

10 of 15

Asian Coleslaw

Asian Coleslaw
Sylvia Robertson

A little sweet, salty, and nutty, this Asian-inspired slaw may become your new go-to summertime side. Thinly sliced napa, green, and red cabbages team up for a cruciferous trio that's coated in a tangy soy-peanut dressing.

11 of 15

Veggie and Wonton Soup

Veggie and Wonton Soup with chopsticks

Each bite of this homey soup is studded with pieces of tender napa cabbage, sweet carrots, flavorful wontons, and firm tofu, all simmered together in a salty miso broth. Don't have fish oil on hand? Many reviewers had success subbing in fish sauce.

12 of 15

Sesame Cabbage and Mushrooms

Sesame Cabbage and Mushrooms
Kim's Cooking Now

This is a great recipe for when you need a speedy side dish. Sliced napa cabbage and shiitake mushrooms are quickly sautéd in sesame oil and finished off with a drizzle of soy sauce and sprinkling of cilantro.

13 of 15

Authentic Yakisoba

Authentic Yakisoba with chopsticks

A classic Japanese stir-fry noodle dish, yakisoba is a satisfying meal packed with strips of pork tenderloin, shredded napa cabbage, and a super savory sauce. "Delicious! I can say this with confidence because I had this many times while in Japan," says reviewer IFortuna.

14 of 15

Taiwanese Dumplings

Taiwanese Dumplings on a white plate
Soup Loving Nicole

A whopping two whole heads of napa cabbage go into these Taiwanese dumplings. The recipe makes a lot, approximately 100, so ensure you've got an assembly line of friends for folding the dumplings.

15 of 15

Napa Cabbage Salad with Blue Cheese

Napa Cabbage Salad with Blue Cheese in a bowl

If you want a break from the standard side salad, this tangy recipe is here to save the day. Napa cabbage is tossed with green onions, creamy blue cheese, and crunchy almonds, all coated in a sweet and tangy celery seed dressing.

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