Saturday, April 16, 2011


If you’ve ever eaten kimchee in a Korean restaurant, it was probably made with napa. In Korea, they take this appetizer item very seriously, packing it with salt and chili peppers in ceramic jars and storing it underground for months, until fermentation is complete.

But napa is good to use in many ways. Use it in stir-frys, with salad greens and cole slaws.

Also known as Chinese cabbage or celery cabbage, napa is similar to bok choy.  Napa is mild and sweet, almost like a celery-lettuce and can be eaten raw. It seems to have an affinity for garlic and ginger, or maybe that’s just me.

Here is a great introduction to napa: a quick and easy to prepare chicken stir- fry using napa.

Sweet and Sour Chicken                 serves 4

2 cups of steamed rice
1 Tablespoon oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cubed
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
4 green onions, sliced OR 1 onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, any colour, chopped
4 cups napa cabbage, shredded, or sliced very thinly
1 can of sliced water chestnuts, drained (8 ounce can)
2/3 cup sweet and sour sauce
2 teaspoons of cornstarch ONLY IF using commercial sweet and sour sauce

Take the chicken and wipe dry and put in a bowl. Sprinkle a tablespoon of cornstarch all over the cubes and massage in with your hands. This will insure tenderness.

Use commercial sweet and sour sauce OR make your own:
1/3 cup of vinegar
4 tablespoons of brown sugar
1-tablespoon ketchup
1-teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch stirred into 4 teaspoons of cold water

Mix everything but the cornstarch and water to the boil.  Stir up the cornstarch and cold water and add to the boiling mixture stirring. When thick is done.

While the rice is cooking, heat the oil in a skillet or wok to medium hot.  Add the chicken and shake the pan.  Stir to separate the chicken and throw in the carrots, bell pepper and onion.  Stir about 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked.

Now put in the napa and water chestnuts. Cook 1 minute. Add your thickened sweet and sour sauce to the skillet. Cook and stir for a few moments.

Serve over rice. How easy is that, yet good groceries with that leafy green vegetable. So try it already.


Name: Luana Krause said...

Looks delicious. I love stir fry. Never heard of Napa...learning something new.

Keena said...

My brother was stationed in Korea for bit and when he came home he brought some Kimchee with him. It smelled so bad that I would not try it and our mother made him keep it in the garage to keep the smell out of the house.

anthony stemke said...

I agree totally. I cannot stand Kimchee. Fortunately, napa is so good you can eat it raw.

Bob Sanchez said...

Looks interesting!

I'm stopping by on the A-Z Challenge. Please visit my blog, where my word of the day is Osculation.

kitchenmorph said...

hahaha Keena's comment cracked me up...stored in the garage..oh my goodness how funny! well, i stayed with koreans for a while and had kimchi everyday....napa kimchi and radish kimchi. i love the freshly made kimchi...i saw the korean samonim making it one day...yum. and they said too tht before refrigerators it was stored underground! koreans say they smell of kimchi...!!!!
this dish is fabulous...i'll sure make it one i can make sweet and sour sauce too!!! great!

kitchenmorph said...

tht korean samonim threw out one huge bunch of cilantro coz no one like it there!!! is so's fascinating!

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