Varieties

Green

The heart of any good coleslaw is shredded green cabbage, which, in the supermarket, looks similar to a head of iceberg lettuce - green, round and typically a little smaller than a volleyball. Green is the most common type of cabbage and is popular for its crunchiness and mild flavour. When looking for a head of green cabbage, look for one that is heavy for its size and has no discolouration.

Red

This type adds a burst of colour to any salad or stir-fry. Red cabbage takes longer to mature than green cabbage, so they usually aren't as tender. This variety is perfect for serving raw in salads and slaws. The colour in red cabbage can often run when cooked. Other foods will turn red and the cabbage will take on a bluish hue. This can be avoided by cooking with an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar.

Savoy

Tender and sweet, Savoy cabbage is popular in Italian recipes and has a milder flavour than green cabbage. Look for heads with even green colouring and slightly cone-shaped leaves. The leaves should be crisp, not limp, and there should be no sign of browning. The firmer leaves work well when cooked in such dishes as cabbage rolls.

Napa

Introduced into North America from China in the 1880s, Napa is also known as Chinese cabbage. It has long, oblong-shaped leaves that are flat and wide. The leaves are a pale green to greenish white in the centre. It looks much like a head of Romaine lettuce only more compact, with curly edges. Napa can be served cooked or raw and works particularly well in stir-fries and soups.

Purchasing

  • Look for compact heads that are heavy for their size.
  • Whether red or green, the leaves should be crisp and deeply coloured.
  • Check the stem to make sure it has no cracks around its base. Avoid discoloured heads with wilted outer leaves.

Storage

  • Refrigerate cabbage in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer for up to 2 weeks. Once cut, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, refrigerate and use within a few days.

Preparation/Cooking

  • Remove and discard any wilted or fibrous outer leaves and wash under cold running water. If cutting cabbage into wedges, do not remove the core so the leaves remain intact. Otherwise, remove and discard the white inner core.
  • To shred cabbage for coleslaw or salads, place washed and cored cabbage half cut-side down on a board and slice crosswise to form thin strips. Or shred on the largest holes of a grater or in a food processor.
  • Avoid overcooking cabbage to prevent a strong odour and flavour. For best results, boil, steam, or stir-fry cabbage just until crisp-tender
  • To prevent red cabbage from discolouring, use a stainless-steel knife to cut.
  • 1 pound yields:
    - 4 to 4-1/2 cups shredded or sliced cabbage.
    - 2 to 2-1/2 cups cooked cabbage

Tips

  • Toss sliced red cabbage into green salads for extra colour and crunch and top with your favourite Kraft Salad Dressing.
  • Stir chopped or shredded cabbage into soups and stews during the last 15 minutes of cooking.
  • Add chopped or sliced green cabbage to your favourite stir-fry.
  • 1/4 pound cooked cabbage is equal to:
    - 1 serving
    1 medium head (about 1.5 kg) cabbage is equal to:
    - 4 to 6 servings
    - 6 to 8 cups shredded

Seasonal Produce