The Chinese cabbage was principally grown in the Yangtze River Delta region, but the Ming Dynasty naturalist Li Shizhen popularized it by bringing attention to its medicinal qualities.
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(Brassica rapa pekinensis)
The Chinese cabbage was principally grown in the Yangtze River Delta region. This variant was cultivated in Zhejiang around the 14th century. Li Shizhen, Ming Dynasty scholar, published essays which promoted medicinal use of the cabbage, creating a great demand for this variety.
Chinese cabbage is sometimes confused with a well-known Brassica subspecies, chinensis (bok choy).
This cabbage has crinkly, thickly veined leaves that are cream-colored, with green tips. Unlike the strong-flavored waxy leaves on round heads of cabbage, Chinese cabbage is thin, crisp, and delicately mild, and therefore useful for salads and lightweight slaws or soups.
Napa cabbage became a staple in Northeastern Chinese cuisine for making suan cai, Chinese sauerkraut. In Korea, this cabbage is sometimes used in making kimchee. Chinese cabbage is now commonly found in markets throughout the world.
Sow 1/4″ deep, 12-15″ apart. Takes full sun but not fond of the heat. Water moderately. This cabbage is grown in the American Southwest during the Fall and Winter months, planted in the second Summer season. As a biennial, cabbage goes to seed after surviving the winter, in the warm months of spring.
If you grow this cabbage for seed, it cannot be cut or sampled. Plant enough to cut and eat, to pick and then save some for seed that are never picked or cut until seed production.
How to select:
Choose firm, tightly packed heads with crisp, green-tipped leaves.
How to prepare:
Use raw, saute, pickle, bake, or braise.
Germination rate 91% – Tested May 2020
Minimum 55 seedsmichihmichi