Chinese Cabbage

Chinese cabbage is a very popular vegetable in Thai cooking. It can be eaten fresh as a counterpoint to spicy foods such as red chili dip, or cooked in a variety of soups and stir-fries to add substance and flavor.

Chinese cabbage

Chinese cabbage on display in a market stall

Chinese cabbage grows in an elongated head that is rather loosely gathered compared to the hard headed cabbages typically found in western supermarkets. The leaves have a strong centre stalk, and closely resemble romaine lettuce. The edge of the leaves usually have only the merest hint of green tint, with the rest being almost snow white. The shape makes an excellent spoon for eating red chili dip.

In western supermarkets, Chinese cabbage may be labelled as bok choy or siew choy, although in most supermarkets here in the Pacific Northwest it's labeled “Napa”. In Korea, Chinese cabbage is the main ingredients in kim chee, a pickled vegetable that can be fiery hot. Thais will also pickle cabbage, usually using simply water from washing rice.

Chinese cabbage does indeed originate in China, where it has probably been cultivated for many centuries. Chinese traders transplanted the vegetable to their business communities throughout South-east Asia, although it doesn't appear that the locals in places such as Malaysia and Thailand starting using Chinese cabbage in their own cuisines until the last few hundred years.

 

Weight Information
1 cup, shredded 70.0 g
1 head 840.0 g
1 leaf 14.0 g
Nutritional Information for 1 cup, shredded
Energy 9.1
Protein 1.05 20.000 5%
Total lipid (fat) 0.14 65.000 0%
Carbohydrate, by difference 1.526 300.000 1%
Fiber, total dietary 0.7 25.000 3%
Calcium, Ca 73.5 1000.000 7%
Iron, Fe 0.56 18.000 3%
Magnesium, Mg 13.3 400.000 3%
Phosphorus, P 25.9 1000.000 3%
Potassium, K 176.4 3500.000 5%
Sodium, Na 45.5 2400.000 2%
Zinc, Zn 0.133 15.000 1%
Copper, Cu 0.0147 2.000 1%
Manganese, Mn 0.1113 2.000 6%
Selenium, Se 0.35 70.000 1%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 31.5 60.000 53%
Thiamin 0.028 1.500 2%
Riboflavin 0.049 1.700 3%
Niacin 0.35 20.000 2%
Pantothenic acid 0.0616 10.000 1%
Vitamin B-6 0.1358 2.000 7%
Folate, total 46.2 400.000 12%
Folate, food 46.2 400.000 12%
Carotene, beta 1876.7
Carotene, alpha 0.7
Vitamin A, IU 3127.6 5000.000 63%
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.063
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 31.85 80.000 40%
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.0189 20.000 0%
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 0.0105
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.0672