While this oblong, white to pale green cabbage is cultivated worldwide, it's the most widely grown vegetable in China, and a popular ingredient in authentic Asian cuisines, from stir-fry and noodle dishes to dumplings, rolls, and salads.
Chinese cabbage ( Brassica rapa, subspecies pekinensis and chinensis) can refer to two cultivar groups of leaf vegetables often used in Chinese cuisine: the Pekinensis Group ( napa cabbage) and the Chinensis Group ( bok choy ). These vegetables are both variant cultivars or subspecies of the turnip and belong to the same genus as such Western.
It's known by its scientific name Brassica Pekinensis, but the most common names associated with Chinese cabbage are Napa cabbage or Chinese leaves. The Chinese name is 白菜/大白菜. Napa cabbage is a large-headed cabbage with firmly packed, pale green leaves that you will usually find next to bok choy in Western supermarkets. Featured Video
Chinese cabbage (Brassica pekinensis and B. chinensis, 2n = 20) is annually grown as a salad crop. It is indigenous to China and eastern Asia, where it has been in cultivation since the fifth century. Two more or less distinct species of Chinese cabbage are grown.
Chinese cabbage is a cool-weather plant that will bolt and go to seed quickly in warm weather and long days; grow Chinese cabbage in spring or autumn in temperatures ranging from 45° to 75°F (7-24°C). Sow seed 4 to 6 weeks before the average date of the last frost in spring.
When the growing Chinese cabbage is 4 to 5 inches (10-13 cm.) tall, you can thin the plants to about 10 inches (25 cm.) apart. Harvesting Chinese Cabbage Plants. When you harvest the cabbage, be sure to pick Chinese cabbage growing from the first planting you started, if you have staggered plantings for continuous crops.
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