Easy Sautéed Napa Cabbage Recipe - A flavorful way to enjoy Napa cabbage that is easy to make and ready in less than 10 minutes.
I'm a huge fan of eating cabbage and Napa cabbage. While I really enjoy the flavor that cabbage has naturally, it's also an incredible ingredient to cook up for meals because of how it soaks up and takes on the flavors perfectly of all the other added ingredients.
What I found really enjoyable about this simple Napa cabbage recipe is that besides the cabbage, all the other ingredients are just added sauces and spices to enhance the overall flavor and taste. This means that there is minimal work, besides cleaning and cutting the cabbage and I'm always happy to be able to create an amazing meal in a very short amount of time.
Video Tutorial: Napa Cabbage Recipe
- Napa Cabbage. You'll need a medium head.
- Oil. I prefer using grapeseed oil. That said, you can use canola or olive oil instead.
- Ginger and Garlic. The flavor infusers.
- Soy Sauce. Or tamari as a gluten-free option.
- Paprika. For a touch of sweetness and color.
- Rice Vinegar. Use apple cider vinegar if you need to substitute.
- Red Pepper Flakes. For a touch of heat. This ingredient is optional.
- Sesame Oil. To drizzle at the end. It adds a unique flavor and aroma to the dish.
- Sesame Seeds. To garnish.
How to Make this Sautéed Napa Cabbage
1. Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage and slice the cabbage into thick (about 1-inch wide) strips.
2. In a large non-stick pan heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add oil, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and stir. Cook for about 1 minute.
3. At this point add the Napa cabbage, soy sauce, paprika, and vinegar. Stir-fry for about 5-7 minutes, until the cabbage softened nicely.
4. Transfer the cabbage onto a serving platter. Drizzle with the sesame oil and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve warm.
Helpful Tips and Tricks
Cook the cabbage evenly. One of the easiest ways to have the cabbage cook up evenly and quickly is to cut it evenly in the first place. Medium-sized pieces of cabbage are great for texture and taste and make the cooking time still super fast as well.
Change up the flavors easily. The great part about this dish is that you can easily make it as I've listed on the recipe card OR change up the ingredients to get new flavors. I actually do this quite a bit because it makes the recipe taste new and different every single time. Feel free to add onions, chili peppers, cilantro, or your favorite seasonings.
Stir while you're cooking. You don't need to stand there and stir the entire time but this dish will require you to keep an eye on it while it's cooking. The last thing that you want is to have burnt cabbage so as long as you can stir every few moments, you should be fine and not have to worry about anything burning.
Have fun with your garnish options. I really like to top a lot of my dishes with sesame seeds but you can easily use anything that you'd like. Fresh cilantro is always a great choice and chopped chives are wonderful, too. (basically, anything fresh and green from the garden can always be a welcomed addition to any meal!)
How to Store and Reheat
The easiest way to store this dish is to put any leftovers into an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. This should keep it fresh for a couple of days, giving you some time to consume as you can.
When you're ready to reheat, you can simply add it to your pan and sauté back to the perfect temperature. You can also put it into a microwave-safe container and bring it up to temp that way, too.
What to Serve with this Napa Cabbage
Cabbage is not only delicious on its own but it really does pair well with other side dishes and main entrees as well. And since this Napa cabbage could be a side dish OR a main entree, you've got plenty of options to choose from!
I would recommend pairing this dish with my Twice Baked Potato Casserole or even a Pan-Fried Potato Cake. The creaminess of the casserole or the crispness of the potato cake will add a great texture difference from the cabbage.
FAQs about Napa Cabbage
What is the difference between napa cabbage and regular cabbage?
When we think of cabbage, the type that often comes first to mind is the one called green cabbage. It has a round shape and tightly packed green leaves. Napa cabbage, or Chinese cabbage, looks more like romaine lettuce but is bigger, and the texture on the leaves is different. Napa cabbage is great for cooking, grilling, and in salads.
What can I substitute for napa cabbage?
The best substitute in this recipe would be bok choy. You can also use regular green cabbage, but it will take longer to cook it.
Is napa cabbage edible raw?
Yes, it has a very mild flavor and soft texture. Try this Napa Cabbage Salad with Corn. So delicious!
When you're shopping for napa cabbage, which can be found at large grocery stores or Asian food stores, it's important to seek out a weighty head that has bright white ribs and crispy leaves. The head should be free from blemishing and the leaves should not look wilted.
See how simple and easy this dish is? When you're looking for a fast and easy meal that doesn't skimp on flavor or taste, you really have to give this cabbage dish a try. Every bite is certain to leave you wanting more.
More cabbage recipes to try:
Easy Sautéed Napa Cabbage
- 1 medium Napa cabbage
- 1 tbsp. grapeseed oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp. minced ginger
- ⅛ tsp. red pepper flakes or to taste
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. sesame oil or to taste
- ½ tbsp. sesame seeds
- Remove the outer leaves off the cabbage and slice the cabbage into thick (about 1 inch wide) strips.
- In a large non-stick pan heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add oil, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and stir. Cook for about 1 minute.
- At this point add the Napa cabbage, soy sauce, paprika, and vinegar. Stir-fry for about 5-7 minutes, until the cabbage softened nicely.
- Transfer the cabbage onto a serving platter. Drizzle with the sesame oil and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve warm.
Hal McFarland says
An excellent base wanting added spices. As is, it lacks a depth of flavor. Of course my critique is coming from a questionable palate—Covid and all. I will definitely make this dish again, just with a needed personal twist. I would highly recommend this recipe to family and friends.
Tania Sheff says
Thank you so much, Hal!
I've never considered napa cabbage before, but with making hot and sour soup and your delicious recipe, I'm now a believer in napa cabbage.
Tania Sheff says
Yay! Thanks, John!
Victory over gigantic heads of Napa cabbage staring back at me, from the fridge bottom shelf!
Tania Sheff says
Haha! Congratulations on your victory!
I see the answer - 4 servings
Tania Sheff says
how many servings does this make?