A popular side dish in many parts of North America and Europe, coleslaw is made by seasoning finely shredded raw cabbage with mayonnaise, oil, vinegar, French dressing, or other seasonings. In Japan, it sometimes includes things like carrots, corn, ham, etc. It's known by most Japanese people as a side dish in fast food chains, which is often their first experience with it.

Although white, green, and red varieties of cabbage—a member of the Brassica oleracea species which also includes broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts—is typically used, napa cabbage—a member of the entirely separate Brassica rapa species which includes bok choi and rapini—is usually not one of them. However, they both have "cabbage" in their name, so it was only a matter of time before an adventurous individual, probably someone not limited by the force of habit, tried napa cabbage as a replacement.

Such an adventurous spirit is clearly present at 全農 Zen-Noh, Japan's National Federation of Agricultural Co-operative Associations, as they continually come up with variations and twists on established recipes and introduce them through their PR department's Twitter account 全農広報部 (@zennoh_food).

Their napa cabbage coleslaw recipe is not only delicious and easy to make (as all coleslaw tends to be), but it's also a good solution to a common gripe with napa cabbage. Although both cabbage and napa cabbage can be very substantial in size, napa cabbage tends to spoil faster, which means you need to use up more of it quickly or you'll have to throw out the unused parts. Therefore, if you buy napa cabbage regularly, and assuming you're not into composting, using napa cabbage to make coleslaw could help you reduce the amount of it that ends up going to waste.

Napa cabbage coleslaw

The recipe is very simple. First, wash the cabbage well, then cut it into small pieces, sprinkle it with a little salt, and let it stand for 10 minutes.

Squeeze the water out, add any additional ingredients of your choosing such as crab sticks or ham if you wish, season it with a dressing made with one part mayonnaise and two parts vinegar, and you're done!

Reproduced with permission from 全農広報部, the PR Department of Zen-Noh, Japan's National Federation of Agricultural Co-operative Associations (@zennoh_food)

According to the JA Zen-Noh's PR department, coleslaw made with napa cabbage has a lighter texture than cabbage because the leaves are softer.

If you don't want to add any garnish, this recipe can be made quickly with only napa cabbage, so it's one to keep in mind when you're in a rush and want to add one more dish to your menu!

The comments on the post included, "Looks delicious...! I'll try it next time," "I'll make it tonight," and so on.

Why not give it a try?

By - grape Japan editorial staff.