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Crunchy Salads: 5 BEST Substitutes for Napa Cabbages

Finding the perfect crunchy addition to your salad without Napa cabbage may seem tough.

Good news, folks, we’ve got the scoop on the top five swaps that’ll keep your salads on point.

These alternatives are not just about keeping that satisfying crunch; they’re about elevating flavors and nutrition too.

Romaine lettuce steps up with its crispiness and versatility, making it a no-brainer for any salad.

Iceberg lettuce, with its cool, mild taste, brings that classic crunch we all crave.

And don’t forget about kale – it packs a nutritional punch and adds a hearty texture.

Swapping Napa cabbage out doesn’t mean compromising on quality or taste.

Each of these substitutes brings something unique to the table (literally).

With these options, your salads will remain vibrant, crunchy, and full of life.

What is Napa Cabbage?

what is napa cabbage

Napa cabbage is a type of Chinese cabbage popular in Asian cuisine.

It has a mild, sweet flavor and crunchy texture.

Napa cabbage can be used in a variety of dishes, including stir-fries, soups, and salads.

It is also a popular ingredient in kimchi, a Korean dish made from fermented vegetables.

To cook napa cabbage:

  • Wash it under cold water to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Cut the cabbage into thin strips or shred it using a knife or mandoline slicer.
  • Stir-fry the cabbage with other vegetables or meat for 5-7 minutes, or until it is tender but still crisp. You can add napa cabbage to soups or stews for flavor and nutrition.
  • When shopping for napa cabbage, look for heads that are heavy for their size and have crisp, green leaves.
  • Avoid heads that are wilted or have yellowing leaves.

Napa cabbage can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Wrap it loosely in a paper towel or plastic bag to keep it fresh.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Napa Cabbage

In search of a Napa cabbage substitute? Look no further.

Here are the five best substitutes for this popular leafy vegetable.

1 – Endives


Endives, also known as witloof or Belgian endives, are a type of chicory grown underground.

The result is a crisp, slightly bitter green with a creamy white center.

When cooked, endives take on a milder flavor and can be used in various dishes.

One of the simplest ways to enjoy endives is to slice them thinly and serve them with a vinaigrette or dip.

They can also be sautéed or braised and served as a side dish.

In addition, endives make an excellent ingredient in salads and can be used to stuff other greens, such as chard or kale.

However you choose to enjoy them, endives are a versatile green worth exploring.

2 – Bok Choy

bok choy

Bok choy, also known as Chinese cabbage, is a type of leafy vegetable often used in Asian cooking.

It has a crunchy texture and a mild, slightly sweet flavor.

Bok choy can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is often used as a stir-fry ingredient or added to soups and stews.

When shopping for bok choy, look for fresh, crisp leaves.

Avoid wilted or yellowed leaves, as these may indicate that the bok choy is past its prime.

To prepare bok choy, wash the leaves and cut them into desired sizes.

For stir-fries, cut the leaves into thin strips.

For soups and stews, you can leave the leaves whole or cut them into larger pieces.

Bok choy is a versatile vegetable used in many different dishes.

3 – Savoy Cabbage

savoy cabbage

Savoy cabbage is a leafy vegetable belonging to the Brassica family, including broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts.

The leaves of Savoy cabbage are dark green and have a crinkled or ruffled appearance.

When cooking Savoy cabbage, removing the thick stem from the center of the leaves is best.

The stem can be tough and stringy, so it is generally not eaten.

Savoy cabbage can be cooked in various ways, including boiling, steaming, stir-frying, and stewing.

It is often used in soups and stews because it holds up well during cooking.

Savoy cabbage can also be added to salads or used as wraps due to its slightly sweet flavor and tender texture.

4 – Red Cabbage

red cabbage

Red cabbage is a type of cabbage that gets its name from its deep red color.

It has a slightly sweet and sour taste and is often used in salads or as a garnish.

Red cabbage can also be cooked, and it is often used in soups or stews.

When cooking red cabbage, it is important to note that it will turn blue if it is overcooked.

To avoid this, add a splash of vinegar or lemon juice to the pot when cooking red cabbage.

This will help to retain its bright red color.

Red cabbage is an excellent source of vitamins A and C and contains antioxidants.

These nutrients make red cabbage an excellent food for supporting immune health.

Additionally, the fiber in red cabbage can help to promote digestive health.

5 – Pointed Cabbage

pointed cabbage

Pointed cabbage, also known as conehead cabbage or headless cabbage, is a variety of Brassica oleracea.

It is distinguished from other cabbages by its conical shape and compact head.

Unlike most cabbages with thick, white stems, pointed cabbage has thinner, green stems.

The leaves are dark green and glossy, with a slightly waxy texture.

Pointed cabbage can be eaten raw or cooked.

When raw, it has a mild, slightly sweet flavor.

It can be used in salads or as a garnish. When cooked, it becomes sweeter and more tender.

It can be steamed, boiled, stir-fried, or used in soups and stews.

Pointed cabbage is a good source of vitamins A and C.

It also contains calcium, iron, and potassium.


In conclusion, these are five of the best substitutes for Napa cabbage you can use in your cooking.

Each of these options has its unique flavor and texture that can add something special to your dish.

The best substitute for Napa cabbage will ultimately depend on your personal preferences and what you are looking to add to your dish.

Experiment with these options to find the perfect fit for your next meal.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Napa Cabbage

Searching for alternatives to Napa cabbage? Look no further! We've compiled a precise list of the top 5 substitutes that will seamlessly replace Napa cabbage in your recipes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Endives
  • Bok Choy
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Red Cabbage
  • Pointed Cabbage


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for napa cabbage
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