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Can You Freeze Chinese Cabbage?

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By Olivia Sheppard

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Chinese cabbage, often referred to as Napa cabbage, is a type of cabbage originating in China. It can be used in stir-fries, kimchi or just eaten on its own. Many want to be able to store vegetables for longer than they can last in the fridge.

Can You Freeze Chinese Cabbage?

Yes, you can freeze Chinese cabbage for up to 9 months. You should freeze it prepared either sliced or in wedges, depending on how you would normally use it.

Does Chinese Cabbage Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Chinese Cabbage? No

How to Freeze Chinese Cabbage

Chinese cabbage is only really suitable to be stored in the freezer or fermented as sauerkraut or kimchi. Once frozen, Chinese cabbage is only suitable to be then used as a cooked vegetable in soups, stews or stir-fries. 

Here is the best way to go about freezing it:

  1. Prepare
    Have a pot of boiling water and a bowl of ice-cold water ready. 
  2. Prepare the Cabbage
    Choose solid heads of cabbage, tear off the coarse outer leaves and cut the cabbage into coarse shreds, thin wedges or just separate the individual leaves.
  3. Blanch
    Place the cabbage into the pot of boiling water and blanch for 1-2 minutes. As soon as it is blanched, drain and put the cabbage into the ice-cold water. 
  4. Drain and Dry
    Drain the bowl of cold water and pat the cabbage dry. Ideally, you want it to be as dry as possible before freezing.
  5. First Freeze
    Lay out your portions of Chinese cabbage on a baking tray and slide them into the freezer. Freeze for approximately 6 hours until the cabbage is frozen hard.
  6. Bag
    Place the frozen bits of cabbage into freezer-safe ziplock bags and seal tightly. 
  7. Label
    Write the date of freezing on the freezer bags as well as what is inside. 
  8. Freeze
    Place the bags into the freezer and freeze for up to 9 months.

3 Tips for Freezing Chinese Cabbage

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing Chinese cabbage to have the best results:

Portion Sensibly
Think about how you plan to use your cabbage and cut it accordingly. Wedges are always a good option as they are easy to store and can always be broken down further, but you can also cut Chinese cabbage into quarters, separate the leaves or cut it into strips. Freezing it as a whole is possible but it will take up a lot of room. 

Try Other Cabbages
Other cabbages will also freeze well, including savoy and red cabbage. All of them are very nutritious so are a great ingredient to have in your freezer! 

Freeze Chinese Cabbage And Others

Try Unblanched If Needs Be
If you are really pressed for time, then you can freeze Chinese cabbage without blanching it but it will not last as long when frozen.  

How Long Can You Freeze Chinese Cabbage?

You can freeze Chinese cabbage for up to 9 months, which is considerably longer than it would last otherwise.

Unless you use Chinese cabbage regularly or plan on making it into sauerkraut or kimchi, freezing is definitely your best option!

You Can Freeze Chinese Cabbage for up to 9 Months

How Do You Defrost Chinese Cabbage?

Defrosting Chinese Cabbage is really easy to do since it now must be cooked in order to be consumed. For most recipes, you do not need to defrost the Chinese cabbage before you use it in the dish.

All you need to do is remove the portion of cabbage you are going to use from the freezer and drop it straight into your soup, stew or other recipe and the heat will slowly thaw the cabbage and it will be as if you used it from fresh.

Can You Refreeze Chinese Cabbage?

No, it is not a good idea to refreeze Chinese cabbage due to the possibility of damage to the texture and structure of the cabbage.

There is a high water content in Chinese Cabbage, so when frozen, ice crystals will form and if they are constantly thawing and then being refrozen, the cabbage will become soggy and unpleasant to cook with or eat.

Does Chinese Cabbage Freeze Well?

Chinese Cabbage is a good item to freeze and it will last for a long time in the freezer. This vegetable is versatile, nutritious and, most importantly, delicious!

Chinese Cabbage is potentially an ingredient that is not used that frequently, so once you have used what you need at first, freezing the leftovers is a great way of preventing any food waste.

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