As the seasons begin to make a noticeable change, different vegetables play a larger role in Japanese cuisine. Utilized in abundance to further enhance the taste and vibrancy of a dish, both spring cabbage and broccoli are used widely in the month of March when both of these healthy and flavorful vegetables are in season.
Among the many different types of cabbage in Japanese cuisine, spring cabbage, also known as Haru Kyabetsu, is a softer and sweeter cabbage with multiple applications. While winter cabbage exhibits harder leaves best for stews, spring cabbage leaves are softer. The tender and juicy leaves make a great wrapper for pork, chicken, or vegetables, and they also serve to add crisp freshness to okonomiyaki.
Broccoli is, of course, an extremely versatile vegetable. From a simple dish of stir-fried broccoli seasoned with sesame oil and garlic to more comprehensive stir-fries, noodle dishes, salads, tempura, cream stew, and many other dishes, fresh broccoli is one of those perfect ingredients that never seems out of place in any dish.
Tips for Choosing the Best Cabbage in Season
When choosing cabbage in the supermarket, hold one in your hand and compare its weight to others. Heavier cabbage is best, with leaves that look fresh and crisp. The cabbage will last for a few weeks in your refrigerator if left uncut and placed in the crisper drawer.
All types of cabbage contain a number of health benefits, and spring cabbage is no exception. However, it should be noted that the outer leaves of the cabbage, as well as those closest to the core, contains more vitamin C than the inner leaves. It also contains fiber and potassium, as well as antioxidants that help to reduce the risk of various maladies and ailments, including certain types of cancer.
Spring Cabbage Japanese Curry
This delicious Japanese curry makes good use of spring cabbage, which adds vibrant flavor to the dish. The addition of chicken and carrots provide extra protein and health benefits. Best of all, it’s rather simple to prepare for the whole family and makes a great comforting dish.
Tips for Choosing the Best Broccoli in Season
The best heads of broccoli will exhibit a vibrant green color. If the buds are a dull green or tinged with yellow, then the broccoli is on its way to losing its freshness. Additionally, the buds should be closely packed together, and the stalk should not appear to be dried out.
Like cabbage, broccoli also contains vitamin C, as well as potassium and fiber. It also contains an assortment of B vitamins and important minerals and provides a number of health benefits. Broccoli helps to improve blood circulation, aids in digestion, and improves healthy cell growth.
Katsuobushi and Broccoli Easy Salad
This tasty salad uses only a few simple ingredients but packs a lot of health and flavor. The addition of Katsuobushi adds a distinctive level of umami.