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How to Grow Chinese Cabbage and a Stir Fry Recipe

Updated on July 15, 2018
liesl5858 profile image

Linda's passion for gardening has encouraged her to write about growing different types of organic vegetables and flowers. I love veggies.

How to Grow Chinese Cabbage

Growing Chinese cabbage is as easy as growing Pak Choi or Pechay. My family had been growing Chinese cabbage ever since I was a child. Chinese cabbage grows anywhere in the garden as long as it has sunny position with good, loose and fertile soil.

I have some photos down below that shows the stages of growing Chinese cabbage. Some gardeners grow the seeds in trays first inside their greenhouse then transplant them later and some grow the seeds straight to the garden. I prefer growing the Chinese cabbage seeds in the trays first then transplant them in the raised beds or containers later. That is how I grow my Chinese cabbage.

What is a Chinese Cabbage?

Chinese Cabbage is a green leafy vegetable that is widely used in China as the name implies and in most of the Asian countries like Philippines. It is also called wong bok in my country(Philippines). Chinese cabbage has nice crisp pale compact leaves that are very good for salad, stir fry, soups, casseroles or can be used for stews as well or for braising and sautéing.

Like the pak choi, it is so easy to grow. In my country, my relations(relatives) earn a living by growing loads of them and selling them to the Vegetable Market. Chinese cabbage is used mostly by restaurant owners for their menus especially the Chinese and other Oriental restaurants. Chinese cabbage are being sold here in the supermarkets of England and widely sold in Asian Stores. Chinese cabbage seeds are also sold in garden centres but are very expensive. That is why I grow my own to save money.

Chinese cabbage is so easy to grow like the Pak Choi vegetables. Also this is good for people who are on a diet as it contains lots of water and packed with good nutrients.

Chinese cabbage is a rich source of Vitamin D, which facilitates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and thereby ensures healthy bones and teeth. It can provide you with sufficient amounts of folate and vitamin B6. Folate is mainly required for proper development of tissues and cells and is associated with lowering the risk of heart diseases. Vitamin B6 on the other hand, is crucial for carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism and formation of red blood cells and antibodies.

Another important nutritional fact about Chinese cabbage is fat-free and low in sodium, the high amount of which increases the risk of heart diseases. This nutritious vegetable can protect you against a number of ailments including heart diseases, cancer, muscular degeneration, besides providing the nutrients required for carrying out crucial life processes.

Chinese cabbage is a significant source of carotenoids like beta-carotene. Carotenoids are known for their antioxidant properties and are believed to reduce the risk of many cancers. Contains high amount of minerals. In addition to vitamins and minerals, it is also a good source of dietary fibre.

How to grow Chinese Cabbage in photos

Photo taken today(02/08/13)
Photo taken today(02/08/13) | Source
Growing Chinese cabbage
Growing Chinese cabbage | Source
Chinese cabbage and  climbing beans on a pot
Chinese cabbage and climbing beans on a pot | Source
My neighbour's cat came to visit my Chinese cabbage. She likes it as well.
My neighbour's cat came to visit my Chinese cabbage. She likes it as well. | Source
Look, I got a beautiful visitor on the corner of the raised-bed
Look, I got a beautiful visitor on the corner of the raised-bed | Source
Chinese Cabbage Growing Stage
Chinese Cabbage Growing Stage | Source
Still Growing and will take some more photos till harvest time
Still Growing and will take some more photos till harvest time | Source
Transplant the Chinese Cabbage when they are about these tall
Transplant the Chinese Cabbage when they are about these tall | Source
Chinese Cabbage small plants in seed tray
Chinese Cabbage small plants in seed tray | Source
I did holes here instead of trenches with compost and chicken pellets then mix them all up before planting the cabbage
I did holes here instead of trenches with compost and chicken pellets then mix them all up before planting the cabbage | Source
Preparing the raised-bed for the planting of the Chinese Cabbage
Preparing the raised-bed for the planting of the Chinese Cabbage | Source

How to grow Chinese Cabbage?

First of all, fill up a seed tray with multipurpose compost or seed compost.

  1. Level the compost with your palms.
  2. Scatter the Chinese cabbage evenly over the compost.
  3. Cover with thin compost just so the seeds are covered.
  4. Water the seeds every other day and make sure not to put too much water.
  5. When seeds are 2 to 3 inches tall, it is time to transplant them.
  6. You can plant them anywhere in the garden, to a raised-bed, greenhouse, in pots or containers or to a plot.
  7. When planting Chinese cabbage, leave at least 6 to 12 inches space in between plants to give them room to grow.
  8. Before you transplant, prepare a plot, a pot or container, or the raised bed first by putting compost and put chicken pellets, or slow release Grow More fertiliser on the soil.
  9. Water the cabbages after planting but make sure you don't overwater as this kind of cabbage easily rots.
  10. After 8 to 10 weeks, you can enjoy your home grown Chinese cabbages.

Problems that might occur during growth of Chinese cabbage

Chinese cabbage can be attacked by green flies or caterpillars and slugs, so I water them with a mixture of fairy liquid and water when this happens.Do not put too much fairy liquid or any washing up liquid, only a small amount because it might kill the cabbage as well.

Club root - is one problem that causes the cabbage to go brown during growing period. To avoid this, plant the Chinese cabbage in a well drained fertile soil and plant it in a sunny area.

Chinese Cabbage Stir Fry Recipe Ingredients

Cooking Chinese cabbage doesn't take long. Like the pak choi, it needs only five minutes to prepare and five minutes to cook or even less. This vegetable doesn't taste nice if overcooked it becomes mushy, so just make sure you add it at the last few minutes of cooking if you are using it for stews or casseroles.

I am going to include here a Stir Fry Recipe for Chinese Cabbage. It is very easy to make.

Stir Fried Chinese Cabbage


  • 1/2 of a whole Chinese cabbage
  • a small slice of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 fresh red chilli, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. clear honey
  • 1 tbsp. peanut oil
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce, dark or light
  • orange zest to garnish, optional

How to Stir Fry the Chinese Cabbage:

  1. Shred or cut up the Chinese leaves and set aside
  2. Heat the peanut oil in a wok or frying pan, when hot, add the ginger, garlic and chilli and stir fry for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the Chinese cabbage, rice wine or sherry, orange juice, honey, and soy sauce.
  4. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 4 to 5 minutes(make sure not to overcook)
  5. Add sesame oil and sesame seeds and mix them all.

Transfer to a warm plate, garnish with orange zest and serve immediately.

Chinese Cabbage Uses

The above stir fry recipe can be an accompaniment to a rice dish, can be served as a meal on its own with stir fried rice or plain rice if on a diet or use it how you like really. Chinese cabbage can be used for salads, can be used with stews, soups, and it is also better when cooked with meat.

Growing Chinese Cabbage

Have you ever planted or grown Chinese Cabbage successfully?

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Chinese Cabbage seeds

(VCABO)~"MICHIHILI" CABBAGE~Seeds!~~~~~~~~Sweet Chinese Napa Variety!
(VCABO)~"MICHIHILI" CABBAGE~Seeds!~~~~~~~~Sweet Chinese Napa Variety!
This type of Chinese Cabbage seeds are good for growing. My parents and I used to plant when I was young. My father and brothers still grow Chinese Cabbage.

© 2013 Linda Bryen

How to grow Chinese Cabbage

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank you once again travmaj for your lovely comment. Chinese cabbage and Pak Choi are so easy to grow.

    • travmaj profile image


      6 years ago from australia

      hello - I love the idea of growing the Chinese cabbage and then cooking it. It sounds a delicious easy recipe. We do get Chinese cabbage readily available in our markets. Still, it's even nicer to grow your own and cook and serve it. Thank you, will definitely try it soon - Best wishes, Maureen aka Maj

    • liesl5858 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bryen 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you for your kind comment and for your suggestion Jean, much appreciated. I will try to add some recipe for it

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 

      7 years ago from New Jersey

      This seems very interesting. Maybe you could add a recipe or some ideas on how to use the cabbage to make it a little longer.


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