Cabbage is a refreshing ingredient in Japanese cooking and often used to balance otherwise heavy dishes. Saku Saku is an onomatopoeia for the sound of chewing something crunchy. As its name suggests, this cabbage variety gives you a delightfully fresh crunch when biting into its snappy green leaves.
Cooking with Saku Saku
Saku Saku is wonderful when used fresh, and can be used in place of any other cabbage variety in salads and slaws. Fresh shredded Saku Saku makes a great addition to tacos, sandwiches and wraps for a bit of extra texture.
In Japan, it is common to find a mountain of julienned fresh cabbage on the plate of your deep fried favorites like tonkatsu, or Japanese pork cutlet. The light yet nutrient-dense cabbage helps to balance the flavors of fatty and meaty dishes in addition to the health benefits described above. Saku Saku can be lightly pickled or marinated to make Izakaya-style salted Saku Saku, a popular – and slightly addictive – pairing for a cold beverage.
The individual leaves can also be used as wrappers for steaming and blanching fish, meats, and dumplings.
Negi is used as an aromatic – perfect for sprinkling over udon, ramen and soba and garnishing. Use negi as you would scallions or green onions in omelets, sauces and sautés, and as a topping for pizzas, soups and salads.