May 30, 2023

Sour and Spicy Baby Napa Cabbage 酸辣娃娃菜

Baby napa cabbage, also known as "wawa choy," just like the name suggests, is the baby stage of napa cabbage. It's easier to prep with smaller and tender leaves, and usually sold in packages with four baby napa cabbages inside.

Due to baby napa cabbage's mild-tasting nature, it is often used in lighter seasoning dishes. However, let's give it a twist this time by making it sour and spicy, a good companion with steamed rice. 

Sour and spicy baby napa cabbage 酸辣娃娃菜 -

Sour and spicy baby napa cabbage


  • 8 baby napa cabbage
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 red chilies
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoons light-tasting oil
  • Some corn starch and water mixture


  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons black vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper powder 


Trim-off the very bottom stems for the baby napa cabbage. Separate to individual leaves.

Baby napa cabbage

Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Scrape then fine chop the ginger. Destem and chop the scallion. Destem, seeded, then chop the red chilies.

Mix all the ingredients under the "sauce" section. Prepare a small portion of corn starch and water mixture on the side.

Drizzle two tablespoons of oil to the pan and turn to medium heat. Add in garlic, ginger, scallion, and chilies. Give it a quick stir and cook till aromatic but not burning the garlic bits.

Cooking the Asian aromatics

Add the baby napa cabbage and stir-fry till softened.

Stir-frying baby napa cabbage

Pour in the sauce mixture. Cook for about couple more minutes.

Cooking down baby napa cabbage

Switch to low heat. Taste and adjust if needed. Stir the corn starch and water mixture again making sure its evenly blended. Gradually pour down the corn starch and water mixture to the pan while stirring the baby napa cabbage at the same time. 

The stirring action will prevent clumping. Continue to pour down the corn starch and water mixture till it reaches desired consistency. It has to be slightly thickened but not too gooey. 

Sour and spicy baby napa cabbage

Plate and serve as it is.

Sour and spicy baby napa cabbage

Try to scoop two big spoonful on top of steamed white rice, if you like sour and spicy flavor profile, this recipe should be a winner too. 

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