Kohl - Rabi

Kohl-rabi looks like a cross between a cabbage and a turnip and is often classed as a root vegetable, even though it is grown above ground. Kohl-rabi is a member of the Brassica family and is sometimes known as turnip-cabbage. Unlike cabbage, it is the bulbous stalk that is edible rather than the flowering heads. Although it is not a very popular vegetable in Ireland, it is commonly eaten in other parts of Europe as well as China, India and Asia.

Kohl-rabi has a mild and fresh tasting flavour not unlike water chestnuts. It can be served as an alternative to cabbage or carrots. Its flavour is best described as crisp or nutty with a hint of celery and turnip. Kohl-rabi is a good source of fibre, Vitamin C and folic acid.
Nutritional Value

Nutrient Raw Cooked
Energy kJ 95 77
Kcal 23 18
Protein g 1.6 1.2
Carbohydrate g 3.7 3.1
Fat g 0.2 0.2

A good source of…

Nutrient Raw Cooked
Fibre One Tick One Tick
Vitamin C One TickOne TickOne Tick One TickOne Tick
Folic Acid One TickOne Tick One Tick

For more information on nutrition and the details given above, check out our nutrition page.

Preparing and Using

Kohl-rabi is best when small and young since larger specimens tend to be coarse and fibrous. Before use peel and then cook whole or slice into pieces. Small kohl-rabi can be cooked whole and if they are bigger than about 5cm in diameter they can be stuffed. To do this hollow out before cooking and then stuff with vegetables such as fried onions and tomatoes or sweet peppers.

For sliced kohl-rabi, cook until just tender and serve with butter or a cream sauce. They can also be cooked long and slow in gratin dishes,with potatoes, apples, turnips or pears, for instance, as an alternative to Gratin Dauphinoise. They can also be par-boiled and then baked in an oven with a cheese sauce. If cut into chip-sized pieces or crisps they can be deep-fried.

Flavours and ingredients, which go well with kohl-rabi, include nutmeg, garlic, thyme, peppers, chilli, ginger and coriander.