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Why is Chinese cabbage bitter in a salad and can it be fixed?

Why is Chinese cabbage bitter in a salad and can it be fixed?


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Most people find bitter taste unpalatable, repulsive, and even dangerous. Many natural bitterness are beneficial, though.

The reason is that it depends on our sense of self-preservation. After all, spoiled and poisonous foods taste bitter.

In this article, you will find out why Chinese cabbage can taste bitter and what other ingredients can give an unpleasant taste. We will also reveal the secrets of how to get rid of bitterness and understand in a timely manner that Chinese cabbage has gone bad.

Why is this happening?

Peking cabbage is an early ripening, dietary and healing product. Crispy juicy leaves do not coarse for a long time as they grow. In the heat, with a moderate lack of moisture, they do not accumulate bitterness, they are not high in calories and taste good. Why is Peking (Chinese) cabbage in a salad bitter?

The main reasons for the bitterness of Chinese cabbage:

  • It happens that an unpleasant taste appears when there are mistakes in the technology of growing cabbage.

    Reference! Bitterness can occur if the harvest time is missed, the plant has already managed to release a flower arrow.

  • In a very dry and hot summer, if the plant grows all the time on the sunny side. If there is no regular watering, at least two or three times a week. Due to the so-called stress of the plant.
  • It happens that low-quality goods fall on the shelves for sale, an excess of nitrates accumulates in the green mass of Peking cabbage. Usually, this is a sulfur-containing substance. The presence of chemical compounds gives a bitter taste to the delicate Peking leaves.
  • Sometimes bitterness is a feature of the variety (hybrid). Early cabbage varieties, for example the Khibinskaya variety, which are grown in open beds, ripen in 40 to 45 days and usually do not have a bitter taste.
  • Improper storage or transportation. The vegetables may have been thawed during storage. Rot appeared on the leaves, but the cabbage still went on sale.

How to determine the true cause of bitterness?

  • If bitterness is present, and there is a suspicion that the concentration of harmful substances in the head of cabbage is exceeded as a result of enhanced and unbalanced mineral nutrition, you can contact a sanitary laboratory and conduct a chemical analysis of the product.
  • If an overgrown head of Peking cabbage is ingested. It can be identified by its appearance. The veins on the leaves collect something similar to milky sap, the taste of the plant becomes unpleasant. Neither in salads, nor in summer soups, nor in hot dishes, the same stuffed cabbage, such a product is not suitable.
  • Having examined carefully the Peking cabbage, we can find traces of rot or other diseases associated with a violation of the storage technology of the plant on it. It is better not to use such a head of cabbage for food.

What can give bitterness in a dish besides a Chinese vegetable?

Peking cabbage is stewed and boiled, used in salads and soups along with other vegetables, spices and fruits (read about the best recipes for making soup, borscht and other first courses with Peking cabbage). Chinese cabbage has an unforgettable light taste.

Attention! The bitter taste of some vegetables and seasonings is natural and natural. If the dish with the addition of Chinese cabbage is bitter, then perhaps radish or horseradish, mustard or grapefruit give this piquant taste to the food. The list of truly bitter foods goes on.

And if the bitter taste in the dish was not provided for by the recipe? It happens that some vegetables acquire an unusual bitter taste. It can appear from onions or lettuce, spinach, and other varieties of cabbage, such as Brussels sprouts or kohlrabi. For example, there are some lettuce varieties that taste bitter by themselves. The record holder for bitterness is an ordinary fresh cucumber.

Sometimes the bitterness in a salad, where Peking is added, can only appear the next day.

What should be done to eliminate bad taste?

If the plant has bitter leaves, then you can remove the unpleasant aftertaste in one of the following simple ways:

  • We take a head of cabbage, put it in a wide and deep container (bowl or saucepan) filled with water and salt. The water should be cold. You can put ice on for more cooling. Dip the Peking forks into the water and let it stand for half an hour. Then the cabbage should be pulled out and laid out on a towel so that the water is drained.
  • Boil cabbage forks over low heat for a short time, no more than two minutes.
  • Sprinkle the Chinese cabbage liberally with lemon juice. Or soak in water with vinegar or citric acid.
  • Thoroughly chop the cabbage, knead it by hand, salt it, then mash it again. Let it settle for a few minutes so that it releases the juice. Drain the juice.
  • You can also prevent bitterness by making a single meal of Chinese cabbage. Leaving the cabbage the next day can give bitterness.

Important! When boiling and soaking, vitamins (ascorbic acid) and other useful substances also get into the water with bitterness. Cabbage no longer tastes bitter, but it has less health benefits.

How to understand that a vegetable is spoiling?

Peking cabbage is a delicious and healthy product that diversifies our table. To understand that the cabbage is spoiled, they carefully examine it:

  1. Is it properly sealed in cling film, is there any damage.
  2. Is there rot on the leaves or traces of insect activity, flatness.
  3. The forks of the plant should be evenly colored on all sides, tight and dense.
  4. The head of cabbage must be healthy, undamaged, unwashed, dry, free of damaged and weak leaves. In case of excessive moisture, it will quickly rot.

For food, it is better to choose cabbage slightly flattened on top.... If the stump is cracked at the cut, the cabbage will be juicy and not bitter.

Peking cabbage gives ready-made dishes a special zest and unforgettable taste, saturating them with useful substances and vitamins. It can be stuffed, salted, pickled, fried, combined with various vegetables, fruits and meat. We recommend looking at recipes for cooking such dishes from this vegetable as cabbage rolls, rolls and pies.

Bitterness in Peking cabbage, unlike cucumbers or lettuce, is an unpleasant, but infrequent phenomenon. The methods for eliminating it are not complicated. Do not take away the pleasure of pampering yourself with a dish from juicy and healthy Peking!


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