For some reason, my kids find the name “kohlrabi” hysterically funny – they even invented a creature called the kohlrabi monster that lived in our basement and attacked little children who went down there alone, particularly those children that didn’t eat their vegetables. (Now that the basement is finished, he rarely makes an appearance, though.)

Kohlrabi comes from the brassica family, which also includes broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, and collards, and is the swollen stem of the plant. As you might expect, it has a slightly cabbage-y taste, but in its younger forms it is mild and sweet. It can be slice thinly and eaten raw, but I prefer it cooked. It makes a great substitute for broccoli stemsĀ  – try it in Broccoli Stem Stirfry and Stirfried Pork with Bamboo Shoots & Broccoli Stems.

Better yet, kohlrabi makes a great substitute for water chestnuts – an ingredient that I often omit from my recipes because I prefer not to buy ingredients that are processed and/or imported from too far away. Try adding some finely diced raw kohlrabi to the filling for Pork & Cabbage Dumplings – it will remain slightly crunchy when the dumplings are cooked.