Just the Basics of Cooking With Kohlrabi

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To some, it sounds foreign, mysterious, and dangerous. To others, it’s the delicious new addition to your salads. Cooking with kohlrabi is not very difficult since it’s not exactly a complicated veggie. But you do need a few pointers. Here they are.

Purple or green, it’s still super tasty. Kohlrabi might look like it’s coming from another planet, but in fact, it’s a wonderful vegetable that has a taste similar to cabbage and broccoli. Are you intrigued and ready for a relatively familiar taste with new, exciting notes? Let’s find out more about cooking with kohlrabi.

Kohlrabi at the market

Kohlrabi is very easy to grow, that’s why a lot of farmers cultivate it, but it only recently became mainstream. Buy them if their leaves are still attached. The leaves wilt faster than the bulb, and if the leaves are still green, then the kohlrabi is certified fresh. The bulbs should have firm and tight skin, and feel heavy in your hands when you feel them. If you’re looking for sweeter kohlrabi, make sure to buy smaller bulbs.

Note that there is not much difference in taste and texture between the green and the purple varieties. And the skin is tough and should be removed for both options.

Just the Basics of Cooking with Kohlrabi
Kohlrabi can be found in two main varieties: green and purple.

How to prep for cooking with kohlrabi

All of the kohlrabi is edible – the bulbs and the leaves. So don’t waste too much of it. First, remove the leaves and the stems. Then cut the kohlrabi bulb in half, with a downward motion of the knife. Place the halves with the flesh down and cut those in half as well. Cut out the core with the tip of your knife. Then you can peel the tough skin of the kohlrabi right off.

How to store kohlrabi

Once you get home from the market, separate the leaves and the bulbs. Keep the leaves in a ziploc bag, in the refrigerator. The bulbs can be kept loose, but in the fridge as well. The leaves keep for a few days – remember, they wilt faster. The bulbs can be kept with their skin intact for a few weeks.

Just the Basics of Cooking with Kohlrabi
Fresh salad with kohlrabi, cucumber, carrots and herbs in a bowl. Vegetarian food. Tasty and healthy dish. Healthy eating

Tasty ways of cooking kohlrabi

1. Chiffonade the leaves

You can chiffonade the leaves and add them to a vinaigrette. If you want more lovely greens in your salad, kohlrabi will be able to fit right in. Or you can steam or saute the leaves, just like you would do with collard greens or kale.

2. Eat raw kohlrabi

Kohlrabi has a mild flavor, so you would do best to pair it with ingredients that won’t overpower it. Do you want to taste this new thing you’re trying, right? The texture of the kohlrabi is similar with the one of radishes. It’s slightly crunchy, so replace radishes with it in salads. You can also grate it and pair it with cabbage in a lovely coleslaw dish. Be sure to use some Indian spices like turmeric. Kohlrabi is a star in Indian cooking, after all.

3. Add it to soups

You can throw chopped kohlrabi in a simple and efficient vegetable soup. You can use it as a twist in the most basic of chicken soups. Take a chance on kohlrabi! And guess what. Cream soups are not at all off limits! Kohlrabi can be pureed in broccoli cream soup, potato cream soup, and even mushroom cream soup.

Just the Basics of Cooking with Kohlrabi
Simple cooking with kohlrabi idea: make an Indian soup with lentil, kohlrabi, and turmeric.


4. Steam it or roast it

Steam the kohlrabi just as you would other veggies and then you can make it a grand part of a steamed vegetable side, you can add it to stir-fries, and also to pasta dishes. If you’re a fan of veggie pizza, why not make room for it on your pizza pie and replace broccoli with it in all kinds of recipes?

The same goes for roasted kohlrabi. Chop it up, add it to a baking sheet with some eggplant, potatoes, and broccoli too. And you have an amazing side dish with a caramelized exterior. Yum!

5. Turn it into fritters

Who doesn’t like some good veggie fritters? Mix the grated kohlrabi with some carrots, bread the fritters up like you would do with schnitzels, for instance, and then fry them. Cook on both sides for just a few minutes. Wait until the fritters are crispy to plate them because we all love crispy food so much!

So cooking with kohlrabi isn’t as tough as it seemed at first, right? The main thing is not to let it intimidate you and you’re good to go!

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