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Turnip Rutabaga and Kohlrabi Comparison


Difference Between Turnip Rutabaga Kohlrabi

However, kohlrabi has no taste. If it is not peeled enough, it is easy to eat a mouthful of scum, so not many people eat it. If you eat it, it means stir fry or make soup. The close relative of kohlrabi, rutabaga, cabbage, is also called kohlrabi in the northeast.

In the past month or so, who is the most worrying ingredient?

There is no doubt that it is the kohlrabi.


The popularity of kohlrabi is due to a game of Nintendo-"Assemble!" Animal Crossing Friends Association.


In the game, rutabaga has a stock-like setting, which may make people get rich overnight or bankrupt.

Some people may accidentally experience the cruelty of the "stock market casino".


What exactly is this fat kohlrabi? The most important thing is, is it delicious?

1. Although it looks a lot like a radish, rutabaga is actually a turnip

Many people see the rutabaga in the game, their first reaction is: this is not a large white radish, it is just a little round.

Although it looks alike, rutabaga is really not a white radish, it is actually a vegetable called turnip.


Both turnips and turnips belong to the cruciferous family, but turnips belong to the genus Radish, while turnips belong to the genus Brassica, and are more closely related to mustard, cabbage, and rape.


Turnip is an ancient vegetable with a cultivation history of more than 3,000 years. It has been grown from the Mediterranean coast to China.


There is a theory that in Ireland, the birthplace of Halloween, turnips were originally used to make Halloween lanterns. 

Later, new immigrants who came to the Americas discovered that there were many pumpkins in the area and replaced them with pumpkins.


The turnips in reality look similar to the rutabagas in the game. They are all round white fat people.



In Japanese, kohlrabi is pronounced "カブラ (ka bu ra)" or "カブ (ka bu)".


It is very similar to the pronunciation of the Japanese word for stock "plant" as "かぶ (kabu)".


It can be regarded as Nintendo official playing a homophonic stalk.


According to NHK (Japan Broadcasting Association), there are more than 100 kinds of turnips grown in Japan. In addition to the white turnips we see in the game, there are also red, purple and other colors of turnips.

Image of colored turnips

Although it looks very low-key, turnips are rich in vitamin C and iron, and have almost no calories. Apart from the mediocre taste, it is an excellent vegetable.


Image of turnips

2. Where is the best turnip in Japan?

From November to February of the following year, the Japanese turnips are harvested. Pickling, stir-frying, stewing, steaming. 

Japanese also use various cooking methods to eat turnips.


Among the many ways to eat, the most popular is pickles made from pickled turnips.


Pickles, called "shomono" in Japanese, rank very high in the Japanese dining sequence.

Japanese stage designer Meiwei Kappa once mentioned in a column for the "Asahi Shimbun": 

"Even in the new era when bread and milk are invaded, a slightly more traditional Japanese family, "one juice, one dish" is still the standard breakfast. The juice is miso soup, and the vegetables are pickles."


The main reason for the high status of pickles in Japan is that before the Meiji Restoration, the Japanese government banned meat. 

In addition to fish, the Japanese of that era could hardly eat meat in their entire lives.


In addition, the kaiseki cuisine originated from Zen Buddhism and the tea ceremony advocates a simple way of eating, and pickles are becoming more and more important in the Japanese diet.


Kaiseki cuisine

Among the many pickles in Japan, the pickles produced in Kyoto are the most famous.


One is that Kyoto is surrounded by mountains and far from the ocean. 

In ancient Japan, products were limited and transportation was inconvenient. Food preservation became a top priority for people. 

Pickling is undoubtedly one of the best food preservation methods;


The second reason is that Kyoto, located in the basin, has warm days during the day and cold nights, with a large temperature difference between day and night, which is conducive to plant growth and storage of sugar. 

Turnips grown near Kyoto are also more delicious.


Senmazu is one of Kyoto's most representative pickles. Its raw material is a round turnip with a diameter of 20 cm and a weight of about 5 kilograms. It is also called "Shogoin Turnip".


The reason why it is called Qianmeizuke is that a thousand slices of thinly sliced ​​turnip can be put in the wooden barrel used for pickling.


Salt, sweet vinegar, kelp, red pepper, plus a week or so, the thousand pickles will mature. Thousands of sour, sweet and salty tastes are the best match for white rice.



There is also a kind of pickled vegetables in Kyoto-sauerkraut, which is also pickled with turnips.

The difference is that sauerkraut uses conical turnip, which is a variant of turnip.


After the turnips are peeled, they are put into a wooden barrel with salt, and heavy stone is pressed; the next day, the bacteria are added and marinated for another week. 

Finally, they are moved to a warm room to ferment for a week.


Sauerkraut is a rare fermented pickle in Japan. After pickling, the leaves of sauerkraut are especially like sauerkraut in southern China.

In addition to making pickles, turnips can also be steamed and eaten.

Steamed turnips

The traditional steamed turnips in Kyoto is to grind the steamed turnips into puree, stir them with egg whites, spread them on the fish and continue steaming, and finally add the broth to make a bowl (made with seasonal vegetables or fish and shellfish) Soup dishes) enjoy.


When drinking, sweep the turnip puree into the soup and mix them together to drink, full of flavor.

Turnip Sushi
Turnip Sushi

In Toyama Prefecture in the Hokuriku region of Japan, locals cut openings in turnips, add yellowtail, carrots and other side dishes to them, and then ferment them to make a kind of fermented sushi-turnip sushi. 

This has become a specialty of Toyama Prefecture in winter.


Turnip is really a very traditional food in Japan. We know that in China, the seventh day of the first month of the lunar calendar is called "Ren Day".

 Japan, which was deeply influenced by Chinese culture in ancient times, also learned from this custom. Every year, January 7th is Japan’s "Man Day."


Seven Herb Congee
Seven Herb Congee

Starting from the Heian period in Japan (794 AD-1192 AD), Japanese people have been drinking "Seven Herb Congee" on "Ren Day".


Which seven grasses are specific, depending on the different local products, there will be one or two different types, but there are basically turnips in the "seven grass porridge" everywhere.


3. Although I don’t eat much now, but once, turnips were very important to the Chinese

Of course, China also has turnips, which are also called manjing, pancai, and rutabaga in China.

Compared to Japan, turnips no longer exist in the Chinese diet.

The reason is the awkward taste of turnips, which can't match the moisture of turnips, and the taste is unremarkable. 

Except for the delicate taste, pickles are used, but only a few places are occasionally fried. 

In history, turnips have also fed Chinese people for thousands of years.


As early as 3000 years ago, the Chinese began to plant turnips. In the "Book of Songs", its name is "Feng". The method of steaming turnips is recorded in the masterpiece "Qi Min Yao Shu" of the Northern Wei Dynasty.


Turnip is resistant to drought and cold, and has a short growth period. It can be used as both a vegetable and a staple food. In the bad years, it is the hope for poor people to survive.


"The Book of the Later Han Dynasty·Huan Di Ji" records: "The locust plague in June of the second year of Yongxing was damaged, and the imperial county was ordered to grow turnips to help people eat."


Until modern times, turnips have become a necessity for rural households from time to time. 

The famous lotus lake school writer Sun Li once wrote in his article "Eating Vegetable Roots": 

"The root of Manjing is also called sweet lumps by people from my hometown. 

My  mother like sweet lumps very much, and I have had more opportunities to eat them since I was young. 

Farmers treat it as grain, not as food material."


For the Chinese, turnips are not only the “pillar” of difficult times, they also have an elegant side.

Dongpo Soup

In the three years of the Song Dynasty and Yuanfeng, after Su Shi was demoted to Huangzhou, he was not economically well-off. 

But it was also during this period that he invented many classic "Dongpo dishes", including Dongpo soup.


The raw materials of Dongpo soup are cabbage, turnip, radish and bitter mustard. After inventing this dish, Su Shi introduced it to many friends and it was very popular.


To say that turnip has the most profound impact on Chinese diet, it is not its deity, but turnip and cabbage, through natural hybridization, hybridization of Chinese cabbage.


As for the status of Chinese cabbage on the table of the Chinese, there is no need to say more.

Of course, although Chinese people eat less turnips now, it is not at all.

Chamagu stewed lamb
Chamagu stewed lamb

The slices or noodles we eat in Xinjiang will contain a kind of diced, sweet vegetable inside. Xinjiang people call it "Chamagu", which is actually turnip.

In Zhejiang, there is a dish called "pan dish", which is actually turnip.


The cooking method of the dish is relatively simple, raw marinade, stir-fry, or soup can be used.

In Wenzhou, the locals cut the dish into thin slices, the bottom seems to be unbroken, and then salt it for three or four days. 

After taking it out, drizzle with soy sauce and add a few drops of sesame oil. The taste is sweet and crisp. Here is the local "Pan Caisheng" in Wenzhou.


4. Rutabaga, mustard knots, kohlrabi, cabbage, they are all kohlrabi

In China, when you talk about rutabagas, others may not really know what you are talking about. Because it could be: turnip, rutabaga, mustard knots, kohlrabi, or even cabbage.


These vegetables have different names and different appearances, and some of them have a long relationship in botany, but in different places, they have the same name: rutabaga.


Rutabaga is also a vegetable of the genus Brassica, but it is a variant of European rape. European rape is the golden rapeseed flowers we see every year.


Rutabaga and Turnip
Rutabaga and Turnip


Half of the rutabagas are on the ground and are bluish-purple, and half are on the ground and are white and yellow. Chinese people rarely eat it, and some places in the Northeast eat it, but they are more accustomed to calling it "Bryuk".


"Bryuk" is derived from the transliteration of Russian. There is a nursery rhyme in Russia called "Delicious Turnip", which tells the story of an old man calling his family and animals to pull out a big turnip.


Later, this nursery rhyme was translated into China and became the familiar "pull the carrot".


The most common dish of Northeastern Bryuk is pickled vegetables. In recent years, more ways of eating have been developed, such as cold dressing, stir-frying, or making dumplings.


There are many people familiar with mustard knots, and pickles made from mustard knots are called kohlrabi in many places such as Sichuan and Hubei.

Mustard knots
Mustard knots

Mustard knots, also known as Yugen, are a variety of mustard. Since it is mustard greens, it must have a spicy taste. 

The taste of cut mustard lump is very similar to mustard, and it is difficult to eat directly.


Pickling gives new life to the mustard knots and enables it to transform into more dishes.


It is most common to eat it directly as a pickle. If it is fried with pork stuffing and green and red hot peppers, it is a well-known Yunnan dish-black three chops.


Black three chops


In addition, stir-fried twice-cooked pork, small stir-fried pork, making soup, making simmered seeds, making steamed vegetables... Mustard lumps can always add new flavors to dishes.


Kohlrabi, which often appears in Guo Degang's cross talk, is actually a variant of cabbage, and it is closely related to cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.



Unlike the previous root vegetables, the swollen meat ball of kohlrabi is actually its stem.


However, kohlrabi has no taste. If it is not peeled enough, it is easy to eat a mouthful of scum, so not many people eat it. If you eat it, it means stir fry or make soup.


The close relative of kohlrabi, cabbage, is also called kohlrabi in the northeast.


Needless to say, how to eat cabbage, the most common one in the Northeast is hot kohlrabi, which confronts the shredded cabbage.

In addition, cabbage is also a good choice for grilling.

Technically / medically reviewed by:

Name: Ramona Khan

Education: Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics

Experience: 11 Years of experience as a nutritionist / dietician

[ S H A R E in public interest > > 


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