Kohlrabi is one of those vegetables that many of us don’t know what to do with. Most of us didn’t grow up eating it, so it’s really foreign to us. I’m in that same group. I had a request from a viewer to explore kohlrabi, so I have!
Here’s one way I found to cook the bulb of kohlrabi. This simple recipe for sauteed kohlrabi is really easy and quick to make, and involves ingredients that you likely have on hand. Below is a video demonstration of the recipe with the written recipe below that. Enjoy!
I hope this helps!
Easy Sautéed Kohlrabi
Makes About 3 Servings
1 raw kohlrabi bulb
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil*
Garlic powder to taste (or 1 clove garlic, finely chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste
About 1 tsp dried cilantro or parsley, or to taste
Water as needed (1 or 2 tablespoons at a time)
Juice of ½ lemon or lime
More cilantro or parsley, optional garnish
Remove the stems and leaves from the kohlrabi. Wash the bulb very well. Remove the peel and cut the kohlrabi into large cubes or bite-size pieces.
Heat a skillet over just above medium heat. Add the olive oil (or water if preferred) and allow it to heat up briefly. If using fresh garlic, add the chopped garlic and allow it to heat through briefly. Add the chopped kohlrabi. Sprinkle with garlic powder (if using it), salt, pepper and cilantro or parsley to taste. Stir-fry the combo for a minute or so.
Add one or two tablespoons of water and place the lid on the skillet. When the steam stops and the pan is almost dry (this happens quickly), stir the vegetables around and add a little more water; replace the lid. Repeat this process until they are just barely the desired crisp-tenderness that you like. Drizzle the lemon or lime juice over the mixture. Replace the lid and allow it to finish cooking, which shouldn’t take long…a minute or so. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. You can garnish with more cilantro or parsley, if desired. The entire process should take 10 to 15 minutes, depending upon the size of the kohlrabi pieces and the amount of tenderness you prefer.
Note: This dish is best eaten when freshly made.
*If you prefer to use no oil, just use water instead.
In reviewing a number of comments from my YouTube viewers, I realized that many people want to work more vegetables into their meals, but are not sure how to do it. They might not be overly comfortable with cooking. They may not be familiar with specific vegetables and how to prepare them. They may not like the flavor of vegetables, yet they know they should eat them. So with that, I started a new series of videos (with accompanying blogs) on “Vegetables 101” covering from the basics to preparing them in specific ways. Kohlrabi was one of the first vegetables a viewer asked to learn about. So, we’re off and running! A link to the video is below, followed by the information notes.
I hope all this helps!
Kohlrabi 101 – The Basics
Kohlrabi is called a German “cabbage-turnip” and is in the cruciferous family…same as cabbage and broccoli.
Varieties: green or purple bulbs (no flavor differences; flesh is the same color)
Both the bulb and greens are edible. The flavor is described as a sweet turnip with texture of an apple.
The bulb and greens can be eaten raw or cooked.
2. Nutrition tidbits
Low in calories: 1 cup has 36 calories
High in fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, thiamine, and also has some calcium, and a little protein too.
3. How to select
Choose smaller variety (3-4”)…more tender and sweeter flavor than larger ones
Smaller bulbs taste more like broccoli; larger bulbs taste more radish-like and can be woody
4. How is it usually eaten…raw or cooked?
Bulb and leaves can be eaten raw or cooked
Stems and leaves can be used in recipes like kale or collard greens
The bulbs can be roasted, baked, stir-fried, steamed, boiled, grilled, mashed, added to soups and stews
5. Fresh vs frozen vs canned
Only available fresh (as far as I know)
6. Cooking/serving methods
Preparation: Remove stems and leaves. Wash everything well. Remove the peel from the bulb with a paring knife…it can be tough to eat. (Be careful! It can be hard to peel! But once peeled, it is easy to slice.)
Raw: Can be added to salads or slaws, or sliced for a snack with a dip.
Add to soups, stews, or mash it with (or like) potatoes
Can be roasted (brings out the sweetness)
Stems/leaves can be used like kale or collards
Steam pieces of the bulb to preserves nutrients
7. How to preserve it
Remove stems/leaves soon after purchasing and use them within a few days of purchasing. The bulbs will keep longer, wrapped, in the refrigerator. Wash, dry, then wrap in plastic or paper and store in refrigerator for 1-3 weeks. To store CUT bulbs, wrap tightly in plastic and use within a few days.
Both the bulbs and leaves can be frozen.
To freeze the leaves:
Wash and cut leaves into desired size pieces. Boil leaves for about 3 minutes. Drain them and place them immediately into ice water. Allow them to remain there at least 3 minutes, until completely cooled. Drain them well and place them into labeled freezer bags. They should keep for 8 to 10 months.
To freeze the bulbs:
Wash and peel the bulbs. Cut them into desired size pieces. Boil (blanch) chunks or thick slices of kohlrabi bulbs for 3 minutes; boil (blanch) small cubes for 1 minute. Drain immediately then submerge in ice water to quickly cool after blanching. Leave them in the ice water at least as long as they were in the boiling water to completely cool them down. Drain well and place in labeled freezer bags. They will keep 8-10 months in the freezer.
8. Herbs/spices that go well with kohlrabi
Garlic, onions, parsley, caraway, curry, tarragon, thyme, allspice, basil, cilantro, mustard, dill, rosemary, turmeric, marjoram
9. Other foods that go well with kohlrabi
Dairy: Butter, sour cream, parmesan, Swiss cheese, and cream
Fruits and Veggies: Cabbage, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, fennel, celery root, potatoes, spinach, turnips, corn, bean sprouts, lemons, and apples (in a slaw), celery, leeks, onions
Savory: Sesame oil, bacon, rice, quinoa, seafood, chicken, and beef.
Enjoy kohlrabi raw, steamed, fried, boiled, baked, grilled or roasted! Just ensure you remove any tough outer skin before eating the bulbs and eat the leaves as you would kale or turnip greens.
In addition to being eaten on its own, kohlrabi is delicious added to soups, stews and curries. They can be stir-fried with other veggies and served over rice for a quick dinner and even cooked and mashed in with potato.