Stir-Fried Napa Cabbage with Quail Eggs is a deeply savory Chinese cabbage stir-fry recipe that you often see in restaurants! With a simple ginger garlic sauce, the napa cabbage tastes extra juicy and sweet! Make it banquet-style with the quail eggs or without, either way this is a fantastic healthy side dish you’ll want to make again and again!

Sauteed Napa Cabbage with quail eggs served in a green bowl
Easy Stir-Fried Napa Cabbage with ginger garlic sauce. Serve it with or without the quail eggs!

Napa cabbage stir-fry is a very popular dish that everywhere you go in Asia you can find a version of stir-fried napa cabbage. In Taiwan, people like to add dried shrimp and in Hong Kong you often see dried scallops (and sometimes even abalone) added to the dish. These additions add extra savory deliciousness (i.e. umami flavor) to the cabbage.

Quail eggs are another ingredient that you often see in the stir-fried napa cabbage served in the restaurants or banquets. My neighborhood supermarkets carry quail eggs often so I decided to add them to my recipe. They add extra nutrition and flavor to the dish. If you want to keep this dish vegan, you can absolutely go without the eggs.

Ingredients to make the stir-fry with napa cabbage, quail eggs, carrots, ginger, garlic, and salt.

Ingredients for Stir-Fried Napa Cabbage with or without Quail Eggs

  • Napa cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Coarse sea salt or Takii’s umami powder (to replace salt. product link in the recipe card).
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Arrowroot or tapioca starch or xanthan gum
  • Quail eggs (optional)

You can make this Napa cabbage stir-fry dish with or without the quail eggs as it won’t affect the flavor.

Quail Eggs before boiled
They are so cute! p.s. full of nutrition, too!

What do quail eggs taste like

Quail eggs taste similar to chicken eggs and have a creamer texture. The flavor tastes richer than chicken eggs because they have bigger yolk to white ratio. In many Asian cuisines, they are considered a delicacy.

Quail eggs are nutritious. A single quail egg provides our daily needs of vitamin B12, selenium, riboflavin, choline, and some iron. Quail eggs are small so 3 to 4 of them roughly equate to the serving size of one chicken egg. (source)

Can I make this dish without quail eggs?

Yes! You can absolutely make the napa cabbage stir-fry dish without the quail eggs and it will still be very tasty! I added the eggs for extra nutrition and flavor. The two ingredients (quail eggs + napa cabbage) are a common combo in Chinese and Hong Kongese style napa cabbage recipe.

Diced napa cabbage separate stems and leaves
Separate the stems and leaves

How to dice napa cabbage

  1. Dice off the bottom end of the cabbage
  2. Slice the cabbage in half, lengthwise from the top to the bottom.
  3. Make another slice lengthwise into quarters
  4. Dice to separate leafy and white stem parts.
  5. Chop the stems to smaller sections, roughly one-inch
  6. Slice the leaves to larger sections, roughly two-inch or larger

The diced napa cabbage is ready for stir-frying. For salad or to eat it raw, you’ll need to shred it much thinner.

Tips to make the best stir-fry Napa Cabbage Recipe

  • Saute the white stem parts first before adding in the leafy parts because the stems take longer time to cook.
  • Napa cabbage is very mild in flavor so use fresh garlic and ginger to elevate the taste.
  • Season the dish with salt to taste. I use coarse sea salt.
  • You can use either avocado oil or olive oil.
  • I also like to use Takii’s umami mushroom powder (product link in recipe card) to replace salt. This seasoning adds extra savory deliciousness. *Please note that not every mushroom powder tastes the same and this particular brand tastes most close to Japanese and Asian flavored dishes. I use this powder in almost all my Asian vegetable dishes.
  • Feel free to add snow peas and/or sugar snap peas if you like! 🙂

Pairing Suggestions

Make it a vegetarian or vegan meal with my Vegetarian Bibimbap or Whole30 vegetarian vegan curry. For chicken lovers, my air fried Taiwanese Fried Chicken Cutlets will remind you of Taiwanese night markets. Or make it an at-home banquet feast with Black Pepper Chicken, Moo Shu Chicken, Sesame Chicken, Mongolian Beef, Beef and Broccoli, or fans favorite Thai Basil Beef!

More Cabbage Recipes

A close shot photo of the stir-fried napa cabbage with quail eggs
Sauteed Napa Cabbage served in a green bowl
5 from 4 votes

Stir-Fried Napa Cabbage with Quail Eggs

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Author: ChihYu
Stir-Fried Napa Cabbage with Quail Eggs is a savory cabbage stir-fry side dish. The cabbage tastes sweet, juicy, and super easy to make. Serve it with or without the quail eggs.
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Ingredients 

  • 8-10 whole quail eggs, optional
  • 22 oz. napa cabbage, about 1 medium to small-ish size cabbage
  • 4 oz. carrots, julienned, about 1 medium carrot
  • 0.6 oz garlic cloves, minced
  • 0.4 oz. ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp tapioca or arrowroot starch, or ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • ½ tsp coarse sea salt, plus a pinch more or use Takii mushroom powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2.5 tbsp avocado oil, or olive oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • Furikake, sprinkle, optional

Instructions 

  • If adding the quail eggs, bring a pot of water to boil that’s about 1-inch above to cover the eggs. Lower the heat to simmer, carefully add the eggs and simmer for 3 ½ to 4 minutes over medium-low heat. Soak them in cold water and peel the hard boiled eggs. Set aside ready to use.
  • Dice the napa cabbage. Dice the white stem parts to roughly one-inch sections and the leafy parts to roughly two-inch sections or larger. Julienne the carrots. Mince the garlic and ginger. In a small bowl, mix well the starch with 1 tbsp water.
  • Preheat a large saute pan over medium-low heat until it feels warm when placing your palm near the surface, about 2-3 inches away. Add 2 tbsp oil. Saute the garlic and ginger with a pinch of salt over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 seconds.
  • Add the carrots and cabbage stems with 1/2 tsp salt. Saute over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until the stems become softer yet still have some crunch.
  • Add the cabbage leaves with ½ tbsp oil. Saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add coconut aminos and quail eggs, if using. Give another quick toss.
  • Stir the starch one more time then add it to the pan. Keep tossing and scooping for about 30 seconds to thicken the liquid.
  • Turn off the heat. Transfer to a large serving plate. Drizzle with sesame oil and sprinkle furikake, if using. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Notes

How to dice napa cabbage:
  1. Dice off the bottom end of the cabbage
  2. Slice the cabbage in half, lengthwise from the top to the bottom.
  3. Make another slice lengthwise into quarters
  4. Dice to separate leafy and white stem parts.
  5. Chop the stems to smaller sections, roughly one-inch
  6. Slice the leaves to larger sections, roughly two-inch or larger
 
I like to use Takii’s umami mushroom powder (product link above) to replace salt. This seasoning adds extra savory deliciousness. Please note that not every mushroom powder tastes the same and this particular brand tastes most close to Japanese and Asian flavored dishes.
Feel free to add snow peas and/or sugar snap peas, if you like! 🙂

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 142kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 17mg, Sodium: 396mg, Potassium: 493mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 5243IU, Vitamin C: 45mg, Calcium: 139mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese
Keyword: Napa Cabbage Recipe, Napa Cabbage Stir Fry, Quail Eggs, Quail Eggs Recipe, Stir-Fried Napa Cabbage, Stir-Fried Napa Cabbage Quail Eggs
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Tag @iheartumami.ny on Instagram and hashtag it #iheartumami.
ChihYu Smith, founder and creator of I Heart Umami.

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