Home Articles What Is Kohlrabi? (All You Need to Know)

What Is Kohlrabi? (All You Need to Know)

So, what is kohlrabi? 

This cabbage-and-broccoli-cousin looks alien, with a bulbous body and spiky stems. But it is a delight in the kitchen. 

What Is Kohlrabi? (All You Need to Know) featuring Two Whole and One Sliced Dewy Fresh Kohlrabi on a Wooden Table

And that is because it is super versatile. Roast it, sauté it, even munch it raw! 

And those attached leaves? They are not just for show. They are delicious, too! 

So grab a kohlrabi the next time you’re at the farmers’ market. And prepare for a tasty adventure. 

It’s time to make friends with this cool, crunchy bulb!

What Is Kohlrabi?

Kohlrabi is a cruciferous veggie that grows like a bulb. The leaves shoot out from the sides, giving it an almost alien look! 

(I think it looks like a Pokémon!)

You can find white, green, or purple kohlrabi. But no matter the color, the taste is mild and pretty yummy.

Thinking about cooking with it? Kohlrabi is fantastic in salads and soups. Prepping it is a breeze. 

Just peel, chop, or slice- and it is good to go! 

Even farmers love kohlrabi. It gets along with other crops and enjoys a long growing season. 

So, you see it at farmers’ markets often.

And here is the best part: it won’t break the bank! Kohlrabi is often more affordable than other market finds. 

Sliced and Whole Fresh Kohlrabi on a Bamboo Mat

What Does Kohlrabi Taste Like?

When raw, kohlrabi tastes like cabbage but with a spicy kick. Think radish or turnip spice. 

The spice level changes with the size of the bulb. The smaller ones are milder and crisper.

Oh, and talk about crunch! Kohlrabi has crunch without being tough to eat. So, it is a hit in salads and slaws.

But it is just as delicious if you cook it! Cooked kohlrabi’s flavor becomes subtle, and its texture resembles broccoli stems. 

Plus, you can eat the stems and leaves too! Cook them up, and they will remind you of mild collard greens or Swiss chard.

Types of Kohlrabi

Like most fresh produce, kohlrabi is best in its growing season. But, lucky for us, it actually has two! 

You can find it in the summer and then again in early winter. 

If you love something sweet and delicate, summer kohlrabi is your pick. It’s small and a tad sweet. 

Winter kohlrabi? It is for the hearty eaters. The winter version is larger than its summer cousins, with a strong flavor. 

When shopping, look for the small ones. Whether summer or winter harvest, small bulbs pack the best flavor and texture. 

But be careful! Like broccoli, it can turn tough and woody if it grows too big.

Now, about those colors. Kohlrabi comes in purple or green on the outside. Inside, it will be light green or white. 

But the taste is the same for both colors. You might find the purple skin is thicker. But it will not change the flavor one bit.

3 Fresh Kohlrabi Roots in a Basket

How to Prepare Kohlrabi

Don’t be fooled by kohlrabi’s otherworldly looks! Breaking it down for cooking is more simple than tackling a pomegranate.

  1. Grab those leaves and stems waving at you from all directions and chop them off.
    1. But wait, if the leaves look fresh and snappy, save them for cooking.
    2.  Are they wilting and looking sad? It is best to say goodbye.
  2. Slice off the base of that bulb like you would with an eggplant or cabbage. 
  3. Grab a vegetable peeler and remove the outer layer until you see the white inside.

From here, you can do whatever you want with your kohlrabi. 

Cut it into matchsticks for a salad or chunks for a hearty stew. Or even strips for if you want to pickle it.

Roasted Kohlrabi Dish Stuffed with Various Roasted Veggies on a Large Black Serving Platter

How to Cook Kohlrabi

These are some of my favorite methods to cook kohlrabi. You can also check out these tasty kohlrabi recipes

Roast

Have you tried roasting kohlrabi? It is a dream. Cut it into cute little chunks and watch how roasting turns them sweet and golden. 

Just toss with olive oil, and add some salt, pepper, and thyme. And hey, a splash of vinegar can add a zing! 

Raw

Kohlrabi has that raw appeal. Slice it up, dip it, and munch away. It tastes fresh with a mild radish kick. 

And try it grated in slaws! A simple dressing with olive oil makes it divine.

Sauté

You can use the whole veggie here. The crunchy bulb meets tender greens for a perfect pan dance. Slice, sauté, and enjoy the textures. 

A hint of lemon juice or vinegar and fresh herbs or pine nuts? Yum! It is a quick meal, ideal for a busy weeknight.

Steam

Steamed kohlrabi is ready for anything. Cut, steam, and toss it in stir-fries, pasta, soups, and stews. 

Want some fun? Mash it with cauliflower or potatoes. Yum!

Fry 

Everybody loves these kohlrabi fritters. Grate, mix, and fry them for one tasty treat. Dip them in something yummy and watch them disappear.

Julienned Kohlrabi in a Salad with Green Onions in a Small Blue Bowl on a Table with Silverware, Denim Cloth, Parsley, and a Whole Kohlrabi

Where to Buy

Kohlrabi is a veggie that’s available all year round. But it is popular from fall through spring. 

Small farmers absolutely love it. You can find green, white, and purple ones at farmers’ markets. 

That means freshness, and those leaves are tasty! Choose crisp ones. 

You’ll also see kohlrabi in health food stores without leaves. Pick heavy, firm bulbs, and remember, small means sweet. 

And you can find it at many regular grocery stores.

Want to grow it at home? It’s a breeze! Kohlrabi loves full sun and rich soil in cool weather.

How to Store

Got a fresh kohlrabi with stems and leaves still waving hello? Snip them off and cook them within a day or two. 

They are not fans of waiting around and can wilt. 

Storing it is a cinch! Tuck all parts into the crisper; leaves get a loose plastic bag wrap. Bulbs like to chill uncovered. 

The bulbs will last for up to 1 month in the fridge. But if you want that crisp, raw crunch, invite it to dinner sooner.

What Is Kohlrabi?

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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