Everything You Should Know About Kohlrabi

published Jul 12, 2015
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(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

In addition to its funny name, kohlrabi has an even funnier appearance — it looks kind of like an alien spaceship with its semi-flat, round body and skinny stalks. But as the saying goes, you should never judge a book by its cover, and that’s certainly true with kohlrabi. This is one vegetable that deserves a place in your kitchen.

Whether it’s new to you, or a constant presence in your kitchen, here’s everything you should know about kohlrabi.

1. If you like radishes, try kohlrabi.

When eaten raw, kohlrabi has a faint, mild, peppery bite that you might associate with a radish. The overall taste is like a combination of a radish crossed with a turnip. Its flavor also reminds me a little of broccoli stems. Kohlrabi has a super-crisp texture, akin to an apple.

2. Go ahead and eat the greens.

Kohlrabi bulbs are often sold with the greens attached. Consider this a two-for-one deal, because these greens are also very edible. Younger greens can be eaten raw in salads, while more mature, larger greens benefit from a quick sauté or steam.

3. Buy smaller bulbs — they have more flavor.

Bigger isn’t always better, and that’s certainly true with kohlrabi. When buying kohlrabi, choose bulbs based on their size. Go for ones that are about three inches in diameter or less. Not only will you be rewarded with a more flavorful vegetable, but it will have thinner skin that won’t necessarily need to be peeled. Larger bulbs tend to lack in flavor and may have woody sections on the inside.

4. Eat it raw or cook it up — your choice.

Kohlrabi is a really versatile vegetable; there’s no shortage of ways to prepare it. Some people love to dive right in and eat smaller kohlrabi out of hand, just like an apple. You can also slice it and sprinkle with sea salt, add it to salads and slaws, use it in stir-fries, make it into fritters, or cut it into cubes and roast it.

5. Kohlrabi doesn’t have to be peeled.

The size, along with your personal preference, can dictate whether or not you peel the bulb. Smaller bulbs have thin, tender skin and are good eaten as is. I prefer to peel the thicker skin on larger bulbs, as it’s a little tougher, but you don’t have to — it’s perfectly edible.

→ Read More: How To Cut Up Kohlrabi

Try these kohlrabi recipes!