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How to Cook with Kohlrabi

By Cook's Illustrated Published July 2015

Kohlrabi, which can be either purple or green, is a member of the brassica family. Here's the best way to cook with it.

Kohlrabi, which can be either purple or green, is a member of the brassica family, which also includes broccoli, turnips, and cabbage. Its leaves are tender when young and can be added to salads for a peppery bite. More mature leaves and their fibrous stems can be cut into small pieces and cooked in the same manner as collards or kale and offer a similar minerally flavor. After removing the skin and the tough fibrous layer underneath it with a vegetable peeler, tasters found that the raw flesh had a crisp texture and peppery flavor similar to that of turnip but milder and with a sweetness like that of jícama or even apple. It’s a good appetizer sliced thin and sprinkled with salt and lime or lemon juice and makes a nice addition to salads. It also shows up in all sorts of cooked applications, from stir-fries to sautés to soups. We’ve found, however, that overcooked, it becomes flavorless. This makes it best-suited for quick-cooking dishes like stir-fries; if you want to use it in soups and stews, wait and add it toward the end of cooking.

TURNIP’S PEPPERY, SWEET COUSIN: To maintain kohlrabi’s delicate flavor in applications like stir-fries and soups, cook it only briefly.