Green cabbage is best in the winter months. Its leaves are a darker shade of green than usual, and tend to be thinner and sweeter, which works well for dishes in which the cabbage won’t be cooked – such as this Japanese pickled cabbage recipe. In other seasons green cabbage leaves tend to be thicker and lighter in colour, and are better suited for simmered or cooked cabbage dishes, such as stuffed rolled cabbage (winter cabbage leaves can be too thin and flimsy to hold the stuffing!)
For a change, substitute the green cabbage in this dish with napa cabbage, and a simple pickling mix of yuzu peel, kombu and salt. Add some sugar and rice vinegar for a sweet/sour twist.
Put the cut vegetables into a large ziplock bag, add the salt and give it a good shake. Press it tightly to squeeze out excess water, then set aside for about an hour. During that time you can julienne the shiso leaves, yuzu (or lemon) zest and kombu, if using. You could also cook something else while waiting!