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Stir fried cabbage on a plate with fork and spoon

Thai stir-fried cabbage with bacon (Pad Galem Plee)

  • Author: Suwanee
  • Total Time: 20
  • Yield: 4 1x


Thai stir-fried cabbage is a simple recipe using only a few ingredients, yet the flavors are simply divine! This version has a little extra twist with added bacon and sauces to add extra layers of umami flavors that you will love. It can be put together in 20 minutes!


  • 1 pound of sliced cabbage. (Find a small head of cabbage, cut in halves, then quarters and then cut it into 2-inch pieces.
  • 6 oz bacon (half a package, usually). Slice the bacon into smaller pieces, about 1x1 inch. It’s easier to leave the bacon slices together and cut them in stacks rather than in individual pieces.
  • 4-5 large garlic, chopped. Add more garlic if desired. If smaller pieces, add 6-8 garlic cloves). This dish is garlic heavy as eaten in Thailand. Adjust as needed for your taste bud.
  • 1-5 Fresh Thai chilis. Adjust with some or non at all.
  • 2 Tablespoon oyster sauce. A must for this recipe. It adds the rich, silky umami flavors for which the cabbage stir-fried is known.
  • 1 tsp fish sauce. Just a touch is all you need. Add more at the end if you need a bit more.
  • 1 tsp soy sauce. Use thin soy sauce or any soy sauce you have.
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar. Apple cider vinegar or lime juice is ok as a substitute
  • 1 tablespoon sugar. Use white, brown, monk, coconut, or honey for sweetener.
  • 1 tsp white pepper. Adjust as needed. It gets spicy fast, so use it carefully or deliberately as desired! (:


  1. Add Oyster, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, and white pepper to a small bowl.
  2. Add bacon to a large wok, big skillet, or a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Use a spatula to separate the pieces and let them cook to your crispness level. Soft or crispy bacon is perfectly delicious! 
  3. Add garlic and chilis and stir together. Cook for one minute until fragrant
  4. Add the sliced cabbage and stir together. Turn the heat up to high and cook for 2-3 minutes until the cabbage wilt.
  5. Add the soy sauce mixture, stir well and cook for 1 more minute. Give it a last stir before placing the cabbage into a serving dish. Season more with a splash of sugar, fish sauce, and a dash of ground white pepper, and serve with plain jasmine rice. That’s it! Enjoy.


  • You can quickly turn this dish into a vegetarian dish. Omit the bacon altogether.
  • If your bacon in the wok imparts too much oil, drain some out and continue cooking.
  • You can add thinly sliced pork loins, pork belly, or even ham for extra protein.
  • Since I'm using bacon, no additional oil is needed. If omitting the bacon, fry the garlic and chilis in hot oil before adding the cabbage. Use neutral oil with a high smoking point. 

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  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Easy
  • Method: Stir Fried
  • Cuisine: Thai

Keywords: thai cabbage stir-fried, pad galam plee, that stir fry cabbage,