Simmered Cabbage, Shan Style

Galaam Oop

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    As a Main Course

Appears in

The Shan name of this dish indicates the cooking method (oop) used for cooking the cabbage (galaam). The oop method of cooking involves a slow simmer of ingredients under a tightly sealed lid, with very little water and little or no oil. It’s a classic Shan cooking method, one that is also used by the Tai Koen of eastern Shan State and northern Thailand. Here depth of flavor comes from soybean disks (miso paste is a fine substitute) and from the interplay of the roasted peanuts with the tomatoes and cabbage. The dish comes together in less than thirty minutes of simmering.


  • ¼ cup peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • teaspoons Red Chile Powder, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons powdered toasted Soybean Disks (see Cooking with Tua Nao), or 1 teaspoon medium brown miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 small green cabbage or Savoy cabbage, finely shredded (about 4 cups) and washed
  • 1 cup thin wedges of Roma (plum) or other fleshy tomatoes
  • cup Chopped Roasted Peanuts


Place a wok or a wide heavy pot over medium heat and add the oil. Toss in the chile powder, turmeric, shallots, and the tua nao powder, if using (do not add the miso now), and salt, and stir-fry for several minutes, until the shallots are starting to soften and become translucent.

Add the cabbage and tomatoes and stir well, then cover, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 10 minutes, until the cabbage is partly wilted. Add the peanuts and the miso, if using, stir well, cover again, and continue to cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the cabbage is a softened mass.

Taste and adjust the salt if necessary, then serve hot or at room temperature.

Simmered Cabbage with Pork (or Beef)

If you’d like a heartier version of this dish, include a little pork or beef; you can then omit the tua nao or miso. Use ½ pound boneless pork shoulder, thinly sliced, or ground pork or ground beef. Once you have cooked the aromatics, add the meat and stir-fry until it has changed color, then add the cabbage and proceed as above. You’ll need to add a little more salt.