Chinese Vegetable – Shanghai Cabbage with Oyster Sauce and Garlic

001 Garlic & Oyster Sauce Shanghai cabbage Main Photo

A vegetable dish for all seasons! Another versatile dish since this cooking method suits other types of vegetables like Kai Lan, Chye Sim, and Broccoli as well. It is readily available from the humble Food Courts to the sophisticated Chinese restaurants. When you run out of ideas as to what vegetable dish will complement all the other dishes you have ordered at the restaurant or you are cooking at home, resort to this dish or a variation of it. Your default vegetable dish! I am convinced that its universal appeal is brought about by the garlic oyster sauce.

I had made reference to this dish as a complimentary dish to be served with Chicken Breasts with Ketchup. Let’s get started with the first steps in the preparation.

Wash Shanghai Cabbage. Make a slit base of vegetable. 

Pull Shanghai Cabbage apart from the slit to split vegetable into 2 pieces. Divide the lot of vegetables into 2 to 3 portions, depending on the size of your wok.

To blanch the Shanghai Cabbage, bring the water in the wok to full boil before adding vegetable.

Do not overcrowd the wok. Add only one portion at a time to blanch. This vegetable is tender so cover for no more than 1 min. Remove onto a smaller colander with a plate beneath to collect drip liquid for use later. Once drained, arrange each half decoratively onto the serving platter, set aside for the sauce to be cooked.

This is the first step to cooking the sauce for the vegetables. I like my chopped garlic chunky as it creates a better taste. Take care not to burn it.

Pour the sauce into the fried garlic. Cook for 2 mins.

Add the reserved vegetable liquid into the wok. Bring to boil. Pour this sauce over the decoratively arranged blanched vegetables.

Serves: 4 to 6 people


  • 500 gm shanghai cabbage
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups water for blanching vegetables.
  • 8 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil


  • 2 Tbsp light soya sauce
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil


1. Wash and drain Shanghai cabbage. Make a slit in the base of the vegetable and pull apart with fingers. Divide all the vegtables into 2 to 3 portions.

2. Add water to wok. Bring to high boil.

3. Blanch a portion of vegetable at a time. Cover wok for 1 min. Drain vegetable. Continue to cook the other portions. After all vegetables are cooked, evaporate the liquid left in wok till ½ cup is left. Add this ½ cup to the drained liquid. Set aside.

4. Arrange vegetable in serving plate. Set aside for sauce to be added.

5. Heat oil in wok. Add garlic and stir fry quickly till garlic turns light gold.

6. Add sauce and cook for a short while. Then add the reserved liquid from Step 3 into wok over high heat. Bring to boil for a minute.

7. Pour cooked sauce over the plate of vegetables. Serve.

Serving Suggestions.

What ingredients are already in the fridge or freezer which should be used up first? Check and one of these below may be just what you can cook conveniently.

Seafood dishes

1. Dry Assam Seafood. Click here

2. Fried Fish with Fermented Black Bean Sauce. Click here.

3. Stuffed You Tiao (Baked).  Click here.

Meat dishes

1. Beef Rendang (spicy). Click here

2. Singapore Curry Chicken (spicy). Click here.

3. Paper Wrapped Chicken (Baked). Click here.

4. Pari Pari Style Chicken Wings. Click here.

5. Cha Siu or Chinese BBQ Pork. Click here.

Vegetable, Tofu and Egg Dishes

1. Broccoli and Meat/Tofu Stir Fry. Click here.

2. Pork, Spinach and Egg Stir Fry. Click here.

3. Ladies Fingers with Dried Sambal Prawns (spicy). Click here.

It is hard to resist a dessert. A plate of cold, freshly cut seasonal fruits is always appropriate. Consider any one of these which can be prepared a day ahead.

1. Almond Jelly + Longans Click here.

2. Coconut Jelly with Can Lychees. Click here.

3. Sweet Potato Dessert Soup. Click here.

4. Orange Agar Agar Wedges. Click here.

5. Sago Pudding. Click here.

6. Caramel Custard. Click here.


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