Chinese Cabbage with Ham and Cream Sauce | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Chinese Cabbage with Ham and Cream Sauce

Chinese cabbage with ham and cream sauce 腿茸奶油津白

This is a popular dish of Beijing cuisine, which in Chinese is called 腿茸奶油津白.

When preparing this at home, I often apply my own preference. What I mean is to cook and flavor the cabbage predominately with ham and to coat it lightly with a creamy sauce which at the same time should not over-power the tastes of others. As such, I use no chicken stock, butter, and lard. Instead, I toast, stir-fry and then simmer the ham in the sauce to release its flavor. This might be a less oil-laden version however I find it equally flavorful.

This recipe needs only a basic technique of stir-frying vegetables. Having combined the cabbage with the ham, the seasoning and the sauce at the right time, I would say there is nothing complicated.

However, be honest, I also love to order this dish when dinning out. It is usually available at restaurants serving Beijing or Shanghai or even Sichuan cuisine, places like those I mentioned about their pork dumplings (Xia Long Bao小籠包).

  • Ingredients
  • 400g Chinese cabbage
  • 100 ml fresh milk
  • 2 tsp finely chopped ham (I use Jin Hwa ham bought from a specialty store. If not, use any dry-cured Chinese ham which can be found in vacuum packs in groceries and some supermarkets.)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7-8 slices of ginger
  • 1 1/2 tbsp oil for stir frying
  • Thickening
  • 1 tsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp water

Chinese cabbage in chunks
Chopped Chinese Jin Hwa ham


Rinse cabbage, cut it lengthwise into chunks of about 6 cm in length and 2 cm in width.

To prepare the ham, rinse, pat dry, and cut it into thin slices. Then heat them in a toaster under low heat for about 4 to 5 minutes or until fragrant. Let cool a while, finely chop them. The sliced ham is relatively easier to chop than it is just out from the fridge.

Heat wok over high heat. Add 1 table spoon of oil, distribute it halfway over the sides. As soon as the oil starts to smoke lightly, put in ginger slices. With a turner, briefly stir them in oil for a couple of seconds. In this step, from heating the wok to sautéing the ginger, actually is a Chinese way of cooking for stir-frying vegetables.

Pour in cabbage chunks. Keep stirring and flipping the vegetable. In about one minute, the cabbage shall be softened a bit and start to exude water. If not, add about 1 table spoon of water. Cover lid and turn to medium heat to simmer the cabbage for about a minute. Remove lid, add salt, give a few more flips and stirs to mix it well with the cabbage. As salt is added, more water will be exuded, so act fast for the stirring. Dish up, discard water and ginger.

Add the remaining half table spoon of oil in wok. Toss in half of the chopped ham, sauté it briefly, pour in fresh milk. Over low to medium heat, bring to a boil. Return the cooked cabbage to wok, simmer for about a minute. Stir well the thickening and mix it into the sauce. As soon as the cream boils up again and thickened, remove from heat (check the taste, as the saltiness from ham may vary). Dish up cabbage and sauce, garnish with remaining ham. Serve hot and enjoy.

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  1. Krissy @ The Food Addicts

    i have never tried this Beijing cuisine before. you’ve replicated it beautifully! it looks really light and refreshing, despite the cream sauce!

  2. gaga

    My mom used to make this for me growing up, but I never asked her for the recipe. Thanks for sharing it!

  3. penny aka jeroxie

    I never had this when I was in Beijing or Shanghai! Must try and make it at home.

  4. mademoiselle délicieuse

    I have never tried this homecooked, but tend to have it when dining out at Shanghainese or Beijingese places. This looks like a healthy, easy version to replicate at home so thank you!

  5. Valen

    This looks interesting, I bet its good!

  6. noobcook

    love the sight of the cabbage soaked in the creamy sauce 🙂

  7. Carolyn Jung

    I had no idea that there was a Chinese dish like this. You don’t see cream sauces too often in most Chinese dishes. But I bet the sauce would be a wonderful compliment to that sweet, smoky ham. Can’t wait to try this.

  8. Mary Moh

    I love Chinese Cabbage. I cook it very often. I love the creamy sauce too. This is really good poured over rice or noodles….mmm

  9. Heavenly Housewife

    This looks wonderful, you did a great job!
    *kisses* HH

  10. anncoo

    Hi, just stumbled into your blog. I had never tried this Chinese cabbage in cream sauce before looks delicious. I’ll bookmark this if you don’t mind. I’ll be back for more. Thanks!

  11. TasteHongKong

    @Krissy@The Food Addicts, You are right, I even use low-fat milk.

    @gaga, My pleasure.

    @penny aka jeroxie, If not Beijing, or Shanghai, you may try this in H.K. And of course, cooking it at home is also enjoyable.

    @mademoiselle délicieuse, Enjoy your lighter version at home, and heavier ones when dinning out.

    @Valen, Thanks.

    @noobcook, Thanks.

    @Carolyn Jung, Right, so far as know, it is not a common practice for Chinese cuisine to add milk or cream. I bet it will give you a nice surprise.

    @Mary Moh, Looks like we have one more liking in common.

    @Heavenly Housewife, *Get them*, thanks with hugs*

    @anncoo, Welcome, let me hear from you soon.

  12. ...

    was browsing through blog sites and found your blog! it looks amazing!!! will definitely try out the recipe above!!!

  13. Kathy

    One of my favorite is cabbage. I have not tried this recipe from Beijing and would gladly start trying with this one. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe and your photos!

  14. the lacquer spoon

    This is one of my fav dishes to order in Chinese restaurants in Tokyo, but yours looks so beautiful! It’s very interesting to know milk is used for Chinese cuisine 🙂 Delish!!

  15. Kitchen Butterfly

    Lovely as usual….have a great Easter break!

  16. kathy

    It really looks creamy and delicious. But can I use bacon instead of ham? Thanks for this recipe. 🙂

  17. TasteHongKong

    @… Thanks and hope you will share with us your experience.

    @the lacquer spoon, Thanks and I shall be happy to share more on Chinese cuisine.

    @Kitchen Butterfly, U2!

    @kathy, As you are aware, bacon and ham both release meat flavors to the sauce. The Jin Hwa ham I used however give the dish a Chinese touch. Taking an analogy, it is more or less like using soy sauce for Chinese dishes while fish sauce for Thai. Glad that you clarify and thanks for your kind comments.

  18. Angie's Recipes

    HK cuisine always keeps coming up with revolutionary Chinese dishes.

  19. Juliana

    Wow, I love this dish…it sure adds a lot of flavor to the Chinese cabbage 🙂

  20. Jade

    Hi, I found your blog when I was looking for a recipe for steamed turnip cake and i just had to tell you it turned out beautifully! so thank you:)

  21. XiaoYen

    I’ve never had this dish before. I like the creaminess to it as I love creamy sauce. This is definitely a good vegie dish for my little girls.

  22. Amy @ cookbookmaniac

    When I visited HK a few years ago some of my relatives took me to a Peking restaurant and they served this. I loved it so much and I have never seen since my return to Sydney. Thank you for sharing this recipe. My partner and I will be very excited to try this one out. Thanks again.

  23. Claire

    This is a good recipe, thank you! I recommend using jamon iberico rather than standard ham to make it even better. I get my Spanish ham from

  24. Timmy

    Amy@cookbook maniac, there are plenty of Chinese restaurants in Sydney that have this dish. I had it today at Kensington Peking Restaurant in Anzac Parade. Yum.

    That said, it does seem unusual for a Chinese dish to have a cream sauce. Does anyone know if this is a traditional Chinese dish? It tasted very European and I was wondering if it was a colonial adaptation.

  25. TasteHongKong

    I’m also interested in knowing if there is any adaptation, thanks for putting forward this.

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