The Garlicky Trader Joe's Find Inspired By A Thai Classic

For fans of Thai food looking for an easy at-home side dish, Trader Joe's has a product in stores that should be right up your alley. Trader Joe's Stir Fried Garlicky Cabbage hit shelves in December 2022, per Trader Joe's Reviews, and is a take on the classic Thai dish Galam Plee Pad Nam Pla.

Traditionally, the dish is made with chopped cabbage and lots of garlic, seasoned with pepper and fish sauce and stir-fried in a light cooking oil (via Serious Eats). However, Trader Joe's has tweaked that recipe with its version of the dish, opting to make it vegan-friendly by substituting the fish sauce for yeast extract and kombu. Kombu is an edible kelp popular in Japanese and other East Asian cuisines, according to Sushi Sushi, and commonly used to make dashi. Clean Green Simple notes that this is a frequent substitute for fish sauce in vegan cooking, as it provides a similar umami flavor, though it is not as salty.

Versatile side or snack

Trader Joe's Stir Fried Garlicky Cabbage is sold frozen, and the store's website says it can be heated and ready to serve in just 10 minutes with the help of a stove or microwave. As Serious Eats notes, this Thai staple works as both a side dish for a larger meal or on its own as a light lunch. Trader Joe's recommends mixing the dish with rice or adding a fried egg on top (if you aren't concerned with keeping things vegan) to take it up to the next level as a standalone meal or even using it as a filling for dumplings.

While the dish is vegan-friendly and a good option to get some extra veggies into your day, those on low-sodium diets may want to watch out as the dish's nutritional information notes that it contains 620 mg of sodium per 1 cup serving, something the vegan and non-vegan versions of the dish have in common, as fish sauce and its substitutes are notoriously salty (via Women's Health).