in

Buddha’s Delight (Vegetarian Stir-Fry): A Medley of Freshness and Flavor

Spread the love

Buddha’s Delight, also known as Luohan Zhai or Lo Han Jai, is a traditional vegetarian stir-fry dish in Chinese cuisine, often enjoyed during festivals and special occasions. This dish is celebrated for its variety of fresh vegetables, tofu, and sometimes mushrooms or other plant-based ingredients, all stir-fried together in a savory sauce. Buddha’s Delight not only delights the palate but also symbolizes health, balance, and prosperity. Here’s how you can recreate this flavorful vegetarian dish at home.

Ingredients

For the Stir-Fry:

  • 200g (7 oz) firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms (fresh or rehydrated dried mushrooms)
  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 cup sliced Napa cabbage
  • 1 cup sliced bok choy
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed
  • 1 cup sliced bamboo shoots (canned, drained)
  • 1 cup sliced water chestnuts (canned, drained)
  • 1 cup sliced baby corn (canned, drained)
  • 1 cup sliced bell peppers (red, green, or yellow)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro or chopped spring onions for garnish

For the Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Instructions

1. Prepare the Ingredients

  1. Prepare Tofu: If tofu is not already cubed, cut tofu into cubes and pat dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  2. Slice Vegetables: Slice shiitake mushrooms, button mushrooms, Napa cabbage, bok choy, carrots, snow peas, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, baby corn, bell peppers, and onion as indicated.

2. Make the Sauce

  1. Mix Sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine or dry sherry, sugar, sesame oil, vegetable broth or water, and cornstarch until cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside.

3. Stir-Fry Buddha’s Delight

  1. Heat Oil: Heat vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
  2. Cook Tofu: Add tofu cubes to the wok in a single layer. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until tofu turns golden brown on all sides. Remove tofu from the wok and set aside.
  3. Stir-Fry Aromatics and Vegetables: In the same wok, add sliced onion. Stir-fry for about 1 minute until onion becomes translucent and fragrant.
  4. Add Mushrooms and Vegetables: Add shiitake mushrooms, button mushrooms, Napa cabbage, bok choy, carrots, snow peas, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, baby corn, and bell peppers to the wok. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until vegetables are tender-crisp.

4. Combine and Finish

  1. Add Sauce: Give the prepared sauce a quick stir and pour it over the vegetables in the wok.
  2. Return Tofu: Return cooked tofu to the wok. Toss everything together gently to coat tofu and vegetables evenly with the sauce.
  3. Season: Season Buddha’s Delight with salt and white pepper to taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

5. Serve

  1. Garnish: Garnish Buddha’s Delight with fresh cilantro or chopped spring onions for added freshness and color.
  2. Serve Hot: Serve immediately while hot, preferably over steamed jasmine rice or noodles.

Tips for Success

  1. High Heat: Stir-fry over medium-high to high heat to ensure vegetables cook quickly while maintaining their crisp texture.
  2. Preparation: Prepare all ingredients before starting stir-frying as the cooking process is fast-paced.
  3. Sauce Consistency: Adjust the thickness of the sauce by adding more vegetable broth or water if it’s too thick, or more cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with water) if it’s too thin.
  4. Variations: Feel free to add or substitute vegetables according to your preference or what’s available. Other options include adding tofu skin, wood ear mushrooms, or lotus root.
  5. Garnish: Fresh herbs like cilantro or chopped spring onions not only add flavor but also enhance the presentation of the dish.

Variations

  • Vegan Version: Ensure all sauces used are vegan-friendly, and omit the oyster sauce or use a vegan substitute.
  • Spicy Buddha’s Delight: Add a teaspoon of chili paste or crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce for a spicy kick.
  • Nutty Twist: Add a handful of roasted peanuts or cashews for added crunch and nutty flavor.

Conclusion

Buddha’s Delight is a delightful vegetarian stir-fry that combines a colorful medley of fresh vegetables and tofu, all brought together in a savory sauce. By following this recipe, you can create a flavorful and nutritious meal that’s perfect for any occasion. Enjoy the crisp texture of vegetables and the tender tofu, complemented by the savory sauce that ties everything together. Serve this dish hot and savor the delicious flavors of this classic Chinese vegetarian stir-fry at home.

Facebook Comments

Written by Robert Zelesky

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stir-Fried Snow Peas with Shrimp: A Refreshing and Flavorful Dish

Dan Dan Noodles: A Spicy and Satisfying Sichuan Classic