Like its name suggests, Buddha’s Delight is a dish traditionally enjoyed by Buddhists, but its popularity is certainly not limited to Buddhists only. In fact, this vegetarian dish is commonly available in Chinese restaurants, and is traditionally served in Chinese households on the first day of Chinese New Year.
BUDDHA’S DELIGHT (Stir-fried vegetables)
(amount can be freely altered depending on serving size)
- 3 Dried Chinese Mushrooms
- 3 Fresh mushrooms (button mushroom or straw mushroom) 3 Fat Choy
- 3 Bean Curd Sticks
- 3 Black Fungus
- 3 White Fungus (Tremella)
- 3 Bamboo Shoots
- 3 Carrots
- 3 Wheat Gluten (Mian Jin)
Oil, tapioca flour, sugar, salt, sesame oil, cooking wine, garlic, ginger
1. Soak the dried mushroom, funguses, fat choy and bean curd sticks in individual bowls of hot water for 30 mins.
2. Chop the main ingredients into small pieces
3. Heat oil in wok. Stir fry chopped garlic and ginger until fragrant
4. Add in the other chopped ingredients and stir-fry. Add cooking wine, sugar, and salt for seasoning
5. When almost ready, add a bit of tapioca flour solution to the stir-fry, to thicken the sauce. 6. When ready, serve with sesame oil.
DID YOU KNOW: Buddha’s Delight comprises of many ingredients, but there is no fixed recipe to it. In fact, the dish varies from chef to chef and family to family. If there are some ingredients that you don’t like or don’t have, you can even replace them with what you like, or what is available at the moment. The result will still be a delightful combination.
STEAMED STUFFED WINTER MELON
This simple yet elegant dish is a work of art; its very appearance is unique and eye-catching, its smell is fragrant and lingering, and its taste will provide you with heartwarming comfort.
- 3 Half a winter melon 3 Mushrooms 100g 3 Bamboo fungus
- 3 Wolfberries (optional) 3 Parsley (optional)
- 3 Quail eggs (optional)
1. Carve the winter melon to resemble a bowl; cut out and dice the melon flesh; boil the quail eggs and peel them; soak the bamboo fungus in warm water, wash and cut them into smaller pieces; wash and slice the mushrooms.
2. Heat oil in wok; stir-fry mushrooms with cooking wine and salt.
3. Add a bit of vegetable stock; add in the winter melon cubes, bamboo fungus and wolfberries and simmer.
4. Fill the winter melon shell with the above content, together with the quail eggs; steam for 10 minutes; add a little white pepper and parsley to season.
DID YOU KNOW: We always associate winter melon with soups, but do you know that it can also be used to make sweets? During Chinese New Year, winter melon is often dried, sweetened, and eaten as a traditional New Year celebration candy. It is also used to make
the “wife cake” or “sweet heart cake”, which is a famous flaky thin-crusted Chinese pastry.
FRENCH ONION SOUP
Contrary to some beliefs, a rich flavour can still be attained without having any meat involved. What’s more, the vegetarian version of the famous French Onion Soup may even be a healthier alternative.
(Serving for 6)
- 3 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 3 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
- 3 5 large onions (about 3 lb.), halved and thinly sliced 3 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbs.)
- 3 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- 3 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 3 6 cups roasted or low-sodium vegetable broth
- 3 1⁄3 cup dry sherry
- 3 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 3 1 tsp. sherry vinegar
- 3 6 1⁄2-inch slices sourdough bread, toasted
- 3 2⁄3 cup shredded Jarlsberg or Gruyère cheese
1. Heat butter and oil in heavy, large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and salt, and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat to very low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 50 to 60 minutes, until onions are very tender and brown.
2. Stir in flour, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Blend in broth, sherry and mustard. Cover, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sherry vinegar.
3. Preheat broiler. Ladle soup into six heatproof bowls. Top each with slice of toast and grated cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot.
DID YOU KNOW: Traditional French onion soup can come in as high as 39 grams of fat per serving. The one in the above recipe has just 10.5.
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