How to Make Buddha’s Delight: A Balanced Diet for Vegetarians

How to Make Buddha’s Delight: A Balanced Diet for Vegetarians
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Buddha’s Delight, also known as Luo Han Zhai, is a renowned Chinese vegetarian dish that dates back centuries. As the name suggests, it is believed to have originated in Buddhist temples, where vegetarianism is practiced to promote compassion and mindfulness. The dish showcases an array of vibrant vegetables, tofu, and mushrooms, expertly combined to create a symphony of tastes that will satisfy even the most discerning palates.

One of the reasons I adore Buddha’s Delight is its versatility. The recipe offers ample room for personalization, allowing you to showcase your creativity in the kitchen. Whether you prefer a medley of crisp, colorful bell peppers, tender baby corn, or earthy shiitake mushrooms, this dish welcomes a variety of vegetables, making it a perfect choice for using up any seasonal produce you may have on hand.

The magic of Buddha’s Delight lies not only in its fresh ingredients but also in the meticulous balance of flavors. A delicate sauce made from soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and a touch of sweetness lends a savory umami taste, while a hint of aromatic sesame oil adds a luxurious finish. Together, these flavors dance on your palate, creating a truly memorable culinary experience.

In this blog post, I will guide you through the step-by-step process of preparing this flavorful mixed vegetable delight. From selecting the freshest produce to mastering the art of stir-frying, I will share my tips and tricks to ensure your Buddha’s Delight is nothing short of perfection. So, grab your apron, sharpen your knives, and let’s embark on this culinary adventure together! Get ready to savor a dish that is not only a feast for the senses but also a celebration of mindful cooking.

Buddha’s Delight Recipe

Buddha's Delight

Ingredients: (Serves 1-2)

  • Broccoli: 3 oz or 85 g
  • Carrot: 1 oz or 28 g
  • Wood Ear/Tree Ear: 1.6 oz or 45 g
  • Shiitake Mushroom: 1.41 oz or 40 g
  • Firm Tofu: 6.5 oz or 185 g
  • Bamboo Shoots: 1 oz or 28 g
  • Baby Corn: 2.18 oz or 62 g
  • Water Chestnuts: 1 oz or 28 g
  • Snow Peas: 0.7 oz or 20 g
  • Napa Cabbage: 2.3 oz or 65.32 g
  • Water: 1 tbsp + 1/2 cup or 125 mL
  • Potato Starch: 1 tbsp
  • Sesame Oil: 1 tsp

Chinese Brown Sauce

  • Unsalted Stocks: 1.5 cups or 355 mL (Unsalted Heated Chicken or Veg. Stocks)
  • Kikkoman Soy Sauce: 3 tbsp or 45 mL
  • Sugar: 2.5 tbsp or 30 g
  • Wine: 2 tbsp or 30 mL
  • LKK Oyster Sauce: 2 tbsp or 30 mL
  • Koon Chun Hoisin Sauce:1 tbsp or 15 mL
  • Pearl River Dark Mushroom Flavored Soy Sauce: 1 tbsp or 15 mL
  • Sesame Oil: 1 tsp or 5 mL
  • Green Onions Roots: 1 root or 2 tsp (cut)
  • Ginger: 1-2 tsp (minced)
  • Garlic: 1-2 tsp (minced)
  • White Pepper: A sprinkle


Chinese Brown Sauce

Step 1: Combine all the ingredients together and let the sauce cool down (usually about 1 hour to cool). This allows the flavor to come together.

Step 2: Drain and discard the roots after about an hour of cooling. You can prepare this sauce ahead of time.

Step 3: Store the sauce in the fridge or freeze the sauce.
Note: If you do not mix in the stock you can keep the sauce in the fridge for about 1 month.

Step 4: Set up traps and fight off anybody that tried to steal your (this) recipe.

A Flavorful Mixed Vegetables Delight

  1. Soak the shiitake mushrooms in 1/2 cup or 118 mL of cold or room temperature water for approximately an hour. Similarly, soak the dried wood ear fungus in about 1/2 cup or 120 mL of cold water for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain and pat dry the firm tofu using paper towels. Place a plate or bowl on top of the tofu and let it sit for 10-15 minutes to remove excess moisture.
  3. Cut the napa cabbage into approximately 1-inch or 2.5 cm pieces. Slice the carrot into thin 1/10-inch or 3 mm slices. Cut the broccoli into bite-sized florets.
  4. Squeeze out any excess water from the soaked wood ear fungus and cut it into 1/5-inch or 5 mm strips, discarding any tough stems. Slice the soaked shiitake mushrooms into half-inch or 1.2-cm strips after removing the stems.
  5. Prepare the remaining vegetables, including bamboo shoots, baby corn, water chestnuts, and snow peas, according to their respective sizes and shapes. Set aside.
  6. Cut the drained tofu in half lengthwise and then into blocks about 1 inch or 2.54 cm wide.
  7. Heat vegetable oil in a pot or wok to 350°F (177°C). Carefully lower the tofu into the hot oil using a skimmer or spider strainer, and fry for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Flip the tofu halfway through to ensure even frying. Remove the tofu from the oil and set it aside.
  8. In a cup, mix together 1 tablespoon of potato starch with 1 tablespoon of water to create a slurry thickener.
  9. Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for about 45 seconds, then remove and set it aside.
  10. In a wok or pan, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the napa cabbage and carrot, and stir-fry for about 10-15 seconds.
  11. Add the baby corn, water chestnuts, and boiled broccoli, and continue stir-frying for another 30 seconds.
  12. Incorporate the remaining vegetables, including the soaked shiitake mushrooms, and stir-fry for an additional 30-45 seconds. Add the strained liquid from the shiitake mushrooms and stir-fry for another 10-15 seconds.
  13. Add the fried tofu to the wok and stir-fry for 15-20 seconds.
  14. Pour in 1 cup or 254 mL of brown sauce and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add the potato starch slurry and continue stir-frying for 15-20 seconds until all the vegetables are well coated with the sauce.
  15. Finish by adding 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and stir-frying for a few seconds.
  16. Plate the Buddha’s Delight and serve immediately.

Buddha's Delight

Congratulations! You’ve successfully created Buddha’s Delight, a delectable mixed vegetable delight. This vibrant dish is packed with an array of flavors and textures, making it a treat for both the eyes and the taste buds. Remember, you can customize the vegetables and sauces to suit your preferences and dietary needs. Whether you enjoy it as a vegetarian feast or as part of your Chinese New Year celebrations, this dish is sure to bring joy and satisfaction to your dining table. Enjoy!

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About the Author: Jenny Kristy

Spice Seeker, Recipe Weaver, Nomad Chef |With a passport bursting with stamps and a pantry overflowing with global spices, Jenny Kristy isn't just a cook, she's a culinary nomad. Her travels fuel her passion, transforming exotic flavors into recipes that tantalize and transport. She weaves magic in her kitchen, sharing her adventures through meals that whisper of Marrakesh markets and Tuscan trattorias. From teaching sushi to whipping up Moroccan masterpieces, Jenny ignites wanderlust and connects cultures, one delicious bite at a time.

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