Lo Han Chai (Buddha’s Delight)

Lohan Chai

Since it was Chinese New Year a couple of weeks ago and Lantern Festival this weekend lets celebrate that by posting Chinese dishes this week. First on the list is this wonderful vegetarian dish called Lo Han Chai which is commonly served during this period.

Lo Han Chai, Luohan cai,Luohan zhai, lo han jai or Buddha’s delight is a popular Chinese dish that consists of various vegetables and other vegetarian ingredients cooked in a soy sauce based liquid together with other seasonings, traditionally it was enjoyed by vegetarian Buddhist monks but now it is popular worldwide. The name luóhàn zhai is a combination of two words which means a vegetarian diet (zhai) for an enlightened ascetic individual or the Buddha himself (luohan).

This dish is also a part of a Chinese tradition as it is served during Chinese New Year which came from a Buddhist practice that a person should maintain a vegetarian diet in the first five days of the New Year as a self-purification. If this is what a vegetarian dish is all about then I can be a vegetarian as this taste really good, I love the combination of different vegetables and ingredients, it’s so tasty you won’t even realize it’s all vegetables. Commonly this dish consists of 8 ingredients to signify prosperity but restaurants can create more elaborate versions which had 18 and up to 35 ingredients. But for this recipe we will stick with 8.

Ingredients

1/2 Chinese cabbage, chopped
5 pcs dried shiitake mushroom, rehydrated and cut in half
1 1/2 cup straw mushrooms, cut in half
1 pack snow peas
1 carrot, sliced
10 pcs baby corn, diagonally cut in half
6 squares fried tofu
1 cup water chestnuts, cut in half
3 tbsp oyster sauce or vegetarian oyster sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp tapioca starch
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 cup water
oil

Methods

  1. Blanch snow peas and run them on cold water then set it aside.
  2. Mix together water, oyster sauce, corn flour, sugar and sesame oil then set it aside.
  3. In a wok add oil then sauté half of the garlic.
  4. Add the white part of the Chinese cabbage then stir fry for a minute.
  5. Add the green part of the cabbage then stir fry for 3 minutes or until cooked. Remove the cabbages then set aside.
  6. Add oil in the same wok then sauté the remaining garlic.
  7. Add shiitake mushrooms and stir fry for a minute.
  8. Add carrots, baby corn, water chestnuts and stir fry for 2 minutes.
  9. Add tofu, straw mushrooms, cooked cabbage and sauce mix then continuously stir fry for 4 minutes, add water if necessary.
  10. Season with salt if needed, toss in the snow peas then serve.

23 Responses

  1. nors says:

    Tsalap bro!!!! Parang chopseuy satin..

  2. I love this dish and didn´t realise it was so straightforward to make (assuming I can get hold of the right vegetables)!

  3. I have to agree with you that its such a popular dish and I had so many during the CNY celebration. Thumbs up for this lovely looking vege.

  4. PolaM says:

    Those vegetables are so shiny and beautiful! I bet they are delicious!

  5. Your dishes always looks so wonderful!

  6. I often order this when eating out.. or taking-in:) I’m printing this and am making it for supper tonight… yummy!

  7. Caroline says:

    What a gorgeous dish…so many colorful veggies! Looks great, Raymund. :)

  8. I know I would NOT miss the meat if I were served this! Beautiful and scrumptious looking.

  9. sol says:

    Just what we all needed…healthy and delicious!

  10. Dear Raymund,

    Although I’m a meat lover, I find this such a delicious dish especially with the silken tofu, different variety of mushrooms and the delectable savoury sauce that comes with it.

  11. Gio says:

    This reminds me of chop suey. haha it looks great! perfect for the day “after” you’ve indulged :D

  12. meri says:

    I always know that dishes like this will be filled with vegetables for me- yours looks delicious.I’ve never cooked with oyster sauce before.

  13. Purely.. Kay says:

    This dish is absolutely wonderful.. and it looks so delicious. I can’t wait to see more Chinese recipes :)

  14. This dish is one of my favorite Chinese dish, but didn’t know the name! It’s very healthy yet full-filling dish. I should make this soon myself!

  15. foodjaunts says:

    I love Buddha’s delight – all of those vegetables are super delicious. Your sauce on the vegetables looks so silky.

  16. It’s true for any ‘style’ of food: if it’s great, full of fresh and delicious ingredients perfectly prepared and balanced in flavors, then it’s irresistible. This is as beautiful to look at as it would be to taste!

  17. Yummy! Buddha’s delight is one of my favourite light meals – all that vegge goodness, photo is gorgeous too!

  18. Love 2 Type says:

    happy chinese new year and lantern festival. I’d love to see that lantern festival.. you had beads in the picture too. like those usually found on buddhist monk.. hahaha

  19. Meaghan says:

    I love your recipes! I am a big fan on food gawker. Do you have a google +? I run a google + that distributes food articles and recipes. I would love to start sharing your stuff right from google +!!

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/115956664606014556660/

  20. Carolyn Chan says:

    OOH yummy. One of my favourites.

  1. January 7, 2013

    […] I like with Chinese vegetable dishes is that whether it’s as complicated as Lo Han Chai or as simple as Kailan in Oyster Sauce  and Bok Choy in Oyster Sauce you can be rest assured that […]

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