Whether you’re looking for a festive Lunar New Year dish to celebrate or a simple zen meal to revitalize, this Buddha’s Delight offers a special treat! Traditionally served on the first day of the New Year, it’s also a vegetarian classic that appears in many Chinese restaurants. With its rich combination of fresh ingredients and variety of delicate dried ingredients, such as fat choy (black moss) and lily flower for good luck and prosperity, the Buddha’s Delight is worthy of the title "king of stir fry"!

Lo Han Jai: Buddha’s Delight [Vegan]

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For the Bowl:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 1/2-inch pieces fresh ginger, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 5 pieces of fresh shiitake mushrooms or re-hydrated dried mushrooms, diced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 2 ounces lotus root, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 ounce dried lily flowers, soaked for 10 mins in hot water
  • 1/2 cup fresh, or frozen ginkgo nuts
  • 8 dried red dates
  • 4 ounces fried tofu (4-5 pieces)
  • 7 ounces nappa cabbages, cut
  • 2 ounces snow peas
  • 1 tablespoon goji berries, soaked for 5 minutes
  • 1 small bunch bean thread noodles (cellophane noodles)
  • 2 ounces fresh black fungus (or if using dried black fungus, wash and soak for 20 minutes)
  • 1 ounce dried black moss (dried nostoc), re-hydrated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Sauce:

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mushroom seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
  • 3 tablespoons vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 blocks of fermented bean curd
  • 2 cups of water


To Make the Bowl:

  1. Soak all required dried ingredients in hot water for specified time frame.
  2. Heat skillet at medium heat, add oil and ginger. Stir fry for half a minute.
  3. Add carrots, shiitake mushrooms, fried tofu, lily flowers, red dates, ginkgo nuts, and lotus roots and stir fry for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the black moss) and stir fry another 3 minutes.
  5. Add the black moss and seasoning sauce mix and bring to boil.
  6. Turn off heat and transfer to serving dish.
  7. Serve immediately with rice.

To Make the Sauce:

  1. Mix seasoning sauce ingredients together in a bowl until fermented bean curd has dissolved and set aside.

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  1. I remember seeing a cartoon, set in a Chinese restaurant, customer, “How is the Buddha’s Delight with Triple Happiness Sauce?”, Waiter, “Very disappointing.”

    1. Nope, there isn’t one in my town – it’s proper middle England round here. But there is one in the city I commute to, so will pop in sometime… :-)

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