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Buddha's Delight in a bowl with chopsticks, a bowl of rice and sauce.
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5 from 9 votes

Lo Han Jai (Buddha's Delight 罗汉斋)

Lo Han Jai is THE vegetarian dish that makes it to every Lunar New Year. It's slow cooked until moist then drizzled with a smooth tangy sauce!
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time2 hrs 35 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Cantonese, Chinese, Vegetarian
Servings: 10
Calories: 343kcal
Author: Jeannette

Ingredients

For The Fresh Ingredients

  • 1 kg / 2.2 lb daikon (shredded)
  • 400 g / 0.88 lb carrots (shredded)
  • 500 g / 1.1 lb napa cabbage (sliced)
  • 400 g / 0.88 lb king oyster mushrooms (sliced)
  • 300 g / 0.66 lb oyster mushrooms (sliced)
  • 200 g / 0.44 lb fried tofu (sliced)

For The Dried Ingredients

  • 1 bean curd sheet
  • 10 shiitake mushrooms
  • 20 g / 0.04 lb bamboo pith
  • 20 g / 0.04 lb black moss (a.k.a fat choy)
  • 25 g / 0.04 lb woodear mushroom
  • 50 g / 0.04 lb green bean thread

For The Seasoning

  • 250 g / 0.49 lb red fermented bean curd (or to taste)
  • 3 tbsp vegetarian soup base
  • 3 tbsp salt (or to taste)
  • 3 tbsp sugar (or to taste)
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil (plus extra oil for frying)
  • 3 L / 12.6 US cup water

For The Sauce

  • 5 tbsp fermented white bean curd
  • 5 tbsp sugar (or to taste)
  • 1/2 lime's juice (or to taste)

Instructions

The Vegetarian Stew

  • To begin, bring the water to a boil in a large pot.
  • Meanwhile, take 3 cubes of red fermented tofu and mash it with your chopsticks. You will be doing this step before cooking each fresh ingredient.
  • Heat up a wok and add 1 tbsp oil. Add the mashed red fermented tofu, stir for 10 seconds.
  • Toss in the shiitake mushrooms along with 2 tsp vegetarian soup base and mix for 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the cooked mushrooms into the pot of water.
  • Repeat steps 2-5 for all the other fresh ingredients, one ingredient at a time.
  • In a new pot or saucepan, pour 2 cups oil into a wok and fry the bean curd sheets for no longer than 3 seconds on each side. 
  • Quickly flip using chopsticks or tongs. With the searing heat, they will immediately puff up.
    Note: We like to use a large pot to prevent the hot oil from spraying onto us.
  • Repeat the bean burd sheets frying process with the green bean threads.
  • Add all of the fried and rehydrated ingredients one layer at a time.
  • Mash up the remaining cubes of red fermented bean paste in the jar and pour all the contents into the pot.
  • Stir gently and season with the salt, vegetarian soup base and sugar. Simmer for 30 minutes minimum.

The Sauce

  • Mash the white fermented bean curd until it forms a paste.
  • Mix in the sugar and lime juice.
  • Drizzle on top of the Lo Han Jai and enjoy Lunar New Year’s Day with your family!

Notes

  • Stew the ingredients for longer. This will help to infuse al lthe flavors with one another for a richer taste.
  • Keep the fresh ingredients the same size. Grandma likes to thinly slice the mushrooms and tofu, but keeping them the same size also helps to bring balance to the recipe instead of having any one ingredient overshadow another.
  • Taste as you go. Since this Buddha's Delight simmers for some time, taste the broth as it stews to season it exactly to your liking.
  • The main ingredients for Lo Han Jai includes daikon, bean curd sheets, black moss (fat choy), black fungus, bamboo pith and red and white fermented bean curd.
  • The dried goods will need to be soaked in cold water and rinsed the night before cooking or at least 20 minutes prior (except for the bean curd sheet). Before preparing them, use your hands to squeeze the liquid out.
  • We get all of the ingredients from the Asian supermarket

Nutrition

Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2959mg | Potassium: 1041mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 6876IU | Vitamin C: 61mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 2mg