New Year's Recipes from Razzle Dazzle Recipes
Lo Han Jai Recipe


Lo Han Jai

Also known as "Buddhist Vegetarian Stew," is traditionally served on the first day of the lunar Chinese New Year, to cleanse the body. Since ingredients for Lo Han Jai are not easily available in most food markets, this is a simplified version. Although the list of ingredients appear lengthy, once everything is gathered, the cooking is easy.

2 T. vegetable oil
8 Chinese black mushrooms, soaked in hot water for ten minutes, squeeze excess water, remove stems, leave whole - save soaking water
1/2 c. dried fungus (cloud ears), soak in warm water, cut into smaller pieces
1/2 c. sliced bamboo shoots
8 fresh Chinese water chestnuts, peeled, cut into quarters
1 whole carrot, peeled, cut to julienne strips
2 c. Napa cabbage, torn into small pieces
1 c. vegetarian or chicken broth
2 oz. bean thread - boil in water to cover for 5 minutes. Drain.
1 c. firm bean cake (tofu), cut to 1/2" cubes
8 snow peas, remove strings, cut to thin slivers
2 c. fresh bean sprouts
2 T. soy sauce (low-sodium best)
1 T. cornstarch mixed well with 2 tsp. cold water
1 tsp. sesame oil

Heat wok until hot; add vegetable oil. Stir-fry mushrooms, fungus, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, carrot, cabbage; cook for 3-4 minutes over high heat. Add broth; cover and cook for 5 minutes over low heat. Add bean cake, bean sprouts, snow peas and soy sauce. Cover and simmer for two minutes. Stir in cornstarch mixture to form a light gravy, adjusting if necessary. Drizzle with sesame oil.

Note: Traditional Lo Han Jai ingredients might include: ginkgo nuts, lotus root, dried oysters, lily stems, seaweed hair, fried tofu, and dried bean curd sticks.

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