Recipe: Buddha’s Delight (Jai)

Recipe: Buddha’s Delight (Jai)

Often served as one of several dishes at a Chinese New Year meal, Buddha’s delight is a delicious vegetarian dish full of flavour and texture that is hearty enough to eat with some rice or completely on its own

by:  
adayinthekitchen  adayinthekitchen  on 13 Feb '21


Serves: 8


Ingredients:

  • 2 small bundles bean thread noodles
  • 10g black moss (fat choy)
  • ¼ cup dried wood ears
  • 5 medium-sized dried Chinese mushrooms
  • 2 dried bean curd sticks
  • 1 handful dried lily buds
  • 6–8 tofu puffs, halved
  • 2–3 cups chopped Chinese cabbage
  • 3–5 slices peeled ginger
  • 2 stalks spring onion
  • 2 tbsp neutral-flavoured cooking oil

Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce (use regular if not strictly vegetarian)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup water, from soaking the dried mushrooms

Optional ingredients:

  • sliced lotus root
  • sliced pak choi
  • baby corn
  • sliced celery
  • sliced carrot
  • mangetout
  • bamboo shoots
  • water chestnuts


Method:

Soaking the dried ingredients:

  1. Soak the Chinese mushrooms in about 1½ cups hot water for at least 3 hours (overnight is best).
  2. Soak the wood ears, dried bean curd sticks and lily buds in warm water for at least 3 hours.

Sauce:

  1. Mix all ingredients well and set aside.

Preparing the ingredients:

  1. Soak the bean thread noodles and black moss for 10–15 minutes in warm water, making sure the noodles are completely submerged.
  2. Remove the rehydrated Chinese mushrooms from the soaking water, reserving 1 cup of the liquid for cooking.
  3. Trim the tough stems off the mushrooms and cut the caps in half.
  4. Drain the wood ears and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Drain the bean curd and cut into about 1½-inch lengths.
  6. Drain the lily buds. Snip off the tough tips with scissors or cut off with a knife and tie each lily bud into a knot.
  7. Cut the cabbage into about 1½-inch pieces.
  8. Cut the spring onion into about 2-inch lengths.

Cooking:

  1. Heat a large pan or wok over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the cooking oil.
  3. Add the sliced ginger and spring onion and sauté quickly for about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the Chinese mushrooms, bean curd and wood ears. Mix.
  5. Add the tofu puffs and lily buds. Mix.
  6. Stir the sauce and add to the pan. Add 1 cup of the reserved mushroom soaking liquid and mix.
  7. Add the cabbage and mix. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 4–5 minutes.
  8. Uncover and add the drained noodles and black moss. Use two utensils to help to thoroughly mix the noodles into all the ingredients.
  9. Continue tossing and mixing until the noodles are well coated in the sauce and the sauce has mostly been absorbed.


Recipe notes:

  • All the ingredients should be ready to go before you start cooking as everything happens very quickly.
  • The dried ingredients are best found at an Asian supermarket or local market specialising in Asian products.
  • All quantities of the ingredients can be adjusted or omitted to your preference and taste.
  • Regular oyster sauce can be substituted for vegetarian oyster sauce if you are not strictly vegetarian. It can also be omitted, if desired.
  • Dark soy sauce is very strong in flavour and also darkens the overall colour of the jai, so it is best used sparingly.
  • Adjust the sauce ingredients according to your personal taste.
  • The mushroom soaking liquid can be replaced with vegetable broth or water.
  • Don’t worry about all the liquid in the pan before adding the noodles; the noodles will end up soaking it up very quickly once they are added.
  • Store any leftovers in the fridge and reheat either by steaming or in the microwave.
  • Leftovers can also be frozen in ziplock freezer bags with most of the air squeezed out.
  • For the full recipe with step-by-step instructions and images, visit the recipe on my website.


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adayinthekitchen

adayinthekitchen

I cook up big food ideas in my small kitchen in Hong Kong! Specializing in gluten-free!