Buddha’s Delight

This vegetarian dish is served by Chinese families on the eve and the first day of the New Year.

4 dried Shiitake or Chinese black mushrooms
4 dried bean curd sticks
8 oz bamboo shoots (available, canned, in Asian foods aisle of most grocery stores)
6 fresh water chestnuts (available, canned, in Asian foods aisle of most grocery stores)
2 large carrots
1 Cup shredded Napa cabbage
4 oz snow peas (fresh is better, but frozen is okay)
1/4 Cup canned gingko nuts (available at any Asian grocery store)
1 Tbsp Crushed Ginger

4 Tbsp reserved mushroom soaking liquid – or vegetable stock
1 Tbsp Chinese rice wine – or dry sherry
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp Roasted Sesame Oil

Vegetable, sesame or peanut oil for stir-frying, as needed
Kosher Salt to taste


In separate bowls, soak the mushrooms and dried bean curd sticks in hot water to soften, about 20-30 minutes. Remove ingredients from liquid, and squeeze out any excess liquid.

Reserve the mushroom soaking liquid for later. Remove the stems and slice the mushroom tops if desired.

Slice the bamboo shoots. Peel and finely chop the water chestnuts. Peel the carrots, cut in half, and cut lengthwise into thin strips. Shred the Napa cabbage. String the snow peas and cut in half. Drain the gingko nuts. Crush the ginger.

Combine the mushroom-soaking liquid from earlier (or vegetable stock) with the Chinese rice wine (or sherry), soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Set aside to use later.

Heat 2 Tbsp oil in the wok over medium-high to high heat. When the oil is sizzling hot, add the carrots and stir fry them quickly, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for an additional minute, then add the water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, snow peas and ginger. Once these ingredients are incoporated, stir in the shredded cabbage and gingko nuts. Add the bean curd sticks.

Add the sauce ingredients you set aside earlier, and bring to a boil. Cover the wok, reducing the heat to medium-low, simmer the vegetables for 5 minutes to warm them through. Adjust salt and other seasonings to taste. Serve hot on a warmed plate or serving bowl with steamed rice.