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Buddha's Delight (Luo Han Zhai)

Buddha’s Delight is called luo han zhai in Mandarin. "Zhai" translates to Buddhist cuisine, which often means a vegetarian diet that uses minimal oil and simple ingredients. The Buddha’s Delight, a comforting and healthy vegetarian stew, is probably one the most famous and well-known Buddhist dishes. It is said that the original version contains over 18 vegetables, but we simplified the ingredients here to make it an easy and healthy meal for weekday cooking.

45 Minutes
15 Ingredients
Spice Level

Learn to make it

Buddha's Delight (Luo Han Zhai)

Recipe for Buddha's Delight (Luo Han Zhai)


For 6 servings

  • 1 c dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 c rehydrated wood ear mushrooms
  • 10 fried gluten balls
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 c carrots, sliced
  • 1 c lotus root, sliced
  • 1 c fresh tofu skin
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 3 slices ginger
  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 c water or vegetable stock
  • 1 c bok choy, chopped
  • 1 c napa cabbage, chopped
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Step by step

step 1

Prepare your dried vegetables and gluten balls 30 minutes before cooking: Soak dried shiitake and wood ear mushrooms in warm water until soft. Cut fried gluten balls in half and submerge in tap water until soft. Squeeze water out of all the ingredients, discard soaking water, and set aside. (While waiting for items to soak, you can prepare the rest of the vegetables!)

step 2

In a large pan, heat cooking oil over medium high heat and cook scallions and ginger until fragrant.

step 3

Add the following ingredients, cooking for 1-2 minutes between each addition: First add shitake mushrooms and carrots, then lotus root and wood ear mushrooms, and finally fried gluten balls and tofu skin.

step 4

Add light and dark soy sauce and vegetable stock or water (add more soy sauce if using water). Add bok choy and napa cabbage.

step 5

Cover and cook for an additional three to five minutes until all vegetables are tender. Season with sesame oil and enjoy!