5 pcs napa cabbage leaves (cut into 1-inch pieces)
3 stalks baby bok choy (remove base)
3 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 bean curd stick
4 tofu puffs
20 g glass noodles
100 g vegetarian abalone (drained)
1 garlic clove (minced)
¼ cup reserved shiitake mushroom water
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
salt (to taste)
Loh Han Chye
Forget what you know about vegetarian food. Buddha’s Delight, or Loh Han Chye, makes for a moreish, satisfying dinner. Traditionally eaten by Buddhist monks, this vegetarian Chinese stew is a chock full of earthy shiitake mushrooms, crisp cabbage leaves simmered till tender, and a tangle of glass noodles bubbling in a base of sesame and kecap manis, or sweet soy sauce. Read on to find out how to make the Loh Han Chye, one of the easy to make vegetable dishes you can work on!
Frequently-Asked Questions About Loh Han Chye
Why is it called Buddha’s Delight?
The dish is called Buddha’s Delight because it is a dish well enjoyed by Buddhists, a wholesome vegetarian dish that is the perfect meal for monks who follow a simple diet each day. It is also served in Chinese households on the first day of Chinese New Year, a tradition influenced by an old Buddhist practice that encourages one to maintain a vegetarian diet in the first five days of the auspicious new year. This was seen as a method of self-purification.
Is Loh Han Chye healthy?
This vegetarian dish is an extremely healthy dish in the Chinese cuisine, which is also why the Buddists love it. In a mixture of steamed vegetables, one just consumes 200 calories while enjoying a fulfilling meal.
Can I use a different variety of loh han vegetables for the dish?
Loh han vegetables are referred to as those greens that the Buddhist monks traditionally eat in this dish. The term “loh han” is a transliteration of the Sanskrit word arhat - which means an enlightened and ascetic individual, like a monk or Buddha himself. “Chye” means vegetarian food or diet. Therefore, the name Loh Han Chye can be loosely translated to a monk’s vegetarian food, or as the English term says, “Buddha’s Delight”. That said, you can change the types of vegetables used in the dish and even add some meat while following the same cooking techniques, but it may not be accurate to “change the loh han vegetables” as the term and the choice of vegetables are directly related to an important tradition in the culinary culture of Buddhism.
Tips on How To Make Loh Han Chye
Make your own seasoning: While you can purchase a vegetarian stir-fry Chinese sauce to season the Loh Han Chye, you can make your own by soaking the liquid from rehydrating the dried shiitake mushrooms and then mixing it with sweet soy sauce and normal soy sauce. We show you the trick in our recipe below.
Blanch the greens and run under cold water: Before adding the greens into the mixture of other loh han vegetables, you can blanch them in hot water and immediately place them under cold running water. Blanching helps to inactivate enzymes that cause the vegetables to turn brown and change texture and color. It protects its freshness during the preparation process so that when served in the Loh Han Chye, you can enjoy its quality flavors the way you should.
How To Make Loh Han Chye
Serve hot with rice.