Lo Hon Chai (Buddha’s Delight – 罗汉斋)

Aromatic Simple Vegetarian Dish
Ready : 20 mins Generic : StirFry Difficulty : Easy
[ Prep : 5 mins † Cooking : 15 mins † Excluding Soaking ] Printable Recipe

Lo Hon Chai (Buddha’s Delight)” is no stranger to Chinese dining tables all over the world, especially during festivities. “Lo Hon Chai” (as pronounced in Cantonese) is a simple vegetarian dish; hence its namesake as Buddha himself was a vegetarian. The dish derives most of its flavor from the Fermented Red Beancurd (南乳). While there are probably countless versions of this dish out there, the usual ingredients in this popular dish are Chinese Cabbage, Dried Beancurd Sheets, Mushrooms, Cloud-Ear Fungus, Fatt Choy (Black Moss- if U like) and last but not least, Glass noodles (Cellophane noodles). Here’s The Viand’s simplest version of “Lo Hon Chai (Buddha’s Delight – 罗汉斋)”.

Let’s talk about the main flavoring Ingredients that made up this dish. The all-important Fermented Red BeanCurb – the essence of this dish. “Nam Yue/Fermented Red Bean Curd”, often referred to as Chinese cheese, is a type of preserved Tofu in 2-4 cm block, fermented in Wine, Salt, Spices, Chili flakes and Red rice yeast. These cubes have a soft creamy cheese-like texture, very salty and are used mainly as a cooking condiment in Chinese Cuisine. Another type of Tofu cubes fermented without the Red rice yeast is called Fu Yue and are milder in flavor. Reportedly, the best Fu Yue & Nam Yue are produced from Guilin, China. These little beauties are definitely an “acquired taste” – it’s a “Love/Hate” affair..😝 !

Three main Ingredients – Chinese Cabbage, Beancurd Skins/Sheets and Glass Noodle (Cellophane noodles) is a must for this dish – which gives U the very basic simple Lo Hon Chai – a version that is being presented here and also a version that The VianD grew up with. However, there is a whole lot of other Ingredients that are often incorporated into the dish. Just to name a few – ArrowHead, Bamboo Fungus, Bamboo Shoot, Shitake Mushroom, Water Chestnut, Young Lotus Root and Black Fungus.

The dish can be relatively wet (with quite a bit of sauce) or relatively dry. It’s really a personal preference. The VianD like the dish on the dry side, simply because of a more robust aromatic flavor of the Fermented Red Beancurd. Just The Viand’s two cents..😂.

With only three main Ingredients and Red Beancurd, this hearty comforting dish is unbelievably easy to prepare in less than 20 minutes and taste absolutely divine. U can eat this as a standalone Noodle dish (if cooked less flavorful) or serve along with other dishes. Here’s The VianD’s simplest basic version of “Lo Hon Chai (Buddha’s Delight – 罗汉斋)“.


Fermented Red Beancurd, Chinese Cabbage, Glass Noodles – soak for at least an hour and Fatt Choy (Black Moss) – soak just a little while. And of course, Beancurd Skins/Sheets.


 Salt and Sugar. All to taste.  If U are not keeping this as a Vegetarian dish, U can add a tiny bit of Oyster sauce, just for added flavor. All to taste.

** Note : Just a dash/pinch of everything, if U prefer a stronger intensity of an ingredient/spice flavor, simply add a little extra of that ingredient/spice – no rocket scientific measurement here. Always taste your Seasoning !!! The trick is NOT the exact measurement, the trick is “to taste the Seasoning” and get ur preference balance of flavors !!!


STEP 1 :

 On medium heat, start by lightly deep-fry the Beancurd Skins to light Golden-brown. Be quick, easily burned !! Set aside to drain excess off oil. Break it up into slightly bigger than bite-size. Set aside.

STEP 2 :

Saute some chopped Garlic (omit the Garlic if U r keeping this as a full-fledged Vegetarian dish) and Fermented Red Beancurd (break it up – or dilute and dissolve with a little water b4 sautéing) till aromatic.

STEP 3 :
On medium heat, add in the Chinese Cabbage. Mix well, and saute a while add water, crank up the heat and simmer till half-soften, abt 3-5 mins. Add the Beancurd Skins and Glass Noodles. Add more water and simmer till Cabbage and Beancurd Skins soften to preference. Lastly, add Fatt Choy and Seasoning Ingredients. Give it a good stir and ur plate of simple aromatic delicious “Lo Hon Chai (Buddha’s Delight – 罗汉斋)” is ready to be served hot.

Copyright © 2014 The VianD · All Rights Reserved

All Text and Photographs are the property of The VianD unless otherwise indicated. No part of the content may be reproduced without prior written consent from The VianD.

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