Buddha's delight

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Buddha's delight
Main dishes
Boeddha's Delight.jpg
Alternative name(s):
Luóhàn zhāi, lo han jai, lo hon jai, Luóhàn cài
Place of origin:
China
Main ingredient(s):
various vegetables, soy sauce
Recipes at Wikibooks:
Cookbook Buddha's delight
Media at Wikimedia Commons:
Wikimedia Commons  Buddha's delight
 
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Buddha's delight
Main dishes
Boeddha's Delight.jpg
Alternative name(s):
Luóhàn zhāi, lo han jai, lo hon jai, Luóhàn cài
Place of origin:
China
Main ingredient(s):
various vegetables, soy sauce
Recipes at Wikibooks:
Cookbook Buddha's delight
Media at Wikimedia Commons:
Wikimedia Commons  Buddha's delight
Buddha's delight
Simplified Chinese罗汉斋 or 斋
Traditional Chinese羅漢齋 or 齋
Literal meaningLuohan vegetarian food
Burmese name
Burmeselo4 han3 jaai1

Buddha's delight, often transliterated as Luóhàn zhāi, lo han jai, or lo hon jai, is a vegetarian dish well known in Chinese and Buddhist cuisine. It is sometimes also called Luóhàn cài (simplified Chinese: 罗汉菜; traditional Chinese: 羅漢菜).

The dish is traditionally enjoyed by Buddhist monks who are vegetarians, but it has also grown in popularity throughout the world as a common dish available as a vegetarian option in Chinese restaurants. The dish consists of various vegetables and other vegetarian ingredients (sometimes with the addition of seafood or eggs), which are cooked in soy sauce-based liquid with other seasonings until tender. The specific ingredients used vary greatly both inside and outside Asia.

Etymology[edit]

In the name luóhàn zhāi, luóhàn – short for Ā luóhàn (simplified Chinese: 阿罗汉; traditional Chinese: 阿羅漢; pinyin: Ā LuóHàn) – is the Chinese transliteration of the Sanskrit arhat, meaning an enlightened, ascetic individual or the Buddha himself. Zhāi (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: zhāi) means "vegetarian food" or "vegetarian diet."

The dish is usually made with at least 10 ingredients, although more elaborate versions may comprise 18 or even 35 ingredients.[1] If 18 ingredients are used, the dish is called Luóhàn quánzhāi (simplified: 罗汉全斋; traditional: 羅漢全齋).

In China, Hong Kong and Toronto, when served exclusively using only the most flavor-packed vegetarian ingredients, such as pickled tofu or sweet bean curds, it is known as tián suān zhāi (simplified Chinese: 甜酸斋; traditional Chinese: 甜酸齋; pinyin: tian2 suan1 zhai1; literally "sweet and sour vegetarian dish").

Tradition[edit]

As suggested by its name, it is a dish traditionally enjoyed by Buddhists, but it has also grown in popularity throughout the world as a common dish available in Chinese restaurants (though often not including all of the ingredients) as a vegetarian option. It is traditionally served in Chinese households on the first day of the Chinese New Year, stemming from the old Buddhist practice that one should maintain a vegetarian diet in the first five days of the new year, as a form of self-purification. Some of the rarer ingredients, such as fat choy and arrowhead, are generally only eaten at this time of year.

Ingredients[edit]

The following is a list of ingredients often used in Buddha's delight, each of which, according to Chinese tradition, is ascribed a particular auspicious significance. As the dish varies from chef to chef and family to family, not every ingredient is always used in every version of the dish.

Main ingredients[edit]

Commonly used main ingredients[edit]

Less commonly used main ingredients[edit]

Seasonings[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 2008-02-10. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Honolulu Star-Bulletin Features". Archives.starbulletin.com. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Lin, Florence (1976). Florence Lin's Chinese Vegetarian Cookbook. Shambhala. p. 104. ISBN 978-0-87773-252-5. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d Young, Grace (5 May 1999). The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen: Classic Family Recipes for Celebration and Healing. Simon & Schuster. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-684-84739-9. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "The Ginkgo Pages Forum - Blog: Jai a delight in the Chinese new year". Ginkgopages.blogspot.com. 2006-01-26. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  6. ^ a b c Hsiung, Deh-Ta; Simonds, Nina (1 June 2005). Food of China. Murdoch Books. p. 204. ISBN 978-1-74045-463-6. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Buddha's Delight Recipe". Taste.com.au. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  8. ^ a b Hsiung, Deh-Ta (19 February 2002). The Chinese Kitchen: A Book of Essential Ingredients with Over 200 Easy and Authentic Recipes. St. Martin's Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-312-28894-5. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f Hu, Shiu-Ying (2005). Food Plants of China. Chinese University Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-962-996-229-6. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  10. ^ "Buddha's Delight Recipe at". Epicurious.com. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  11. ^ Lin, Florence (1976). Florence Lin's Chinese Vegetarian Cookbook. Shambhala. p. 104. ISBN 978-0-87773-252-5. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 

External links[edit]