A combination of fresh and delicious vegetables tossed in a tasty and savoury sauce made using soy sauce, honey, ginger and garlic. Buddha’s Delight is a classic vegetarian Chinese dish they will make sure you get your daily dose of veggies in!
Why Is It Called Buddha’s Delight?
Buddha’s Delight started as a dish made by Buddhist monks living in temples located in Asia. One of the main teachings in Buddhism is that all life is sacred and prohibiting taking the life of any living creature, including animals. This means a vegetarian diet but products such as eggs and milk are acceptable since the animal is not harmed.
The original recipe is a little different from what you’re probably more familiar with. It includes ingredients like bamboo shoots, bean curd sticks, black mushrooms, carrots, clear noodles, napa cabbage, water chestnuts, snow peas, fried tofu and black fungus. A traditional Buddha’s Delight dish can consist of up to 35 ingredients! For simplicity and time’s sake, most people and restaurants will only use 10.
Why Is The Dish So Popular?
Buddha’s Delight grew in popularity throughout the entire world as a common dish available as a vegetarian option in Chinese restaurants. Its simple seasonings and minimal use of oil made it a popular choice outside of Buddhist temples.
In southern China, there is a tradition to serve Buddha’s Delight on the first day of Chinese New Year. The tradition comes from the practice of Buddhism but the dish also represents self-purification and good luck. This tradition is also great for digestion since people tend to eat lots of meat and protein on New Year’s Eve.
The flexibility of ingredients has made the dish widely popular too. Dumpling Connection’s recipe takes on a more westernized approach. We’ve swapped out some of the ingredients for more familiar ones like broccoli.
If you try our recipe out and enjoy it, check out our other vegetarian recipes like Smashed Cucumber Salad.
Buddha's Delight Recipe
- 3 tbsp spy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp honey, (optional)
- ½ inch knob fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 stalks green onion
- 14 oz baby corn
- 4 cups mixed fresh vegetables, (e.g. broccoli, snow peas, carrots, green beans, sweet red peppers, celery and baby bok choy)
- Wash and strain all your desired vegetables.
- Cut the broccoli into bite-sized florets and remove the ends from the snow peas and green beans.
- Chop the celery and carrots diagonally into thin slices.
- Chop the red pepper into bite-sized pieces and separate the baby bok choy into pieces.
- Drain the baby corn and cut them into halves.
- Peel your fresh ginger and grate. You will need about 1 tsp of the grated ginger. Then peel and mince the garlic.
- Slice the green onions into long diagonal strips.
- For the sauce: In a small bowl mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and garlic. If you enjoy sweeter tastes, add in the honey.
- Mix the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of cold water. Mix until the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Then add it to the soy sauce mixture.
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, add the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the pan and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until vegetables become tender.
- Add in the baby corn and bamboo shoots and stir.
- Pour the sauce over the vegetables and mix. Bring the sauce to a simmer and let it boil for one minute or until the sauce has thickened.
- Garnish with the sliced green onions.
- Best served with rice. Enjoy!Tip: Make more sauce and turn this dish into a noodle stir-fry!