Since it was Chinese New Year a couple of weeks ago and Lantern Festival this weekend lets celebrate that by posting Chinese dishes this week. First on the list is this wonderful vegetarian dish called Lo Han Chai which is commonly served during this period.
Lo Han Chai, Luohan cai,Luohan zhai, lo han jai or Buddha’s delight is a popular Chinese dish that consists of various vegetables and other vegetarian ingredients cooked in a soy sauce based liquid together with other seasonings, traditionally it was enjoyed by vegetarian Buddhist monks but now it is popular worldwide. The name luóhàn zhai is a combination of two words which means a vegetarian diet (zhai) for an enlightened ascetic individual or the Buddha himself (luohan).
This dish is also a part of a Chinese tradition as it is served during Chinese New Year which came from a Buddhist practice that a person should maintain a vegetarian diet in the first five days of the New Year as a self-purification. If this is what a vegetarian dish is all about then I can be a vegetarian as this taste really good, I love the combination of different vegetables and ingredients, it’s so tasty you won’t even realize it’s all vegetables. Commonly this dish consists of 8 ingredients to signify prosperity but restaurants can create more elaborate versions which had 18 and up to 35 ingredients. But for this recipe we will stick with 8.