Saturday, February 16, 2008

Cheats Vegan

First day of Chinese new year for many (especially the Chinese Buddhists) is a time for vegetarian dishes (zhai cai 齋菜). That makes sense after the sumptuous reunion feast the night before. We also do vegetarian but not strictly, tend to cheat here and there.
This so-called vegetarian dish 'loh han cai' (羅漢齋) is a must on our first day. A myriad of ingredients combined to create a distinct dish fit for the king!
Every household has its own version of this classic dish and most of the time it is not vegetarian because big chunks of siew yuk or some form of meat are added.
Dried mushrooms, ginkgo nuts, dried oysters (non-vegetarian but with great sound 'hau si' means 'auspicious things or events'), sweet bean curd sheets, lily buds, carrot, black fungus, mung bean vermicelli (tang hoon), red dates, Chinese cabbage, fatt choi (black moss), etc.
All these ingredients soaked, drained and saute individually with oyster sauce and then stewed together in a chicken stock broth seasoned with oyster sauce (some add nam yee, red fermented bean curd) over low heat until all the flavors come together in a most delicious yummy mash!

And K made a cashew nuts salad which is also not entirely vegetarian as chicken strips are used but still light and easy on the palate and stomach. Very refreshing.

K's braised shiitake mushrooms. 100% vegan!



yammylicious said...

happies belated valentine day to u!! =) and gong hei fatt choi! hope thats yet too late!! =)

cashew nuts salad absolutely is my favourite!! simple and nice! =) nice blog!!

a feast, everyday said...

Tq yammylicious. Happy wishes are never too late :D Gong xi fa cai 2 u too!

frank said...

I think it's been quite a while since I've had good vegetarian food.

The main reason is that most of the Veg restaurants are pretty pricey, well maybe not the main reason (main reason is I like meat :) hehehe)

But I think maybe soon I shall have to remedy this.

Another chinese new year dish my family and iris' family makes is Duck soup with salted veg, after keeping it for two days, it's amazing.


a feast, everyday said...

We don't eat much vegetarian too. Just doesn't make sense to have fake ducks or chicken when we can have the real thing :) But I do like Indian vegetarian whereby they use multi lentils, spices, beans and veggies. Yumzz.