Sunday, June 28, 2009

Buddha's Happiness

Last night for dinner I made a big wok full of the delicious stir fry called Buddha's Happiness. You will sometimes see this on the menu of even omni chinese restaurants. If you like mushrooms and other fungus, this is the stir fry for you.

I originally downloaded several recipes for this from the internet. However, now I just make it myself from my memory of the ingredients. Here is my recipe:

Buddha's Happiness

Makes 8 serves

40g dried black fungus (about 1/2 pack)*
40g dried white fungus (about 1/3 pack)*
40 g sliced dried shiitake mushrooms (about 1/3 pack)*
1 onion, cut in slices lengthwise (probably not traditional, but I like it)
1 cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
6 fresh button mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and slices
1/4 small wombok cut into 1-2 cm slices
Small head of broccoli, cut into florets and sliced stem
500g hard or extra firm tofu cut into 2 sm squares (If you can get deep fried tofu puffs,* they are even better)
2 tablespoons of neutral vegetable oil (I used rice bran oil)
2 tablespoons cooking sherry
2 tablespoons soy sauce (+ extra if you wish a saltier taste)
1 Massel Chicken style vegan stock cube
1 rounded tablespoon cornflour
500 ml boiling water + 3 tablespoons cold water

  1. Break up the black and white fungus into chop stick size pieces. Rinse all the dried mushrooms. Soak dried mushrooms in half of the boiling water for approx 15 minutes. Do not drain.
  2. While the mushrooms are soaking, chop the vegetables as above.
  3. Heat the oil in a hot wok or very large skillet.
  4. Add the tofu and stir fry until golden. (You can omit this step if you are using pre-fried tofu). Remove from the wok once done.
  5. Add the onion and ginger to the wok. Stir fry for a minute or two until the onion starts to become translucent.
  6. Add the sherry and boil for around 30 seconds to boil off the alcohol.
  7. Add the soaked mushrooms and their soaking liquid. Add the stock cube. Heat to boiling. Turn the heat down slightly and simmer for a few minutes.
  8. Mix the cornflour and the cold water. Add to the simmering liquid in the wok. Simmer until the liquid thickens slightly.
  9. Add the tofu and remaining vegetables.
  10. Add the remaining boiling water. (You may add less or more to taste, to make as much liquid as you like). This is a fairly saucy stir fry.
  11. Once the wombok wilts slightly and the carrot is slightly tender, serve. This is good with steamed or fried rice.
* The black and white fungus, shiitake mushrooms and pre-fried tofu are usually available from asian supermarkets. Some supermarkets may also carry some of these items, especially the shiitake mushrooms.

My husband always likes this, though that could be because he really likes vegetables. Our 13 yo, J, had thirds. However, the younger two were not overly impressed, as they don't like stir fries with lots of liquids. They had caramelised tofu and quick fried carrot and broccoli instead.

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