Last week for the Lunar New Year, I made Buddhist’s Delight also known as Buddha’s Delight, Vegetarian’s Delight or in Chinese, jai.
It’s a traditional vegetarian dish served on the first day to bring success and prosperity into the new year. Each family has its own variation but generally it includes a mix of dried and fresh ingredients symbolizing wealth and luck. Things such as:
- Chinese dried black mushrooms
- dried cloud ears
- dried lily bulbs
- cellophane noodles
- shredded fresh bean curd sheet
- fried tofu puffs
- sliced napa cabbage
- sliced carrots
Seems like a lot of stuff, but once you’re done with the soaking of the dried ingredients and the cutting, everything comes together fairly quickly.
So quickly in fact, that I didn’t really get down the recipe. But I will next time. Buddhist’s Delight or a variation of it can be served any ol’ time, it’s not just reserved for new year’s day.
I always thought it was funny that the custom is to feast on new year’s eve then have this one vegetarian dish on new year’s day (sorta like a cleansing thing) and then it’s back to feasting the following day.
Happy feasting in the Lunar New Year!