Chinese New Year Soup

Chinese New Year Soup


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This dish generally known as 'Lo Han Jai' is also referred to as 'Buddha's Delight'. Traditionally served on the first day of Chinese New Year keeping with the Buddhist tradition of cleansing the body.


Serves: 6 

  • 8 medium Chinese dried mushrooms
  • 30g dried lily buds
  • 4 wood ear mushrooms
  • 100g bean thread noodles
  • 50g gingko nuts (tinned is ok)
  • 1/2 small white cabbage, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic. diced
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 pinch salt, to taste
  • 1 cup (250ml) vegetable stock or water
  • 2 dried bean curd sticks
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil, optional

Preparation:25min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:55min 

  1. In separate bowls soak in warm water for at least 20 minutes the Chinese mushrooms, lily buds, wood ear mushrooms, bean curd sticks and bean thread noodles. When softened drain all the ingredients. Discard all the water except for the mushroom liquid.
  2. Squeeze the Chinese mushrooms then dry, stem and cut the caps into thin slices. Reserve the mushroom soaking liquid.
  3. Remove the hard end from the lily buds and tie a knot in the middle of each individual strand to prevent it from expanding while cooking.
  4. Clean wood ear mushrooms thoroughly under running water and remove any hard spots. Chop coarsely.
  5. Cut dried bean curd into 5 by 10cm strips.
  6. In a large wok heat the oil over medium-high heat and cook the garlic until fragrant. Raise the heat to high and add the mushrooms and cabbage then stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the cabbage is limp.
  7. Add the oyster sauce, sugar, salt to taste, lily buds, wood ear mushrooms, bean curd sticks, bean thread noodles and gingko nuts. Stir everything swiftly around the wok. Add the stock and mushroom liquid and bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the bean thread noodles are fully cooked (they will be translucent) and the flavours absorbed. Check occasionally to see if the mixture is drying out and add water if necessary.
  9. Transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with sesame oil if desired and serve immediately.

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