Vegan Gourmet

Buddha’s Delight

Chinese Buddhist cuisine, one of the oldest vegetarian traditions, is also one of the tastiest
Buddha's Delight

The mock duck on the menu of a vegetarian Chinese restaurant may not seem like Buddhist cuisine, but it is a direct descendant of the centuries-old practice established in Chinese Buddhist monasteries, where cooks found clever ways to create delicious dishes (including elaborate versions of mock meat) that were also cruelty-free. My wonderful aunts Tina, Tanya, and Winnie introduced me to Buddhist cooking at a young age. Here are a few recipes inspired by them. The dishes offer an easy introduction to the celebrated culinary tradition that is so much more than faux meat stir-fries or pork-flavored seitan.

December 2011 p.44

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Bamboo Shoot, Mushroom, and Long Bean Stir-Fry

Bamboo Shoot, Mushroom, and Long Bean Stir-Fry

The clean, simple flavors of this stir-fry get a hint of spice from dried chiles. Using whole chiles lets you control the heat more easily than with chopped chiles or chile sauce. Check Asian markets for fresh bamboo shoots that are boiled and vacuum-sealed. The pale yellow cones taste so

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Yuba Rolls

Yuba Rolls

Known as neutralized duck in Buddhist cooking, this dish is meant to re-create the taste and texture of roasted duck. Yuba, or bean curd sheets, which are formed by heating soymilk, resemble thin, delicate noodle sheets. The best ones can be found in the frozen section of Chinese grocery stores.

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Sticky Rice with Carrots, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Peanuts

Sticky Rice with Carrots, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Peanuts

Long-grain glutinous rice, also known as sticky rice, is steamed rather than boiled, and has a chewy texture.

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Sweet Walnut Soup

Sweet Walnut Soup

“Served hot or cold, this is one of the few Chinese desserts I clamored for as a child,” says Recipe Tester Fiona Kennedy

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comments

Would love to see more Buddhist cooking!

David Roberts - 2013-01-13 23:44:54