buddha’s delight (羅漢齋/罗汉斋—luóhàn zhāi)

Buddha’s delight is packed with delicious vegetables, fruits, and mushrooms. Sundry ingredients provide many textures for a beautiful blend. This dish is definitely a delight!

In Mandarin, this dish is called luóhàn zhāi(羅漢齋/罗汉斋), or simply zhāi(齋/斋). Zhāi(齋/斋) means “vegetarian dish”. Luóhàn(羅漢/罗汉) comes from the Sanskrit word arhat(अर्हत्), meaning “one who has become enlightened”, or a “buddha”. It can also refer to the Buddha, Gautama Buddha, famous enlightened one from whose teachings Buddhism stems. Not surprisingly, buddha’s delight is commonly enjoyed by vegetarian monks. Traditionally, it requires more and slightly different ingredients; this recipe is my take, which opts for simplicity and emphasizes textural variety.

Buddha’s delight makes a great meal with rice.


(serves 2)

1 clove garlic, minced
1 thumb ginger, minced
1 green onion, chopped
½ tsp salt
½ cup mushroom stock or water
1 tablet palm sugar
4 mushroom, chopped
6 okra, chopped
½ bunch enoki or other fungus (optional)
½ cup bamboo shoot, prepared
4 yu choy or 1 bok choy or 1 head broccoli, chopped
¼ cup peanut, roasted
1 tbsp sesame seed, toasted

• saute garlic, ginger, green onion
• add bamboo shoot, lotus root, mushroom, okra
• add mushroom stock, salt, palm sugar, enoki
• add yu choy
• remove from heat
• add peanut, sesame seed
• serve