Friday, 3 October 2014

Buddhist Casserole

Take one Buddhist & slice them lengthways Julienne style. Oh no, sorry that’s a different recipe. This is an adaptation of a famous Buddhist dish. The original recipe calls for many obscure dried Chinese vegetables but this version uses vegetables which are readily available. You can add coriander which some Buddhists do not eat.

A deeply satisfying dish, this casserole is suitable for summer or winter, and can be varied with seasonal or home grown vegetables. It can be cooked in a traditional Chinese clay pot or a good small cast iron pot. Take care not to overcook the vegetables. The casserole may be made in advance & reheated very slowly (Remember the adage: “a boiled soup is a spoiled soup”). It is delicious with rice, noodles or fresh bread.


225g (8oz) fresh beancurd
100g (4oz) broccoli
100g (4oz) Chinese leaves or white cabbage
100g (4oz) small courgettes
100g (4oz) red pepper (about 1)
100g (4oz) mangetout. washed and trimmed
450ml (15 fl oz) groundnut or vegetable oil
600ml (1 pint) Chicken Stock or water (could try miso)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons whole yellow bean sauce
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
Salt & black pepper
1 tablespoons sesame oil

Cut the beancurd into 2.5cm (1 in) cubes and drain them on kitchen paper. Next prepare all the vegetables. Separate the broccoli heads and break them into small florets. Peel and slice the broccoli stems. Cut the Chinese leaves or cabbage into 2.5cm (1 in) hunks. Slice the courgettes into rounds 0.5cm (1/4 in) thick, or roll-cut them. Thinly slice the pepper. Leave the mangetout whole, but trim the ends.Heat a wok over a high heat until it is very hot and add the oil. Alternatively heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer. When the oil is very hot and slightly smoking, deep-fry the beancurd cubes in 2 batches. Drain each cooked batch on kitchen paper. Put the chicken stock or water, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and whole yellow bean sauce into a large, cast-iron enamel pot or Chinese clay pot and bring it to the boil. Next add the broccoli and stir in the Chinese leaves or cabbage. Boil for 2 minutes. Add the courgettes and pepper and cook for another 2 minutes. Finally add the mangetout and the beancurd cubes. Cook for l minute more, then stir in the fresh coriander, teaspoon of salt and your own preference of black pepper. Finally stir in the sesame oil and the dish is ready to serve. To reheat, bring to a simmer on a very low heat until all the vegetables are hot.

“There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.” 
~ Gautama Buddha ~

By North Utsire

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