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Braised Chinese Vegetables

The original recipe calls for no less than 18 different ingredients to represent the 18 Buddhas (Lo Han) . Later, this was reduced to eight, but nowadays anything between four and six items is regarded as quite sufficient to put in a wok.

ingredients

serves 4
10 g (1/4 oz) dried Chinese mushrooms
75 g (3 oz) straw mushrooms
75 g (3 oz) sliced bamboo shoots, drained
50 g (2 oz) mangetouts
1 packet tofu
175 g (6 oz) Chinese leaves
45 - 60 ml (3 - 4 tbsp) vegetable oil
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) light brown sugar
15 ml (1 tbsp) light soy sauce
few drops sesame oil

method

1. Soak the Chinese mushrooms in cold water for 20 - 25 minutes, then rinse and discard the hard stalks, if any. Cut the straw mushrooms in half lengthways, if they are large, keep them whole, if they are small. Rinse and drain the bamboo shoot slices. Top and tail the mangetouts. Cut the tofu into about 12 small pieces. Cut the Chinese leaves into small pieces about the same size as the mangetouts.

2. Harden the tofu pieces by placing them in a wok of boiling -water for about 2 minutes. Remove and drain.

3. Discard the water and heat the oil in the wok. a saucepan or a flameproof casserole. Lightly brown the tofu pieces on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm.

4. Stir-fry all the vegetables in the wok or pan for about 1 1/2 minutes, then add the tofu, salt, sugar and soy sauce. Continue stirring for 1 minute, then cover and braise for 2 - 3 minutes. .Sprinkle with sesame oil and serve.

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