Buddhas delight

Ching-He Huang cooks a classic vegetarian Chinese dish, adding romanesco cauliflower for a twist
By Ching-He Huang
Buddhas delight
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1/2 head Chinese leaf
  • 2-3 star anise
  • large bunch spring spring onions
  • handful chinese dried mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp vegetable bouillon, powder
  • 1 head romanesco cauliflower

For the stir-fry

  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 small carrot, sliced at an angle
  • handful mangetout
  • 1 small handful marinated tofu
  • 1 small handful baby sweetcorn, sliced at an angle
  • 1 handful fresh shiitake mushroom, sliced
  • 1 handful of romanesco cauliflower
  • 1 small handful bean sprouts
  • 100 ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce, or mushroom sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 large spring onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp cornflour, blended with 1 tbsp cold water

To serve

  • steamed jasmine rice

Tips and Suggestions

The vegetable broth can be served as a soup or used to cook the rice in place of water.


1. For the cauliflower: bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the Chinese leaf, star anise, spring onions, dried mushrooms, vegetable bouillon and a pinch of ground white pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

2. Add the cauliflower to the pan, topping up with more water to cover if necessary. Blanch for 2-3 minutes, then remove from the stock and cut away about a handful of florets to reserve for the stir-fry. Set the rest of the cauliflower aside.

3. For the stir-fry: heat a wok over high heat and add the groundnut oil. Add the carrot, mangetout, marinated tofu, baby sweetcorn, fresh shiitake mushrooms and romanesco cauliflower florets and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.

4. Add the beansprouts to the wok, then add the vegetable stock, soy sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce and sesame oil. Cook until the sauce bubbles, then stir in the cornflour paste and cook until the sauce thickens.

5. Meanwhile, return the poaching stock to a simmer and place the cauliflower head back in to heat through. Drain well and place into the centre of a large serving plate.

6. Spoon the stir-fry around the cauliflower on the plate and serve with steamed rice.

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