Bang the Gong Gong hay fat choy — that’s happy Chinese New Year in Mandarin (and about the extent of my Mandarin, too).We now enter the Year of the Horse. The horse is supposed to be a happy, easy-going sign but experts in the field say the year may be a dodgy one. I am not an expert in the field, but an up-and-down year you can probably count on. So nourish yourself.
Here’s a recipe from my book Feeding the Hungry Ghost — a simplified version of Buddha’s Delight, the traditional mild and meatless monk’s stew that brings good health and good fortune. Its selling point isn’t spice, but a symphony of textures. It delighted an enlightened guy like Buddha. May it work for you, too.
Hungry Ghost Mood Modifier
- 2 teaspoons canola or peanut oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger about a thumb-sized piece, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 2 scallions chopped thin
- 1 carrot cut into matchsticks
- 1 rib celery chopped
- 1 red pepper cut into matchsticks
- 1 cup cabbage shredded
- 4 ounces firm tofu 1/4th of a 1-pound package, cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Asian rice vinegar*
- 1 teaspoon agave or honey
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil*
- 1 8- ounce package shirataki * rinsed well and drained
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger and scallions, and stir for about 2 minutes, or until vegetables soften.Add carrots, celery and red pepper and continue cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add cabbage and tofu, stirring occasionally to prevent vegetables and tofu from sticking.
- In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey or agave and sesame oil until blended. Pour over vegetables and tofu and stir gently.
- Add shirataki and toss. Cook for another few minutes, until the sauce is mostly absorbed and the stir-fry is heated through.