[CC cooks]: CNY 2013 – 羅漢齋 (‘luo hon zai’)

Luo Hon Zai
Will I make it on time for Sonia’s CNY event?? I haven’t been on the blogging scene much lately because I’ve been interstate with minimal internet access. I’ve got so much to do now! Catch up for class, follow-up on the work and orders we did interstate (it was a work trip), a whole lot of other stuff for uni, and of course catch up on my favourite blogs! haha.
Anyway, it’s a tradition for us, and for many I’m sure, to eat luo hon zai on the first day of CNY. My nan mostly makes it, but I was home to help her to make mantou so this year I decided I would cook it =) I couldn’t help sneaking bits and pieces while ‘tasting’ the dish..hehe. So without further ado, let’s see how I made it! 

(CC aka. Dumpling Love)

3-4 pieces dried beancurd (‘foo jook’)
12 red dates
1 20cmx15cm piece of kelp
Fatt Choi
10 dried oysters
Fresh mushrooms (you can use any mushroom, we used fresh button mushrooms this time; you can also use dried golden mushrooms that have been soaked beforehand)
Black fungus
Spring onion, chopped in 2-inch slices
1.5 tbsp oyster sauce
Light soy sauce, to taste
Sugar, to taste
Sesame oil
Sweet potato noodle, soaked until slightly softened and drained
**There is another Chinese herbal ingredient I forgot the name of, sorry!**

1. Soak dried oysters for about 1hr (I forgot how long I did it for). Drain and reserve soaking water for later use
2. Soak black fungus, fatt choi, dried beancurd and kelp for about 1hr
3. When soft, cut dried beancurd into smaller 2-inch pieces
4. Slice mushrooms
5. Heat some canola/vegetable oil in wok and add ginger and the stalks of the spring onion and toss until fragrant
6. Add dried oysters and toss until fragrant
7. Add dried beancurd, kelp and black fungus and toss
8. Add oyster sauce and 1tsp light soy sauce and toss until all ingredients are evenly coated and fragrant. You may need to add a bit more oil at this point.
9. Add oyster soaking water, and more water – about 1.5 cups in total
10. Let it simmer and add some dark soy sauce for colour
11. Taste and add sugar and soy sauce to taste
12. Add red dates and fatt choi and continue to simmer
13. Add the mushrooms and simmer until mushrooms are slightly softened.
14. Add sweet potato noodles and simmer until cooked
15. Do a final taste test, and if everything tastes good, add the green parts of the spring onion and a dash of sesame oil. Toss to combine and dish out. 

As usual, my recipes are all based on estimated quantities. There are 7 people in my family so please adjust the recipes to suit the number of people in your family, and their tastes. Once again, I apologise for forgetting the name of that one ingredient – if you can spot it in the photo, it’s the knotted thing in the bottom left of the container.For some reason, I think it’s ‘golden pine ____’ or something like that but chances of me being wrong are high! haha.

So many ingredients! 

Anyway, hope you guys enjoyed my recipe – it might be the same as the one you make, or maybe slightly different but what’s most important is that it’s full not only of ingredients, but also of our love and care when we prepare it for our family and relatives =)

Hope you all had a great CNY festival and wishing you all the best for the year ahead!

I’ll be submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013, hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover.

Thanks for reading! ^^


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