Buddha’s Delight

Categories: Kidney Qi Vacuity, Spleen Qi Vacuity

Lor Horn Jai
By Angela Assad

½ cup fresh or canned ginkgo nuts
2 cups water

For the sauce
¼ cup Vegetable Stock
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 ¼ teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Pinch freshly ground white pepper


3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup julienned lotus root in 2-by- ½ -inch pieces
½ cup julienned carrot in 2-by ½ – inch pieces
¼ cup julienned bamboo shoot in 2-by ½ -inch pieces
2 water chestnuts, julienned ( ¼ cup)
½ cup Chinese celery cut in 2-inch pieces
1/3 cup snow peas cut in ½ -inch pieces, strings removed
5 Chinese black mushrooms (1/3 cup), soaked in hot water for 45 minutes, squeezed dry, stems removed, and julienned
30 dried tiger lily buds, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, squeezed dry, hard ends removed, and cut in half
4 slices dried bean curd, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes and julienned
Very light 1-inch hair seaweed, torn from a bundle, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, washed, and drained
3 tablespoons Vegetable Stock

1. To prepare fresh ginkgo nuts, crack shells, remove the nuts, and boil in the water for 20 minutes. Remove from the pot and allow to cool. Remove the skins and interior shoots and reserve. Or use canned nuts.

2. Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and reserve.

3. Heat a wok over high heat for 45 seconds. Add the peanut oil and coat the wok with it using a spatula. When a wisp of white smoke appears, add the ginger and salt and stir briefly. Add the lotus root and stir for 30 seconds. Add the carrot and stir briefly. Add the bamboo shoot and stir briefly. Add the water chestnuts and stir briefly. Add the celery and stir briefly. Add the snow peas and stir briefly. Add the mushrooms and stir briefly. Add the tiger lily buds and stir briefly. Add the bean curd and stir briefly. Add the hair seaweed and stir to mix well. Add the 2 tablespoons of the stock and stir well. Add the reserved ginkgo nuts and stir well.

4. Let all the vegetables cook together for 5 minutes, stirring. It may be necessary to add the remaining tablespoon of stock during this period if the mixture dries. Make a well in the center of the mixture, stir the sauce, pour in, and mix well. When the sauce bubbles and darkens, the dish is done. Turn off the heat, transfer the mixture to a heated platter, and serve.


Recipe copied from The Chinese Kitchen by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo

Ginkgo Nuts (Bai Guo)
• Sweet, bitter, astringent, neutral, slightly toxic
• KD, LU
• Treats phlegm-heat cough and wheezing, eliminates turbid damp vaginal discharge
• Good for pulmonary tuberculosis, tracheitis, coughs, frequent urination, asthma, seminal emissions

Sesame Oil
• Cool, sweet, detoxifies, lubricates dryness, promotes bowel movement, produces muscles
• Good for constipation due to dryness, ulcers, cracked skin, scabies and tinea

White Sugar
• Neutral, sweet, lubricates LU, produces fluids
• SP
• Good for dry coughs, thirst, stomachaches

White Pepper
• Hot, pungent, pushes down↔, warms the internal regions
• ST, LI
• Good for abdominal pain, upset stomach, vomiting clear water, diarrhea, food poisoning

Peanut Oil (Peanuts)
• Neutral, sweet, lubricates LU, considered good for stomachache
• SP, LU
• Good for dry coughs, upset stomach, beriberi, shortage of milk secretion after giving childbirth

Fresh Ginger (Sheng Jiang)
• Acrid, slightly warm
• LU, SP, ST
• Dispersing in nature, benefits the ST, alleviates nausea, stops coughing, transforms phlegm
• Good for common cold, vomiting, cough, asthma, diarrhea
• Induces perspiration, disperses cold and relieves vomiting

Lotus Root
• Neutral (cool), sweet, obstructive
• HT, SP, KD
• Used as a SP tonic, HT tonic, and KD tonic
• Quenches thirst, stops bleeding, promotes diuresis, clears heat, relieves irritability, strengthens ST, cools blood
• Also used as calmative
• Good for dreaminess, seminal emissions, chronic diarrhea, vaginal bleeding and discharge, difficult urination, vomiting blood, nosebleed, blood in stool or urine, hypertension, gastritis, colitis
*it is interesting to note that lotus was referred to in Greek legend as yielding a fruit which induced a state of dreamy and contented forgetfulness in those who ate it. But in Chinese herbal remedies, it is believed that lotus fruit may be eaten to relieve dreaminess.

• Neutral (to cool), sweet, (pungent), pushes down↔
• LU, SP (LV, HT)
• Used as a diuretic and digestive
• Clear heat, strengthen SP/HT, nourish LV and eyes, benefit LU, lubricate intestines, diuretic, drains damp, strengthens organs, relieves measles
• Good for chronic diarrhea, coughs, indigestion, difficulty when urinating, (poor vision, measles, constipation, dry skin, allergies, skin inflammation, cancer, general weakness, Qi and Xue xu)

Bamboo Shoots
• Cold, sweet, glossy
• LU, SP
• Good for measles, mucous discharge
• Strengthen ST, relieve food retention, resolve phlegm, promote diuresis, emulsifies grease, relieve alcohol intoxication and heat toxin, erupts skin rashes
• Good for diabetes, indigestion, ST full from greasy food, diarrhea, rectal prolapse, edema, dysentery, weight loss

Water Chestnuts
• Cold, sweet
• LU, ST
• Relieves fever and indigestion, promotes urination
• Good for diabetes, jaundice, urinary strains, pink eyes, sore throat, hypertension

Chinese Celery
• Neutral, sweet, bitter, glossy
• ST, LV
• Good for hypertension, dizziness and headaches, discharge of urine containing blood

Snow Peas
• Cold, sweet
• Strengthens MJ, relieves vomiting and belching, aids lactation, detoxifies, promotes diuresis, stops dysentery, quenches thirst
• Good for hypertension, diabetes and diarrhea

Chinese Black Mushroom (shitake)
• Neutral, sweet
• ST
• Good for prevention of rickets, anemia, measles, stomach and cervical cancers

Tiger Lily Buds (aka Golden Needles)
• In Chinese folk medicine, they are thought to help with insomnia and to help settle a cough

Bean Curd (Tofu)
• Sweet, cool
• SP, ST
• Strengthens SP/ST, lubricate dryness, promote body fluids, detoxifies
• Good for dysentery, diarrhea, intoxication, stomach bleeding, shortages of milk secretion after childbirth, anemia, irregular menstruation, diabetes, abdominal obstruction, tinea, whooping cough, lung TB, leucorrhea

Hair Seaweed
• Cold, salty
• Softens hardness, eliminates, mucus, promotes water passage, detoxifies, neutralizes radioactive material, promotes diuresis, clears heat, benefits the thyroid gland and lymphatic system, provides many minerals, cleanses colon
• Good for swollen lymph glands, goiters, cough, lung abscess with thick yellow mucus, edema, beriberi, fibrous tumors, nodules, lumps, cancer

*Also known as hair moss, black moss, and hair vegetable, this ingredient is served in a vegetarian dish during Chinese New Year. It grows in the Gobi dessert, nourished by mountain springs after heavy rainfalls. Its curative properties are thought to include cleansing the colon.

Overall Effects of Recipe:
Overall this recipe’s main ingredients nourishes and cools SP/ST strengthens the whole body. It also nourishing Lungs and to some degree KD. It is mostly cooling in properties, as Buddhist traditionally have a tendency to not want to eat warming foods (so as not to stir desires). The act of stir frying will warm the ingredients enough to be considered neutral and spices can be added to change the nature to more warming.