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Vegetarian Delight

(recipe, Ken Hom)


Chef and cooking instructor Ken Hom offers this slightly simplified recipe for the traditional Lunar New Year dish known as jai.


  1. 6 eggs, beaten
  2. 1 tsp. salt
  3. 4 tsp. sesame oil
  4. 1 oz. Chinese dried black mushrooms, re-hydrated
  5. ½ oz. cloud ears, re-hydrated
  6. 2 oz. bean-thread noodles
  7. 4 oz. pressed seasoned bean curd, re-hydrated
  8. 8 oz. cucumber
  9. 3 Tbsp. peanut oil
  10. 1 small onion, sliced
  11. 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
  12. 2 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic
  13. 3 Tbsp. light soy sauce
  14. 2 Tbsp. whole-bean sauce
  15. 3 Tbsp. Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  16. 1 Tbsp. hoisin sauce


  1. In a small bowl, combine the egg, salt, and 2 tsp. sesame oil, then set aside.
  2. Remove and discard the mushroom stems and finely shred the caps into thin strips.
  3. Remove and discard any hard stems from the cloud ears and set aside.
  4. Soak the bean-thread noodles in warm water for 15 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
  5. Cut the pressed bean curd into thin strips.
  6. Peel and seed the cucumber, and cut it into thin strips.
  7. Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat until it is hot. Add 1½ Tbsp. of the peanut oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, turn the heat down to moderate. Add the egg mixture and stir-fry for a few minutes or until the egg has barely scrambled. Remove the egg from the wok and drain on paper towels.
  8. Wipe the wok clean and reheat it. When it is hot, add the remaining 1½ Tbsp. of oil. When it is very hot and slightly smoking, quickly add the onion, ginger, and garlic, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Then add the mushrooms, cloud ears, pressed bean curd, bean-thread noodles, and cucumbers, and stir-fry for 2 more minutes.
  9. Add the soy sauce, bean sauce, Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry, hoisin sauce and remaining sesame oil, and continue to stir-fry for 3 minutes. Finally, add the cooked eggs and stir-fry for 1 minute. Turn onto a serving platter.