Buddha's Delight

Serves 4


8 dried shiitake mushrooms

1 teaspoon ginger, minced

1/4 cup bamboo shoots

1/2 cup snow peas

1/4 cup water chestnuts

1 cup napa cabbage, shredded

1/2 pound extra firm tofu

1/4 cup rice noodles

1 tablespoon peanut oil

For the sauce:

1/2 cup vegetable broth

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

Method of Preparation:

1.Soak shiitake mushrooms in a bowl of warm water for 15 to 20 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water. Discard the stems from the mushrooms and thinly slice the mushroom caps.

2.Rinse the bamboo shoots and thinly slice them. Trim and discard the hard ends from the snow peas and cut the snow peas lengthwise. Drain and finely chop the water chestnuts.

3.In a large bowl, soak rice noodles in enough warm water to cover for 10 minutes to soften them. Drain, shake off the excess water, and set aside. Drain and rinse the tofu, then pat dry with paper towels. Slice the tofu into 1-inch cubes.

4.For the sauce: in a small bowl, stir together vegetable broth, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar. Set aside.

5.Heat a wok or deep 14-inch skillet over medium heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates on contact. Add peanut oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms, bamboo shoots, snow peas, water chestnuts, cabbage, and tofu. Add the sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the lid, add the rice noodles, re-cover the wok, and simmer for about another 5 minutes, or until the noodles are cooked.