This vegetarian dish is traditionally served on the first day of the Chinese New Year. The inclusion of red fermented bean curd lends a salty, pungent flavour to the sauce. This ingredient is available from Asian food shops.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (17 votes)


  • 50 g (2 cubes) red fermented bean curd (see Note) 
  • 1½ tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2½ tbsp salt-reduced soy sauce
  • 250 ml (1 cup) vegetable stock
  • 3 tsp cornflour
  • 8 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 25 g (½ cup) dried wood ear mushrooms (see Note)
  • 12 dried bean curd twists (see Note)
  • 40 g dried lily buds (see Note)
  • 2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 carrot, halved lengthwise, sliced on the diagonal
  • 200 g firm tofu, cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 150 g snow peas, trimmed
  • 60 g (⅓ cup) ginkgo nuts (see Note)
  • 100 g (1¼ cups) bean sprouts

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time 30 minutes

Drink 2010 Oakridge Pinot Noir 2010, $32.

Using a fork, mash fermented bean curd in a small bowl. Stir in oyster sauce, soy sauce, stock and cornflour until combined.

Soak shiitake mushrooms for 30 minutes and wood ear mushrooms, bean curd twists and lily buds for 20 minutes to soften. Discard shiitake stems and halve all mushrooms.

Heat oil in a wok over medium–high heat. Cook carrot and tofu for 2 minutes or until tofu is lightly browned. Add mushrooms, bean curd twists, lily buds, snowpeas and ginkgo nuts, and cook for 1 minute or until vegetables are tender. Stir in cornflour mixture and stir for a further 2 minutes or until sauce thickens. Stir in bean sprouts and serve.


• Red fermented bean curd, from Asian food shops, is also known as 'Chinese cheese’. The bean curd is preserved in red yeast rice and spices, and lends a salty, pungent flavour to sauces and marinades.
• Dried wood ear mushrooms, bean curd twists, lily buds and ginkgo nuts are from Asian food shops. Substitute a sheet of sliced bean curd or tempeh for the bean curd twists.


Photography by Brett Stevens.         


As seen in Feast magazine, Jan 2012, Issue 5.