Serves 4

The original version of this divine vegetarian dish, traditionally enjoyed by Buddhists, is served by custom in Chinese homes on the first day of the Lunar New Year. I’ve created a fresh salad version for what is normally stir fried or braised.  

Dressing Ingredients

  • sesame soy dressing
  • 8 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 8 teaspoons vegetable, rice bran or grape-seed oil
  • 3 teaspoons raw sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely-grated ginger

Salad Ingredients

  • 100 g (3.5 oz) fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced to ½-cm (0.2-in) thickness
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) fresh wood ear fungus, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 250 g (8.8 oz) small tofu puffs, cut into half on the diagonal
  • 2 Lebanese or ½ a telegraph cucumber, halved, then sliced on the diagonal
  • 4 red radish, sliced thinly on a mandolin
  • 1 cup snow peas, stems and stringy bits removed, blanched for about 40 seconds in boiling water
  • 2 large red chillies, sliced thinly on the diagonal
  • 2 stalks spring onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
  • 1 cup fresh coriander leaves 
  • 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons crispy shallots


1. Make the dressing by placing all the ingredients in an empty jar. Tighten the lid and shake till well combined. I always make extra dressing to keep in the fridge. Simply double the recipe.  

2. Place the mushrooms, tofu puffs, cucumber, radish, snow peas, chillies, spring onions, fresh coriander and sesame seeds in a large mixing bowl. Pour over the dressing and toss to combine. Top with crispy shallots. Serve immediately.