Wesak day is the biggest Buddhist celebration of the year. In Malaysia it is a national holiday and Buddhists gather at dawn to meditate and offerings of flowers, candles are made to the temples. This holiday is celebrated differently in each country, to see first hand how the Malaysians do it, book a Johor Bahru hotel or take a trip to Kuala Lumpur.
A focus of Wesak day is to make an effort to bring happiness to others by lending a hand, donating money, clothes or cleaning your local temple. Often food is offered to the monks and the less fortunate as a way to bring joy to others. Being a day where the Buddhists 8 precepts are observed with most sincerity, people in Malaysia eat vegetarian for the day. So the food offered whether it's for donation or celebration of Wesak is vegetarian as well. Here is a common and popular recipe used on Wesak day:
Vegetarian Fried Meehoon
400 g Meehoon (rice vermicelli)
200 g bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
20 dried or fresh shitake mushrooms (if dried, soak in warm water until soft, remove stems and slice)
1 cup tofu sliced
200 g round cabbage, sliced thinly
100 g french beans, sliced into ½ inch
150 g grated carrots
2½ tablespoons light soy sauce
1tbsp chopped garlic
600 ml vegetable stock
1½ teaspoons salt
Pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
1. Soak vermicelli in water until soft, then drain
2. Heat oil in wok and lightly fry the tofu until slightly brown then remove and put aside for later
3. Heat oil in wok over high heat and add garlic, shredded mushrooms and carrots and stir-fry until fragrant.
4. Add sliced cabbage, french beans, bean sprouts, soy sauce and vegetable stock. Stir evenly then braise over low heat for 5 minutes.
5. Add vermicelli and tofu. Cook until water is absorbed.
6. Season with salt and pepper. Stir continuously to coat all the noodles and incorporate all the vegetables.
7. Use tong or a large pair of chopsticks to toss the vermicelli, so as not to risk breaking it up and making it mush.
8. Serve while hot
Try it at Wesak Day this year!
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