Buddha jumps over wall (Fo Tiao Chiang) recipe

For many years, we have heard of this famous Chinese word “Fo Tiao Chiang” which means “Buddha jumps over the Wall”.   Was this dish so sinful for Buddha that he had to jump over the wall to escape?

Buddha Jumps Over the Wall, or fo tiao qiang, is a complex dish making use of many ingredients, including shark fin, sea cucumber, abalone, and Shaoxing wine. It is a kind of  Cantonese and Fujian cuisine. Since its creation during the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1912), the dish has been regarded as a Chinese delicacy known for its rich taste,usage of various high-quality ingredients and special manner of cooking. The dish’s name is an allusion to the dish’s ability to entice the vegetarian monks from their temples to partake in the meat-based dish.

Buddha jumps over wall recipe is high in protein and calcium. And it is perhaps the ultimate feast… It requires an enormous amount of effort, is best made over a period of two days, and can contain as many as thirty different ingredients.

Buddha jumps over wall recipe (Fo Tiao Qiang)

Origin of Buddha jumps over wall recipe:

There are many stories on the origin of the dish. Among them, a common story is explained by a local story. A Fuzhou scholar of the Qing Dynasty went picnicking with friends in the suburbs and he put all the ham,chicken, etc. he had with him in a wine jar which he heated over charcoal fire before eating, The attractive smell of the food spread in the air all the way to a nearby temple. It was so inviting that the monks,who were supposed to be vegetarians,jumped over the temple wall and partook heartily of the scholar’s picnic. One of the party on this occasion wrote a poem in praise of the dish, of which a line reads: “Even Buddha himself would jump the wall to come over.” Hence the name of the dish.

Now prepare yourself for a war in your own kitchen, it takes diligence and persistent will to accomplish this Glorious Dish…

Ingredients for Buddha jumps over wall recipe: Serves 12

First Day you will need these Ingredients

¼ lb shark’s fin
4 whole abalone
2 tablespoons white vinegar
3 scallions, white parts only
¼ cup Shao-Hsing wine or dry sherry
2 cup Superior Stock
One ½-inch-thick slice fresh ginger, lightly smashed
2 oz peanut oil or lard
2 tablespoons Shao-Hsing wine or dry sherry
4 dry scallops, each 1 inch in diameter
2 tablespoons Shao-Hsing wine or dry sherry, for scallops
12 quail eggs
3 small fresh bamboo shoots (1½ lbs)
1 quart cold water, for bamboo shoots
One 4-lb chicken
¼ cup salt
One 4-lb duck
¼ cup salt
1½ lbs pork feet (3 halves), each half cut into 4 pieces by butcher
2 lbs lamb fillet
2½ lbs pork (fresh ham)
1 lb Smithfield ham
2 quarts cold water, for Smithfield ham
12 Chinese black mushrooms

Second Day you will need these Ingredients

3½ cups peanut oil
2½ lbs Chinese turnips, peeled, both ends discarded, cut into 4 pieces lengthwise, then into 1-inch pieces
1 lb carrots (3 large), peeled, cut into 1-inch sections
4 3-inch-long cinnamon sticks
4 pieces eight-star anise
6 scallions, trimmed and cut into thirds
5 cups Shao-Hsing wine or dry sherry
7 cups Chicken Stock
6 ozs rock sugar (rock candy)
½ cup plus 3 tablespoons double dark soy sauce, regular dark soy sauce, or mushroom soy sauce
1 cup Superior Stock or Chicken Stock
4 bamboo leaves, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, until softened, and washed
1 large lotus leaf, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes until softened, washed, and dried

How to cook Buddha jumps over wall (Fo Tiao Chiang) recipe

First Day

1. First, to prepare the shark’s fin, the night before, soak the fins in a bowl of water with the white vinegar for at least 4-6 hours, rinse, and drain.

2. Place the soaked shark’s fins in a steamproof dish with the stock, wine, lard, ginger and scallions and steam for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, discard the ginger and scallions, strain off and discard the liquid, and reserve overnight, refrigerated.

3. To prepare the abalone, the night before (at the same time you soak the shark’s fins), wash the abalone, place in a pot with 3 quarts water, bring to a boil over medium heat, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Turn off the heat and allow to rest in the liquid in the pot overnight. Place the abalone in a steamproof dish with the stock and wine and steam for 1½ to 2 hours, until softened.

5. Discard the liquid and reserve the abalone overnight, refrigerated.

6. To prepare the scallops, place the scallops and wine in a steamproof dish and steam for 20 minutes, until softened.

7. Turn off the heat, discard the liquid, and reserve the scallops overnight, refrigerated.

8. To prepare the quail eggs, cook them in boiling water for about 7 minutes, until hard-boiled.

9. Remove from the pot and cool. Shell and reserve overnight, refrigerated.

10. Remove from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature on Day 2.

11. To prepare the bamboo shoots, remove all outer husks down to the tender, cream-white core.

12. Place the whole shoots in a pot with the water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. If very tender, simmer for 7 minutes; if a bit tough, simmer for 20 minutes.

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