What happens in the Buddhist community when the 4th lunar month rolls around? It’s Buddha’s birthday of course! The holiday is celebrated throughout the month with a peak in mid-month, the 15th day. We all know that celebration and food go hand in hand. After the ceremonies, most temples offer a vegetarian meal for all to enjoy. So how do you cook a vegetarian meal to feed 500 people? Just gather a lot of volunteers who love to cook, and just cook, cook, cook.

Tofu from Northwest Tofu…of course. On an average week the temple purchases 40 pieces of tofu to cook for weekly worships. However, whenever a major holiday comes along the numbers increase to 300 pieces. The tofu must be drained and “pressed” before frying.

Frying….3 woks are better than 1

Vegetarian Mắm Chưng is lined up getting ready to be sliced into individual serving size pieces.

Ong Choy just washed and waiting to be stir-fried with preserved bean curd.

Freshly fried egg rolls waiting to be served.

Rice is moulded into individual servings (using a rice bowl) and wrapped to keep warm and moist.

Ingredients for making Chow Mien

Chow Mien Ready to be plated

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