It was a delayed action that it took me this long to make this traditional Chinese vegetarian dish.  It is traditional vegetarian dish for Chinese New Year Day 1.  I really wanted to make this dish back then, but I got so tied up at work and stuff.  Mom used to make this on Chinese New Year Day 1. According to her family tradition, we should be vegetarian on that day to show some kindness of not killing any living thing for at least one day a year.  So she would make a huge amount of this dish and we used to have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Ya, you can imagine how boring that day would be.  Even though I respected my mom’s tradition, it was really hard for a meat lover to have 0 meat for the entire day.  So after I complained a few times, she only forced us to be vegetarian for breakfast and lunch. 


Dried Gold Needle - high fiber edible flowers
Dried Gold Needle - high fiber edible flowers
Chinese Hair Vegetable
Chinese Hair Vegetable
Fried Tofu
Fried Tofu
Tofu Skin Rolls
Tofu Skin Rolls
Putting all the vegetables in a pot
Putting all the vegetables in a pot
Chinese Vegetarian Dish with Hair Vegetable
Chinese Vegetarian Dish with Hair Vegetable

Oh BTW, you may not have seen or heard a lot of these ingredients here. That’s ok, that means there are more new stuff for you to try out. Awesome 🙂


Note I don’t really measure these. Just get a handful of each ingredient.

  • Dried Gold Needles, a handful – these are edible, high fiber flowers.  They have a subtle sweet taste. 
  • Hair Vegetable (Fat Choi in Cantonese) or Black Hair Moss, a small handful – these are wild moss grow in the Mogolian dessert.  So, it take a lot of manpower to harvest these, ie, expensive stuff.
  • Tofu skin roll, about 3 long rolls – It’s very thin tofu product rolled into a long roll. 
  • Wood ear mushroom, a small handful – OOPS, I forgot to add them. They are black fungus. I’m sure you’ve tried them before. They are used in hot and sour soup.
  • Fried tofu, 1 pack
  • Cellophane noodles, a handful
  • Dried shaiitake mushrooms, 8-10
  • Chinese Bok Choy, 3 or 4 leaves
  • Water, 4 cups
  • Oyster sauce, 2 Tbsp
  • Soy sauce, 1 tsp
  • Fish sauce, 1 tsp
  • Chinese cooking wine, 1 Tbsp
  • Sugar, 1 Tbsp
  • Salt, a dash


  1. Soak dried shaiitake mushroom in hot water for 20 mins or so.  Cut them in halves if they are too big. Put them aside.
  2. Soak the hair vegetable in water for a few minutes.  It will expand and get soft.  Drain well and put it aside.
  3. Soak the dried gold needle flowers in water for a few minutes.  Drain well and put them aside.
  4. Soak cellophane noodles in water for 10 minutes or so. Drain well and put them aside.
  5. Soak wood ear in warm water for 10 minutes or so.  Drain well.  Just coarsely cut them and put them aside.
  6. Cut fried tofu into halves. Put them aside.
  7. Break tofu skin rolls with your hand into long pieces of about 3 inches each.  Put them aside.
  8. Cut Chinese Bok Choy into pieces.
  9. Use a big pot, put dried shiitake mushrooms, dried gold needle flowers, tofu skin rolls, fried tofu, wood ear mushrooms, water, oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, chinese cooking wine into the pot.  Ya, basically you can put everything except the cellophane noodles and bok choy and salt.
  10. User medium heat.  Let it cook for 30 minutes or so. The dried shiitake mushrooms need a longer time to cook in order to be soft and tender.
  11. There should be some water in the pot, not completely dry.  Add more water if needed.  Then add the cellophane noodles, let them cook for another 15 minutes or so. 
  12. Taste it and see if you need to add salt, or more oyster sauce. 
  13. Finally, add Bok Choy and let it cook for 3 more minutes. The sauce should be almost dried up.  See picture of the dish.

NOTE: If you are a real vegetarian, skip the oyster sauce, fish sauce and use soy sauce, salt, sugar and vegetable broth instead.

One thought on “Chinese Vegetarian Dish With Fat Choi (Hair Vegetable)”

  1. For Vegetarians and Vegans, “Oyster Sauce” made with mushrooms is a good substitute for Oyster Sauce. The flavor is very similar. Available in most Chinese grocers. I hope more Vegetarian grocers will make them available. An essential part of Chinese Vegetarian cooking. Wishing all Health and Joy in the year of the Rabbit.

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