What to eat today? – 4 traditional Vietnamese vegetarian food recipes for this year’s Ghost Festival

A vegetarian diet helps to purify the body and it is also good for your health. Another Vu Lan festival (also known as Ghost Festival) is coming soon, so in this section of “What to eat today?”, bTaskee will recommend a delicious menu of traditional Vietnamese vegetarian food recipes.

Let’s see what our special Vu Lan menu is!

  • Steamed rice in lotus leaf 
  • Elephant-ear (Doc mung) Sour Soup
  • Vegetarian Szechuan Tofu
  • Dessert: Lotus Seed Sweet Soup with Longan

Steamed rice in lotus leaf – Traditional Vietnamese vegetarian food

Steamed rice in lotus leaf

This is one of the most popular vegetarian dishes in the Vu Lan season. This dish is easy to make but the taste is very delicious. Back in the days, this is considered the dish of the emperor because it requires the chef to have sophistication and meticulousness in each stage. To make this vegetarian dish, we need:


1   Rice (chewy, aromatic type)300 gram (1.5 – 2 bowls)
2   Fresh lotus seeds100 – 150 gram 
3   Green beans100 – 150 gram
4   Corn1 corn
5   Carrot1 carrot
6   Shiitake Mushrooms10 – 20 gram
7   Fresh lotus leaves 2 – 4 leaves
8   Green Onions3 – 4 onions
9   Seasonings (Salt, Black Pepper, Sugar, MSG,          fish sauce) Based on your preference

Cooking steps 

Step 1: Boil the lotus seeds & cook the rice

  • Take the lotus plumule out of the seeds. Wash and boil them with a sufficient amount of water. Then take them out and let them dry. You can reuse the hot water to cook the rice later for more fragrance. 
  • Clean the rice and pour just enough lotus water to cook the rice. You can also cook the rice and lotus seeds together to save time. After the rice is cooked, spread the rice on a surface to cool them down.

Step 2: Prepare other ingredients

  • Wash, peel, and dice the carrots.
  • Separate the corn kernels and clean well. 
  • Wash and dice the green beans 
  • Soak the shiitake into water and let it bloat up evenly. Clean and slice or dice them into small cubes
  • Wash the lotus leaves under running water and let them dry.
  • Wash the green onions and dice them small. 

Step 3: Saute the vegetables

  • Heat the cooking pan with some cooking oil. Add some minced onions in and stir-fry until they’re caramelized. 
  • Add the carrots, green beans, corn kernels, shiitake mushrooms in, and stir well. Season with some salt, pepper, and MSG to your liking (you don’t have to add more sugar since the vegetables are naturally sweet) 
  • When the vegetables have completely absorbed the flavors, add the boiled lotus seeds in and stir-fry until they are mixed well and cooked. After that, turn off the heat.

Step 4: Mix and steam the rice

  • Mix the rice and the stir-fried vegetables well.
  • Spread the lotus leaf into a large bowl. Put the rice inside the lotus leaf. Wrap the lotus leaf around the rice tightly and bring it to steam for about 15 minutes.

Step 5: Decorate and enjoy

  • Use a big plate to cover the bowl and turn it upside down to move the steamed rice into the plate
  • Cut the leaves with a knife to review the rice

You can enjoy this dish with some soy sauce, lemon, and chili to make it more flavorful. Having some vegetarian side dishes is a good choice as well!

Elephant-ear (Doc mung) Sour Soup – Traditional Vietnamese vegetarian food

Elephant-ear (Doc mung) Sour Soup

Whether it is cooked according to a vegetarian or a normal savory recipe, sour soup is always a favorite dish for most Vietnamese thanks to its unique and delightful taste. In order to cook a vegetarian sour soup for this Vu Lan season, do we need any special ingredients or secret tips? Let’s find out together!


1   Ripe tomatoes2 – 3 tomatoes
2   Tofu 2 pieces 
3   Okra100 – 150 gram
4   Fresh tamarind1 tamarind
5   Elephant-ear (Indian Taro)2 – 3 branches
6   Pineapple¼ pineapple
7   Chives, Cilantro10 – 20 gram
8   Chili1 – 2 chilies
9   Garlic3 – 5 cloves
10   Seasonings (Salt, Black Pepper, Sugar, vegetarian MSG) Based on your preference

Cooking steps 

Step 1: Prepare the ingredients

  • Wash every ingredient thoroughly with water
  • Pineapple: peel and cut into thin slices (about 0.5 cm)
  • Tomatoes: Cut each tomato into 4 parts (you can cut into 6 if you want a sour tomato broth).
  • Okra: cut off the head and end, then cut into slices (about 2 – 3 cm) 
  • Tofu: cut into small square cubes about 2 cm thick.
  • Elephant-ear: peel the skin and cut into slices (about 2cm). You can slice it diagonally to ripen the Elephant-ear and help it absorb more flavor.
  • Chilli: remove all the seeds and cut into slices about 1cm long, horizontally.
  • Garlic: crush and mince well 

Step 2: Cook the broth

  • Heat the pot, add cooking oil, and minced garlic. Stir-fry them to create a fragrant smell. Continue adding tomatoes and pineapples in. Next, season the dish with some sugar, salt, and stir well.
  • Add the tofu in but remember to stir lightly or you’ll break the tofus apart. 
  • When the vegetables are seasoned evenly, add water, fresh tamarind, and close the lid. Wait until the broth boils. 

Step 3: Cook the Elephant-ear soup

  • As the broth boils, mix the tamarind well and get rid of the peel. 
  • Add the okra and cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Next, add the elephant-ear vegetables in and simmer for about 2 minutes. Add the sliced chilies and taste the soup again. Season to your liking. 
  • Sprinkle some chives, cilantro in, and turn off the heat. You can also fry some garlic and add them directly to the pot to create a mesmerizing fragrance. The dish is now ready to serve. All you have to do is pour it in a bowl and bring it to the table.

Vegetarian Szechuan Tofu – Traditional Vietnamese vegetarian food

Vegetarian Szechuan Tofu


1   King oyster, shiitake or straw mushroom50 gram
2   Tofu3 – 4 pieces
3   Ketchup2 – 3 tablespoons
4   Vegetarian fish sauce1 tablespoon
5   Vegetarian Shacha sauce2 tablespoons
6   Green onions, shallots2 green onions, 2 shallots
7   Tapioca or Cornstarch5 gram
8   Chili1 – 2 chilies
9   Garlic3 – 5 cloves
10   Seasonings (Salt, Black Pepper, Sugar, vegetarian MSG) Based on your preference

Cooking steps 

Step 1: Prepare the ingredients.

  • Mushrooms: soak them in water to let the mushrooms bloom. Then slice them into small strands or dice them to make the mushroom cook quicker and absorb more flavors.
  • Tofu: cut into small square cubes about 2cm thick (before cutting, you can soak them in diluted salt water to make the tofu taste richer)
  • Onions, garlic: crush and chop them well
  • Chilli: remove all the seeds and slice them into slices about 1cm long, horizontally.

Step 2: Make the sauce

  • Add ketchup, 20ml of water, 2 tablespoons of shacha sauce, 1 tablespoon of vegetarian fish sauce, sugar and salt into a bowl. Mix well until the sauce is blended.

Step 3: Stir-fry the sauce and mushrooms

  • Heat the pan with 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. When the oil is hot, add minced garlic, shallots and fry them until caramelized. Add the mushrooms and stir well. 
  • Pour the sauce in and coat the mushrooms. Stir well and add chilies to give the sauce a spicy kick. 

Step 4: Stir-fry the Szechun tofu

  • Add the tofu into the pan and stir fry them with the sauce mixture. Stir carefully so that they are coated completely by the sauce but do it gently so you don’t break the tofus.
  • Add pepper and season to your taste. Add about 5 gram of tapioca or cornstarch mixed with 10 gram of water to thicken the sauce. Let it simmer.
  • Add the diced green onions and turn off the heat.
  • Pour the Szechun tofu on a plate and garnish with some fresh herbs.

Dessert: Lotus Seed Sweet Soup with Longan – Traditional Vietnamese vegetarian food

Dessert: Lotus Seed Sweet Soup with Longan


1  Fresh lotus seeds150 gram
2  Longan (choose juicy ones)1kg 
3   Rock sugar200 gram
4   Pandan leaves20 gram ( 2 – 3 leaves)

Cooking steps 

Step 1: 

  • Boil a liter of water and add the lotus seeds in. Tighten the pandan leaves together and put them in the pot.
  • Boil until the lotus seeds bloom, take them out to a bowl, and keep the lotus broth. Continue boiling the pot.

Step 2: 

  • Add rock sugar in and let it simmer until the sugar dissolves completely.
  • Pour the lotus seeds back in and boil for about 10 to 15 minutes. This is how we sweeten the seeds. After that, take them out and put them into a bowl. Let the broth cool down.

Step 3:

  • Peel the longan and get rid of the seeds (Use a toothpick to separate the flesh from the top and push the longan seeds up from the bottom to make it easier to separate the seeds.)
  • Stuff a lotus seed nicely inside each longan. 

Step 4:

  • Place the longan into small bowls, decorate with some lotus seeds on top. Pour the cool sugar water on and enjoy the sweet soup.

With just a few simple steps, we already have a meal with vegetarian dishes in Vu Lan season! These recipes are both delicious and rustic, originating from the ancient royal family. Try following this menu and cook this delightful meal for your family to enjoy. 

The full moon of Lunar July is coming soon. Try changing to traditional Vietnamese vegetarian food to purify your body as well as pray for your family’s blessings on this Vu Lan festival with bTaskee’s recommendations!

If you want to spend more time with your parents on this Vu Lan festival, maybe bTaskee’s grocery shopping service can help you take care of the ingredients needed for this cozy meal! 

Through our Grocery Assistant Service, bTaskers will go shopping for food and groceries at a reasonable cost based on your request. We will also be delivering them to your home in less than an hour.

Book our service right now on the bTaskee application or visit our website at for more information.

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