Buddha Jumps Over the Wall, or Fo Tiao Qiang, is a variety of shark fin soup in Cantonese and Fujian cuisine. Though preparing this dish is time consuming, it is known for its rich taste, usage of various high-quality ingredients and special manner of cooking.
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The origin of this dish takes you back to a story about a scholar who was traveling by foot during the Qing Dynasty. While he travelled with his friends, the scholar preserved all his food for the journey in a clay jar. One night, he was standing over an open fire, heating his food, when the aroma spread over to a nearby Buddhist monastery where monks were meditating. Although monks are not allowed to eat meat, one of the monks who was tempted by the aroma leaped over the wall to where the scholars gathered for cooking. Such was the allure of this dish.
The stew consists of many ingredients and requires two full days to prepare. A typical recipe would include quail eggs, bamboo shoots, scallops, chicken, ginseng, mushrooms, and taro. On an average this dish is made from thirty main ingredients and twelve condiments.
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