Saturday, October 16, 2010

Vegetarian Cooking at Fo Guang Shan Monastery

I had driven past the imposing Fo Guang Shan Monastery, just past I-Shou International School, and felt compelled to visit. I was excited to see that the Buddhist Monastery was offering vegetarian cooking classes in English and so joined up. Miao Ming, a Buddhist Monk, originally from Canada, has been living at the monastery for the past five years. She thought it was about time that the Kaohsiung community of ex-pats saw what the Fo Guang Shan had to offer. 

Ms. Wu is the awesome cooking instructor, and a warm hearted nun, our translator. 

During this particular class we made; 
  1. Deep-fried Seasoned Beans
  2. Celery and Dry Bean Curd
  3. Bamboo with Oyster Sauce
  4. Stir-fried Asparagus with Gingo
  5. Stir-fried Noodles
  6. Light Cucumber Soup

Well, Ms. Wu made the soup for us. And we ate it.

First, we learn about all the different ingredients; how to clean them and prepare them for each dish.

Ms. Wu cooks each dish, demonstrating for us. She cooks all of the dishes and we carefully look over each finished dish, admiring the colors and textures.

 Then it is over to us!
A little bit of salt...
Lightly frying the asparagus, gingo and lilly bulbs

Frying the beans

Who said too many cooks spoil the broth? The more the merrier we say!

From back clockwise: Bamboo with Oyster Sauce, Stir-fried Asparagus with Gingo, Celery and Dy Bean Curd

Deep Fried Beans and Stir Fried Noodles
When all the dishes have been cooked, we all head down to the dining room to enjoy our creations. 
I have learnt to cook lilly bulbs and gingo; wash, prepare and cook bamboo; cook and learn about 'veggie lamb' which is made from mushroom stalks; eat a delicious warm cucumber soup and more.

Highly delicious and recommended. 


  1. Hi,

    My name is Diana. I enjoyed reading your blog. Do you still organised tour to Fo-Guang Shan?
    When you will there, how do you manage to get the people there to teach you how to cook vegetarian dishes.

    1. Hello Diana,
      Thank you for your kind comments.
      I no longer live in Kaohsiung, so I am uncertain as to whether the cooking classes still continue. However, I do know that the Canadian nun who organised the class has since moved on from Fo Guan Shan.
      I have messaged a friend who is still there to see if she can provide any answers.

  2. HI Kylie,

    My name is Patty and I'm wondering if you or your friend or someone I can contact directly on monastery cooking lessons or vegan culinary. After searching thru many web pages and reading lots of blog, I have enjoyed yours the best and all the adventures you and your boyfriend have done.
    I can understand mandarin but cannot read... :(
    I look forward to hear from you or any advise will be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Patty,

      I am not sure if the cooking classes still go ahead. The nun who organised the cooking classes at Fo Guan Shan has since moved on.
      You could contact FGS using the website above.

      For events and classes you could try

      Also, connect with others in Kaohsiung at
      This would be my best bet.

      I hope this is helpful,


  3. Hi Kylie, I just moved to Taiwan this month (I am a vegetarian interested in Buddhism and have researched Zen temple cuisine in Japan); do you still have a point of contact at Fo Guang Shan? I will be visiting June 19-21 and would LOVE to work in a cooking class (Chinese would be okay if there is someone to interpret). AM also trying to find a Taiwanese Buddhist vegetarian cookbook in English if you know of any!


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