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Lunar New Year Bento🧧

Last Friday was the first day of lunar calendar for 2021, for the whole weekend I was in holiday mode, which meant eating lots of snacks and hanging out with friends.

Traditionally, you expect lots of relatives and friends to visit during New Year, so every household would prepare a red snack box filled with goodies to treat their guests.

Today I want to share a classic Shanghai style New Year dish, 四喜烤麩 four happiness wheat gluten(there are four ingredients). You can find wheat gluten in Asian grocery stores as kaofu(烤麩), or mian jin(麵筋).

Four Happiness Wheat Gluten

Yield: 6-8 bento

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes


  • 6 dried shiitake mushroom
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 10oz wheat gluten, sliced into 0.5 inch thick
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrot
  • 1/3 cup edamame
  • 1/2 cup wood ear
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mirin


  1. In a bowl, soak dried shiitake mushrooms in warm water.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, bring 4 cups of water to boil. Boil wheat gluten slices for 30 seconds and take them out. After cooled down, drain the excess water.
  3. Heat a pan with oil. Sauté both sides of the wheat gluten for 1-2minutes or till golden brown. Set aside.
  4. In the same pan, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to sauté sliced carrot till soft.
  5. Add the soaked mushrooms along with the water, edamame, wood ear, wheat gluten, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, mirin. Cover and boil for 3-5 minutes with medium to low heat.

Enjoy & Happy New Year!

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