This is one dish that is especially rife with Buddhist symbolism. It originally used 18 different ingredients, representing each one of the sage’s disciples. The noble name for it is 18 Lohan, this being the Sanskrit name of the Buddha. Most families in China will cook a modified version of this dish, as it is very time-consuming to stir up 18 ingredients; however, you should have no fewer than half a dozen if the food is going to taste any good. This is a truly glorious panful, a quintessential vegetarian dish that would surely please the Lord Buddha himself. It is traditionally prepared during the Lunar New Year and on festive occasions. It also keeps and freezes well.