Flavors of Culture-Sharon Wong

Sharon’s Nut-Free Jai

  • Author: Sharon Wong
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Traditionally, Jai is made with peanuts, chestnuts and ginko nuts, topped with a garnish of toasted sesame seeds. Sharon’s version is free from: tree nuts, peanuts, sesame, fish and egg. 


Reprinted with Sharon’s permission from her blog, Nut Free Wok. Find more tips on making Jai here.



  • 1 cup bean curd sticks dried (1 handful, 2 oz)
  • ½ cup lily flower buds dried (0.5 ounce)
  • ¼ cup lotus seeds dried (1.3 o5)
  • 12 oysters dried (2 oz)
  • 12 shitake mushrooms dried (2 ounces)
  • 1 can baby corn 14 oz, rinse
  • ½ cup red dates dried (2 ounces)
  • 2 large carrots 3 small, diagonally sliced
  • 6 oz deep fried tofu puffs
  • 12 deep fried gluten balls 50 grams
  • 12 ounces Napa cabbage 1 small or 1/2 medium head, sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 bundles mung bean vermicelli dried
  • 8 oz sugar snap peas or snow peas
  • 3/4 cup black moss 1 ounce
  • 1/2 cup rice wine for rinsing
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or other stir fry oil
  • 1 inch ginger peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups mushroom soaking water or broth or plain water
  • 4 cups broth vegetable or chicken
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce


Wash, soak & preparation:

Parboiling & cooking:


  1. Kortney (Zestfull Co-Founder) also made Sharon’s recipe to tap into her Chinese heritage. She had a hard time sourcing some of the ingredients (either not available or not safe for her allergies) but felt the dish complete with the alternatives she used. 
  2. If you cannot find dried shitake, use another form of dried mushroom. The mushroom soaking water adds a flavour that is hard to replicate. 
  3. Sharon’s recipe contains shellfish and soy; two of Kortney’s allergens. To make Jai top 14 free, Kortney used the following alternatives:
  • Bamboo shoots instead of the bean curd sticks
  • Button mushrooms instead of tofu and oysters
  • Dried prunes instead of dates
  • Rice vermicelli instead of mung bean noodles
  • Bok choy as she could not find napa cabbage and is allergic to snap peas (added a nice green touch)
  • Coconut aminos to add flavour at the end instead of soy sauce and oyster sauce
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Keywords: Chinese food, Jai, Stir Fry, Nut-free chinese food, Chinese Jai recipe

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