Ingredient Name: Wood Ear. Also called Black Fungus.
Ingredient Name in Chinese: 木耳 (Mùěr)
- Wood Ear is a brown edible mushroom fungus with an ear-like shape that grows on dead and living wood.
- They are flavorless like Snow Fungus, with an al dente jelly-like texture.
- They are used as food and medicinal purposes for many generations by the Chinese.
- Sold in both dried and fresh versions.
- Wood Ear is often confused by many with Cloud Ear (雲耳) due to the similar color and shape. But they are two different kinds of fungus. Wood ear is a lot smaller in size and much thinner compared to Cloud Ear. Dried Wood Ear is also brown on both sides while dried Cloud Ear is white on one side and brown on the other.
Wood Ear Uses and Health Benefits:
- Low in calories but rich in protein. Wood Ear is also a good source of calcium, phosphorus, and iron.
- Known in Chinese medicine to improve blood circulation.
- See a list of soup recipes using wood ear.
- If using fresh wood ear, rinse them thoroughly before cooking. They can also be cut to smaller pieces before cooking.
- If using the dried version, soak in cool water for 15 – 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly before cooking.
- Store un-used portions in a cool and dry location.
Where to buy:
- Fresh and dried wood ear are available in Asian supermarkets.
- Dried versions are also available online.
How do you use your Wood Ear? Leave a comment below to share your ideas!
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Resources: Fresh mushroom farm