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has no flavor of its own, but soaks in the flavors that it is cooked with. The delicate, crinkly fungus .... (more info)
has no flavor of its own, but soaks in the flavors that it is cooked with. The delicate, crinkly fungus is also valued for its crunchy texture. You'll often find cloud ear added to hot and sour soup, and it is also featured in stir-fried dishes.
Black Fungus or Cloud Ear or Wood Tree Fungus: (Auricularia polytricha) grows rapidly on a variety of woods like mango and kapok. The frilly, brownish soft clumps of translucent tissue resemble the delicate curls of the human ear or clouds.
Wood fungus is prized in Chinese cuisine for its crunchy texture and therefore added to dishes only for the last few minutes of cooking. Delightful in salads, soups and stir-fries, it has no flavour of its own, but absorbs the seasonings it is cooked with.
This is dried form there is a choice between the small variety which looks like flakes of greyish-black paper cut into strips. After soaking, these need to be sliced into strips. All dried fungi keep well if stored airtight. Preparation: Fungus must be soaked in warm water prior to use (15 minutes for small). It swells to many times its size. After soaking, the fungus is rinsed thoroughly and trimmed of the tough, gritty part where it was attached to the wood.
Medicinal uses: Black fungus has a reputation in Chinese herbal medicine for increasing the fluidity of the blood and improving circulation. It is given to patients who suffer from atherosclerosis. Western medicine is now investigating centuries-old claims made by Eastern sages and finding them surprisingly accurate.
Black Fungus Chicken seasoned with Ginger
Ingredients:2 skinless & boneless chicken breast (cut into strips)2 inches ginger (peeled and cut into thin strips)1 teaspoon oyster sauce2 teaspoon thick soy sauce1 teaspoon sugar1 teaspoon fermented soy beans1/4 cup pieces dried black fungus (pre-softened in warm water for 30 minutes2 tablespoons cooking oil1 red onion sliced2 tablespoons water2 stalk scallion (cut into 1 inch length)
Method:Heat up the cooking oil in a wok and stir fry the ginger strips until aromatic. Add in the onions and black fungus and do a few quick stirs. Add the fermented soy bean before adding the chicken strips into the wok. Stir-fry the chicken meat until the color changes, then add in oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sugar. Stir all ingredients together before adding in the water. Add the scallions, do a few quick stirs, dish out and serve hot with steamed rice.
Stir-Fry Black Fungus With Chinese Cabbage (Bok Choy)
Ingredients:100 grams black fungi (soaked in salt water for 1/2 hour - wash and drain)250 grams Chinese cabbages (bok choy) cut in strips5 grams green onions (chopped) 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 gram paprika 5 grams cornstarch (1 tablespoon water-cornstarch) Method:Heat the wok with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add paprika and chopped green onions, stir-fry for a few seconds until fragrant, then add Chinese cabbages. Stir-fry cabbages for 1 minute, then add black fungi. Stir-fry 3 minutes, then cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Add soy sauce and salt. Stir several times. Add water-cornstarch, stir quickly to thicken. Cook briefly to mix everything together. Serve hot.
Braised Bean Curd, Cloud Ear and Vegetables Serves 430 g/1 oz dried black fungus or 100 g fresh fungus6 dried shiitake mushrooms or 100 g fresh shiitake mushrooms250 g/8 oz pressed bean curd2 tablespoons peanut oil1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger2 tablespoons light soy sauce2 teaspoons sugar250 g/8 oz sliced green beans or asparagus150 g/5 oz matchstick strips of carrot1 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch) 1 teaspoon sesame oil
Soak dried fungus and dried mushrooms in separate bowls of hot water for 30 minutes. Save soaking water after squeezing excess water from mushrooms. Discard mushroom stems and cut caps into slices. Trim any tough gritty portions off cloud ear fungus and cut into bite-sized pieces. Cut bean curd into small dice, drop into a pan of boiling water and simmer for a few minutes until bean curd is heated through. Drain in a colander.
Heat a wok, pour in the oil and fry garlic and ginger for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and stir-fry for a few minutes, then add soy sauce, sugar and 1 cup of the mushroom soaking liquid. Stir, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add prepared vegetables, cover and simmer a further 5 minutes. Add fungus and cook for a minute or two longer. Stir in cornflour mixed with a tablespoon of cold water. When sauce boils and thickens, add the sesame oil, toss through and serve at once with steamed rice.