Chinese Food

Wood Ear Mushrooms and Black fungus

It sounds like a weird combo, but for centuries these shrooms have been used by Asian households to ward off colds and flu—and some say they can cure cancer. They’re also known as cordyceps fungi or tibetan caterpillar fungus. You’ll find them on shelves at the grocery store in dried bales that look like straw, though you can use fresh ones too. Here’s how to make it work in your kitchen./

The “wood ear mushroom vs black fungus” is a question that has been asked by many people. The difference between the two is that wood ear mushrooms are edible, while black fungus is not.

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10 June 2022 | Elaine | 6 Comments

Chinese cuisine often uses the wood ear mushroom as an ingredient. Our bodies benefit greatly from it. The texture, which may be either crunchy or soft, is quite popular. Since black fungus and wood ear mushrooms may often be used interchangeably, I combined the two magic ingredients in this article.

wood ear mushrooms vs black fungus|chinasichuanfood.com

What are black fungus and wood ear mushrooms?

A form of edible fungus cultivated in China that is well-known in Chinese cooking is the wood ear mushroom. People gave it the name “wood ear mushrooms” because it grows on trees and resembles ears. The majority of wood ear mushrooms are dark brown or black in color. Thus, black wood ear mushrooms have a common name. They may be picked in either the spring or the fall. They have a huge ear-like form and grow on elder trees.

Another comparable fungus with a thicker texture and could-like appearance is the cloud ear mushroom. But there are other ways to utilize them. Both forms are included in the Chinese name “.” They do, however, vary in a few ways. The wood ear mushroom often has a lighter hue and is bigger than black fungus. They vary in terms of surface characteristics as well. wood ear mushrooms vs black fungus|chinasichuanfood.com

What flavor does wood ear mushroom have?

You could doubt whether something is edible when you see it. Without a doubt, sure. Eating wood ear mushrooms is really good for our stomachs and digestive systems. In China, we think that wood ear mushrooms provide health benefits for our bodies, such as hypoglycemic, anti-tumor (anti-cancer), anticoagulant, and cholesterol-lowering properties.

Except for their crunchy texture, wood ear mushrooms have a very bland flavor. But when a savory sauce is added, it tastes fantastic. Additionally, the flavors of the two kinds of wood ear mushrooms vary. The wood ear mushroom is more delicate and crunchy. The texture of black fungus, which is significantly thicker, is smoother and less crunchy. The illustration below shows the differences. Black fungus is completely black and smooth in texture, whereas wood ear mushrooms are bigger and have lines on their surface.

wood ear mushrooms vs black fungus|chinasichuanfood.com

Where to Buy Black Fungus and Wood Ear Mushrooms

Wood ear mushrooms are sold in most Asian markets that provide dry items. You might also get it from internet retailers like Amazon.

Keeping wood ear mushrooms fresh

Plastic bags are often used to package dried wood ear mushrooms. It is not finicky about the storage environment. Once the box has been opened, place the items into an airtight bag or container to protect them from moisture. When properly kept, the storage period may last up to a year.

preparing wood ear mushrooms

Although very difficult to preserve, fresh wood ear mushrooms (also known as black fungus) are edible. Therefore, dried wood ear mushrooms are the most frequent shipment we get from the merchants. It is crucial to hydrate again before usage. The procedure for preparing wood ear mushrooms at home is as follows. 1. Rehydrate black fungus and wood ear mushrooms Prior to using them, wash them twice or three times and soak them in either warm or cold water for 15 or one hour. The ones that have been reheated must be consumed within a day. The body may be poisoned and harmed by long-soaked wood ear mushrooms or black fungi. So each time, create a smaller quantity. 2. Trim the mushrooms and clean them. The wood ear mushrooms need to be carefully rewashed after soaking, and the hard end section has to be removed. The presence of a lot of grit in certain low-quality wood ear mushrooms can further taint your meal. 3. Choose how to prepare them. We may continue cooking it after cleaning and rehydrating it. My preferred method of preparing wood ear mushrooms is to blanch them in water before dressing a salad with vinegar. It may also be shred and cooked in soups like hot and sour soup or your preferred hot pot broth, or it can be utilized in stir-fry meals like moo shu pork. Furthermore, steaming with protein is a fantastic technique to prepare wood ear mushrooms since protein might already include sufficient flavorings, like I did in this steamed chicken and wood ear mushroom dish.

wood ear mushrooms vs black fungus|chinasichuanfood.com

Recipes for Black Fungus and Wood Ear Mushrooms

Here are some recipes for black fungus and wood ear mushrooms. Making salad is the most typical approach to serve black fungus. However, there are many uses for wood ear mushrooms. The two kinds may be used in place of the first options as well. The easiest and most popular technique to prepare wood ear mushrooms is to blanch them and then combine them with a hot vinegar dressing. In hot and sour soup, wood ear mushrooms are used to give the dish a crunchy texture.

A traditional stir-fry of pork, egg, wood ear, and dried lilies is called Moo Shu Pork. Tofu skin stir fry—vegetarian stir fry with tofu skin and wood ear

Chinese vegetable stew with vegetables and wood ear mushrooms is called Buddha’s Delight. Let the wood ear mushroom soak up the liquid from the steamed chicken when serving it with wood ear mushrooms.

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The “who cannot eat black fungus” is a type of mushroom that grows on the deadwood of trees. It is known for being poisonous and should be avoided by those who are allergic to mushrooms or have a weakened immune system.

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