Black Fungus (Cloud Ear), Dried
Cloud ear fungus / Black Chinese fungus / Tree ear fungus
Some mushrooms are like cheese: they smell odious on the outside and the stench can cause the wallpaper to peel. But the flavor? The flavor is mild, sophisticated, and just a teensy bit addictive. Meet the black fungus, or cloud ear mushroom: the stinky cheese of the mushroom kingdom.
The smell is that of dark soy sauce and reduced Chinese black vinegar: dark and pungent. It’s a scent that might make you eager to take deep breaths of it or toss the whole bag out the window. However, once reconstituted in water the smell dissipates and all that’s left is the innocent mushroom. Bite into one and enjoy the soft surface, meaty texture and toothsome crunch. The flavor is not at all like the smell. Think a weak black tea, bitter and sweet.
The dried cloud ear is mellower than the wood ear mushroom (black fungus) and has a black and grey appearance as opposed to the wood ear’s black and tan. Dried black fungus mushroom is useful in many classic Chinese and Japanese soups and stir-fries. To mix it up, reconstitute it in water and mince it, add the mushroom and the broth to a Thanksgiving cornbread and sausage stuffing to give it a bit more textural intrigue and Asian flavor.
|Ingredients||Dried Black Fungus Mushrooms.|
|Recommended Applications||Black Fungus, having a firm yet soft texture, makes them great when applied to recipes where a textural contrast is required. Also fantastic when paired with stir-fry, stuffing, soups, or sauces.|
|Basic Preparation||One ounce of dry mushroom reconstitutes into 3-4 ounces of mushrooms. To do so, take the needed amount and place in to a bowl of hot water. Allow the mushrooms to soak for 20 or 30 minutes. If you wish to add the dry mushrooms directly to a recipe, make sure to rinse prior to adding and only do so if the recipe requires them to cook for at least 25 minutes.|
|Cuisine||American, Asian, Chinese, French|
|Handling / Storage||Store in a cool, dry place.|
|Shelf Life||3 Years|
|Country of Origin||China|
|Dietary Preferences||All Natural, Gluten-Free, Kosher Parve, Non-GMO|
|Allergen Information||None Specified|