Confinement Snacking: Wood Ear (Black Fungus) Salad Recipe
I don’t know what inspired me but I made this recipe up on the spot when I stepped in Valerie’s kitchen.
Wood Ear Salad can be eaten warm or at room temperature. There’s no exact amount to this recipe, just according to your taste and desire.
Wood Ear Fungus, a few pieces (see amount I used in photo above).
2 thin slices of *Old Ginger root, optional.
A few drops to 1 tablespoon (do not exceed 2 tbsp if breastfeeding) of *White Rice Wine, Mei Gui Lu or Huatiao Chiew, optional.
Hot water for soaking and boiling.
The fungus will expand after soaking so do not use too many if you are not keen on eating them. The texture is similar to tender crunchy rubber bands, lol…
Light Soy, to taste.
Sesame Oil, about 1 – 2 tablespoons or to taste.
**Heat the sesame oil till starting (but not) to smoke, just after seasoning the fungus with light soy. Pour over the shredded fungus and you will hear sizzling/blistering sounds.
1) Briefly rinse and then soak the dried wood ear fungus in hot water till bloated about 10-15 minutes. Rinse well under running tap and rub the fungus with fingers to make sure no spores or dust are on them. Cut the hard stem/core (I used kitchen scissors) in the middle of the soften fungus.
2) Blanch the wood ear fungus in hot water (with the ginger slices and wine, if using) on medium low heat for 10-15 minutes with one to two slices of ginger if using. Let cool enough to handle and julienne them. See #photo above.
3) Season with a little bit of light soy. Taste and adjust to your desire but do not let it be too salty in case of water retention. Once the desired amount of light soy has been added to the shredded wood ear, pour in the heated sesame oil (they should sizzle – see video below) onto the shreds and toss to mix well.
4) Serve immediately on its own or as an accompaniment to noodles or other dishes.
* I did not use those two ingredients of ginger and wine when Valerie is breastfeeding. This salad was meant for her to consume any time of the day. Usually when a mom is breastfeeding, we like to keep a gap of 2 to 3 hours after ingesting ginger and alcohol related food stuffs. Those who are not breastfeeding may add the two ingredients as I think they will complement the dish well. On days when Valerie had to bottle-feed Tae Jin (due to bleeding nipples), I would add one table of white rice wine to the pot while boiling the fungus. The 15-minute simmering would have evaporated most, if not all, of the alcohol.
Valerie liked it the first and second time I prepared for her so I made bigger batches from then on since this can be eaten on daily basis during the 30 days confinement period.
Wood Ear Fungus has properties believed to: Flush & Clear Blocked Arteries, Reduce Chances of Arteriosclerosis & Strokes, Promote Blood Circulation & Blood Stasis, Lower Bad Cholesterol, Cleanse Blood, Inhibit Blood Clotting and Promote Positive Feelings. Some also drink boiled Wood Ear water for slimming effect but that is another recipe.
Happy eating and bonding 🙂
In the video below, you can see Tae Jin, at Day 4, is still jaundiced but he is truly an angel. He doesn’t cry wolf at least for now, only when he really needs a change of diaper or feed. The background noise was us going about our chores.