The Wood Ear mushroom is a selective mushroom that 90% of the time grows on elder trees. This ear shaped, gelatinous mushroom has been regarded as an inedible mushroom in the west until the early 19th century where British peasants began using it in their mixed mushroom soups. The Wood Ear mushroom has also been used medicinally by herbalists in the 16th century to reduce inflammation in the eyes and also as a tea to treat sore throats. To this day people who practice traditional medicine still hold the mushroom in a high regard for its healing properties.

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Wood Ear

My Fungi Recipe – Wood Ear Mushroom Salad

– 4 cups rehydrated wood ears (trimmed and washed)
– 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
– 1-2 fresh red chili peppers (deseeded and chopped, optional)
– 1½ tbsp Chinese black vinegar
– 1 tbsp light soy sauce
– 1 tsp sugar
– 1 tsp sesame oil

– In a medium-sized pot, cook the wood ears in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water to cool them completely. Set aside and let any excess water drain off.

– In a large bowl, mix the garlic, peppers, vinegar, light soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil until the sugar dissolves. Next, add the wood ears and mix well. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Make sure to stir and mixture again before serving.