Black fungus salad


Hot weather calls for cold food!!

Ice cream, cold dessert not a good idea for now as yours sincerely is in "diet" mode.
I should have known, the past weeks of heavy cooking and merry feasting -  cause of my waistline expanding.

I remembered the pickled "Myoga" (Japanese ginger buds) my Japanese friend lugged all the way from Japan sitting patiently in the fridge; I think the blush pink myoga on cold white noodles would make quite a beautiful sight.

But I need something else, an accompanying dish; ideally with some crunch and healthy.

Then I spotted this container of black goodness sitting in the chiller - Black fungus, also known as cloud ears fungus or wood ears fungus, often used in Asian cooking.

The black fungus is sold mainly in dried form, there is a choice between the small variety which looks like flakes of greyish-black paper; or the larger type which measures about 5-8cm and is black on one side, grey or beige on the other.

Before using, you will need to soak the fungus in warm water for at least fifteen minutes to rehydrate. It will puff up to several times its normal size during the short soak. Then rinse the fungus and trim the stem.

This mushroom has a crunchy texture and is delightful in salads, soups and stir-fries. It has no flavour of its own but absorbs the seasonings it is cooked with.

It is known for a whole lot of anti-properties -  anticoagulant, antiviral, antitumour, anti-depression, reducing cholesterol and aortic plaque. Most crucially(listen up!!), it helps control weight and enhance complexion!!

Need I say more?

You will need:

100gm of black fungus (small variety)
1 tablespoon of mirin
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of yuzu wine/liquor
1 teaspoon of toasted sesame seed
1 teaspoon of scallion (cut)
1 teaspoon of minced ginger
1 fresh red chilli
sea salt flakes to taste

1. Soak the wood ear fungus for 30 mins. When soften, trim the stem, rinse well to ensure all sand grits are removed.

2. In a bowl, mix in all the above ingredients, add in the fungus and toss well.

3. Set aside in fridge till cold.

Cook's note:
1. Best serve chilled
2. You may substitute yuzu wine with  1 tablespoon of lemon juice. (but the yuzu wine is nicer)

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