13 Jul2013

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Wood ear fungus sounds a bit nicer, don’t you think? And probably the most accurately descriptive. It’s a rather meaty, gelatinous fungus that grows on fallen or live tree trunks. When it is dried it shrinks dramatically and perhaps that’s were the local name “tenga ng daga” or “rat’s ears” come from. Why anyone would give it that name when it is placed in various food dishes is just one of those weird things, I guess. I have never come across fresh wood ear mushrooms before, so when I spied some at the Salcedo market this morning, at the Ministry of Mushrooms stall, I bought a small container for PHP75. They also had fresh shiitake mushrooms, button mushrooms and oyster mushrooms, along with the wood ear fungus. But they apparently only grow the oyster mushrooms.

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A fairly common ingredient in China, Japan and Taiwan, they are most often locally in pancit or egg noodle dishes. I suppose they would be a textural addition to a plate of stir-fried vegetables and might also be interesting julienned and added to things like deep-fried spring rolls. I have no idea what we will be using them for just yet…

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These specimens were rather large, and the underside looked like the inside of a mammal’s ear, with some fuzz and well, frankly, stuff that looks like a Q-Tip would clean out rather nicely, thank you. :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    I use the dried ones in chap chea together with two different kind of mushroom, never come across fresh wood ear…

    Jul 13, 2013 | 9:42 am

     
  2. Natie says:

    Yes for noodles! Egg drop soup, Hot and Sour Soup..

    Jul 13, 2013 | 9:43 am

     
  3. Footloose says:

    There are likely several types going under the same name, some of them included for its sow’s ear-like texture and others for their soft gelatinous mouth feel. The second type seems to be a critical addition to a dry sotanghon dish at home. The recurring famines in China must have driven them to taste everything under the sun and fallen trees and there must have been the occasional fatal accident. It is the fear of accident that makes me hesitate trying the dizzying varieties of fungus arrayed in supermarkets here.

    Jul 13, 2013 | 12:24 pm

     
  4. Mari of NY says:

    I remember my mom putting this with sotanghon… either a soup or just pancit.

    Jul 14, 2013 | 9:27 am

     
  5. PITS, MANILA says:

    i remember it with sotanghon too …

    Jul 14, 2013 | 10:06 am

     
  6. Khew says:

    I combine them with broccoli and red peppers in a garlicky stir-fry seasoned with oyster sauce and cracked black pepper. They are also great cooked with chicken, ginger and shaoxing or dry sherry.

    Jul 14, 2013 | 3:57 pm

     
  7. Rochelle says:

    I love this with Sotanghon too! :)

    Jul 14, 2013 | 4:26 pm

     
  8. Mila says:

    I just learned a recipe using wood ear (mu er as it’s known in chinese) in a salad. Julienned with snap peas and green chillis (the less spicy kind), blanched for 30 seconds and after being chilled in an ice bath, toss it with sesame oil, black vinegar, light soy, garlic, ginger and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. If you want to add some spice, use some chilli oil or a dusting of sichuan peppercorns. It’s been a good salad to make in this really hot summer in China.

    Jul 15, 2013 | 10:56 am

     
  9. chrisb says:

    In the first photo it may well be called tenga ng zubuchon but the third photo, looks like tenga ni tutankhamon!
    Mila that recipe looks really good, thanks for sharing.

    Jul 15, 2013 | 11:06 am

     
  10. Denise says:

    When we lived in Naga, my dad would go out after each thunderstorm and pick these mushrooms from the fallen narra log in the yard. He used them in chop suey, and fun was had by all.

    Jul 17, 2013 | 11:56 am

     
  11. Junb says:

    here in Singapore they put include it on a chap chai ( local version of chop souey). Noodles, as well as some soup.

    Jul 17, 2013 | 8:51 pm

     
  12. Artmil says:

    MM are you familiar with Bam-i? this is one of the ingredients in it. when in cebu, you should try it.

    Jul 25, 2013 | 10:58 am

     
  13. Marketman says:

    Artmil, yes, here’s a 7 year old post on Bam-i, and yes, it has tenga ng daga. And yes, I am in Cebu roughly every other week. :)

    Jul 25, 2013 | 1:44 pm

     
 

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