Liang Ban Wood Ear Mushroom
A few things to remember:
- You should always use store-bought, dried wood ears (don’t try to forage for them yourself).
- Wood ear mushrooms must be cooked before consumption. Now’s not the time to pilot your raw foods diet.
- Don’t soak wood ears for more than 2-3 hours. They reconstitute in a relatively short amount of time.
- After soaking, trim off the tough stem area and wash thoroughly.
- Like anything that’s “good for you,” Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends pretty much everything in moderation.
- 4 cups rehydrated wood ears (trimmed and washed)
- 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 1-2 fresh red chili peppers (deseeded and chopped, optional)
- 1½ tablespoons dark vinegar
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallions (and/or cilantro)
- 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. You can also use a salad spinner to get rid of the excess water.
- In a large bowl, mix together 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, as the sauce tends to settle to the bottom. Plate and garnish with the chopped scallion and/or cilantro.