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A Few of My Favourite Things!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Lo Han Vegetables


I imagine that black fungus, aka cloud ear mushroom, is one of those foods that I would not have enjoyed much as a kid because I don't remember eating a lot of it. Now, however, I love the crunchy bite it adds to stirfry dishes and the satiny feel of it on my tongue. In Chinese herbal medicine, this fungus also has a reputation for improving circulation and thinning the blood out - kinda like wine, I guess. The black cloud ear fungus also has a close relative known as - wait for it - white fungus which is much more frilly in appearance and can be used in sweet soups as well as savoury dishes.

Both black and white fungus can be found in dried forms in any Asian grocery store and are reconstituted by soaking for 30 min in warm water. The woody parts can then be trimmed off before cooking them. This dish is my version of Lou Han Vegetables and I've listed the ingredients that I used below:

A few pieces of reconstituted black and white fungus, some shitaake mushrooms, a can of button mushrooms, sliced carrots, green peas, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, cornflour
  1. Sitr fry garlic
  2. Add carrots and peas, followed by shitaake & button mushrooms. Add some water or stock and simmer for a few minutes
  3. Add black and white fungus and simmer for a little longer
  4. Thicken sauce with cornflour mixed with a few tablespoons of water
  5. Serve on top of brown rice (or whatever you prefer)

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