Friday June 22, 2012
Wood ear fungus
WOOD ear fungus (Auricularia polytricha, syn. Hirneola polytricha) is an edible jelly fungus that is often used in Asian cooking.
It is also known by other names such as cloud ear fungus, black fungus, black Chinese fungus and tree ear fungus.
It is gray-brown or blackish brown in colour and is usually sold dried and needs to be soaked before use.
Once fully soaked, it is somewhat translucent and dark brown in colour.
The fungus grows in frilly masses on deadwood.
Though almost tasteless, it is prized for its slightly crunchy texture and potential medicinal properties, including its newly discovered anticoagulant properties.
The slight crunchiness persists despite most cooking processes.
It may be effective in reducing LDL cholesterol and aortic atherosclerotic plaque, as demonstrated in a study on rabbits.