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This is the searchable online international food dictionary with 61,500 terms in 302 languages plus 12,690 plurals.

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wood ear fungus

Plural: wood ears or wood ear funghi

Language: English

Description: The wood ears commonly include the Judas's ear fungus, so-called as it is usually found on elder, the tree from which Judas is reputed to have hanged himself. It may also refer to the cloud ear mushroom. These mushrooms are often grown on oak logs and are available fresh or dried. If dried they are black and are broken into small pieces. They swell hugely when soaked. If fresh, they are slightly crunchy and have a bland flavour but take up the flavour of the foods with which they are cooked. Silver ears are an albino variety of these large dark mushrooms. They should not be fried as they explode, but should be stewed for at least an hour. If dried they may be ground to a powder, in which form it may be used to flavour soups and stocks. Unlike most mushrooms this can be found all year round. (If gathering mushrooms you must be absolutely certain what you have before you eat them as many are very poisonous.)

wood ear fungus
Fresh wood ear funghi, photographed at the extraordinary market in Luang Prabang in northern Laos

Latin: Hirneola auricula-judae/Auricularia auricula-judae/Auricularia polytricha or Auricularia polytricha/Hirneola polytricha
Ethnicity: Chinese

Substitutes: wood ear fungus, maitake, shiitake - Remember to soak dried mushrooms before use

See foods and dishes: cloud ear fungus, Judas' ear fungus

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Database last updated: 21 June 2011 12:23