The Jelly Ear Fungus (also known as the Jew’s Ear or wood ear fungus) is a pretty little mushroom that gets very little attention from foragers. In Asian cooking it is revered for its medicinal qualities and is known to improve blood circulation.
Jelly Ear is also low in calories but rich in protein and a good source of calcium, phosphorus, and iron.
When you are out foraging collect enough to store to be used again. Before you use them, thoroughly wash and rinse them.
How to dry wood ear mushrooms
Collect your mushrooms and place on a rack in the oven to allow air to circulate. Put the oven in the lowest setting and leave the door open to let the mushrooms thoroughly dry. Once you are certain they are dried out, place them in a jar for using another day.
Jelly Ear Preparation:
If using fresh Jelly Ear, rinse it thoroughly before cooking and slice into smaller pieces.
If using a dried ear, soak in cool water for 15 – 20 minutes and rinse thoroughly.
Jelly Ear Soup Ingredients
4 cups of vegetable stock
8 Jelly Ears, rinsed and cut into thin strips
3/4 cup of bamboo shoots
5 sorrel leaves, roughly chopped
1 block of soft tofu diced into small chunks
3 spring onions, diced
1 inch of ginger, cut into thin strips
1.5 tbsp rice wine
2.5 tbsp dark vinegar
1 tbsp of rice vinegar, or white vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1.5 tsp finely grounded white pepper
1 tsp chili oil
1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
Rinse the bamboo shoots and sorrell in cold water. Drain well and set aside.
Mix the vinegars and soy sauce together and set aside.
Heat up a stir-fry pan with olive oil. When hot, add the ginger slices and half of the spring onions. Turn off heat and set aside.
In a heavy pan bring the vegetable stock to a simmer. When hot, add the Jelly Ear, sorrel, bamboo shoots, tofu and vinegar mixture. Mix gently. Cover the pot and bring back to the boil. Turn off heat.
Add the white pepper powder, chili oil, salt, and remaining scallions to the soup and mix gently. For a spicier and more sour taste, add additional white pepper powder, chili oil, and vinegar to the soup as desired.
If you want to learn more about foraging you may be interested in this item:
The Mighty Eagle Foraging Kit, is the best way to get you started finding for your own food.
Simple chores like taking the dog out for a walk, can become fine food expeditions. You and your kids can get to chew your way through, blackberries, wild strawberries or Porcine mushrooms. The kit has a fully researched and full colour instruction leaflet, which will get you on your way, and tell you what is in season and when. More Info