Posted in Experiments, Recipes

Scallops with Snow Peas and Black Fungus

Scallops with Snow Peas 1

My wife and I purchased a big box of some lovely frozen scallops over the Christmas holidays. They are very large indeed (and we have only eaten a few so far) so I thought I might use some in a fairly simple but tasty stir-fry dish using snow-peas and a bit of the Chinese Black Fungus I featured in a Foodstuffs post not long ago. The dish I came up with is generally Chinese in spirit but I departed from traditional methods and briefly grilled the scallops before adding them to the wok… Continue reading “Scallops with Snow Peas and Black Fungus”

Posted in Notable Nosh

Notable Nosh: Black Fungus Salad

Black Fungus Salad Harmony

Not long ago, I did a ‘Foodstuffs’ post featuring Chinese Black Fungus, and, while I subsequently posted a recipe from my own kitchen entitled Pork with Black Fungus and Cucumber, I also mentioned that this interesting ingredient is often used in cold preparations as well. I haven’t got around to doing one myself as yet but, recently, I had an opportunity to experience an excellent example of such a dish at Harmony Restaurant in Ottawa that I thought worth sharing with you…

The restaurant menu referred the dish you see above as  ‘Black Mushroom and Peanut in Vinegar’ but the accompanying Chinese text, reading老醋木耳花生 (lǎocù mù’ěr huāshēng), was a bit more explanatory. It specifies that ‘wood ear’, one of the two main varieties of black fungus, is used (as opposed to shiitake mushrooms, as is usually meant by the term ‘black mushroom’), while the vinegar was more particularly identified as ‘old vinegar’, which usually means one of the mild black Chinese vinegars that are not easily substituted with western varieties.

It was rather unfortunate, but the waitress who brought me the dish, apologetically informed me that the restaurant was out of peanuts currently and, accordingly these were absent in the dish I received.  What she did bring me, however, was a very generous helping of rehydrated wood-ears along with chunks of raw white onion and a good amount of coarsely chopped garlic in a sauce that was chiefly black vinegar, but also contained sesame oil and was sweetened with a little sugar. I am not sure if the onion chunks were a regular feature, or if they were added on this occasion as a replacement for the peanuts, but they worked really well and the result over all was delicious, with the unique texture of the wood ears making the dish something both interesting and special.

I want to reproduce this dish at home sometime soon, but until I can obtain the proper Chinese black vinegar, I may have to content myself with a dilute balsamic in its stead. I will however, definitely add peanuts when I do get around to making it, and I will certainly share the results here on Sybaritica…



Posted in Experiments, Recipes

Pork with Black Fungus and Cucumber

I decided to put together this simple little a preparation in order to illustrate one possible use of the Chinese Black Fungus I featured the other day in a ‘Foodstuffs’ post. Basically, this is a dish that I have cooked many times in the past and it is very simple. It also works very nicely with snap peas or even lettuce in place of the cucumber… Continue reading “Pork with Black Fungus and Cucumber”