It’s not strictly correct to call these ‘Chinese’ black fungi since they are also used in south-east Asia, most notably Thailand, and in the Philippines as well. However, I certainly associate them mostly with Chinese cookery as I generally only see them used in recipes from Chinese cookbooks and have never been served them anywhere other than at a Chinese restaurant as yet.

Serious fans of Chinese cookery have probably heard of ‘wood ears’ or ‘cloud ears’ and both of these terms refer to the fungus. As yet, however, they have not become widely recognized in the west and, indeed, most people, if they have experienced them at all, have probably only done so, possibly unwittingly, in the popular ‘Hot and Sour Soup’. Still these are interesting culinary item and well worth a look…Read More →