Dried Wood Ear Mushrooms
Dried wood ear mushrooms get their name from their unique ear-like appearance. Originally, the mushrooms were given the common name of Judas’s ear due to the belief that Judas hung himself from an elder tree after he betrayed Christ. Folklore taught that the “ears” that grew from the elder tree held the returned soul of the traitor and were there to remind others of his death. They were even suggested for use in cases of sore throat and strangulation. Today, the fairly bland mushroom is used in food for its chewy, almost rubbery texture and fantastic ability to absorb complimentary flavors.
Other Names: Judas’s ear, Judas ear, cloud ear, jelly ear, common ear fungus, Chinese fungus, tree ear
Origin: West Coast, USA
Shelf Life: Dried wood ear mushrooms are best when used within one year.
Nutritional Facts: 100 grams of dried wood ear mushrooms contain lots of iron (45% RDA*), calcium (16% RDA), and phosphorous (26% RDA). These nutrients help the body develop more oxygen throughout the blood and strong bones.
Tips: To reconstitute dried wood ear mushrooms, soak them in warm water for up two hours. They may then be used as fresh wood ear mushrooms would be. Dried wood ear mushrooms are often cut into small pieces to distribute their unique texture evenly throughout a dish. They are primarily used in Chinese cuisine, especially stir-fries and hot and sour soup.
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